The Life Cycle of a (Packed) School Lunch

Almost every day on Facebook I share the school lunches that I pack for my daughters and almost every day there are a lot of questions about these lunches. Everything from “Where did you get that container?” to “Can I get that recipe?” to “Where’s the protein?” But lately I’ve been noticing quite a few questions asking what these carefully prepared lunches actually look like come lunchtime – especially after they’ve been tossed all around while in their backpacks and since “liquidy” foods like yogurt or applesauce are involved. Let’s face it, no child keeps their lunch bag or box in one perfect position all day, and that is certainly something I would never expect of my own children. So when I was having lunch with my daughter at school yesterday I (risked looking like a lunatic and) took a bunch of pictures for you! :)

How the lunch looked like right after I packed it.
How my kindergartner’s lunch looked like right after I packed it.

carrying lunchbox
The lunch bag sits upright when it’s clipped to her backpack and when she carries it to the lunchroom.
100 Days of Real Food School Lunch
Time to dig in – as you can see I pack these lunches with 4 small ice packs in an insulated lunch bag.
100 Days of Real Food School Lunch
How the lunch looks once it’s opened. I have to say – this is closer to the original picture than even I was expecting! The lid is leak-proof so each food stays securely in its own compartment (if the lid is shut properly). The jumbo (yellow) muffin cup is tall enough to touch the lid so dry items stay in that spot.
100 Days of Real Food School Lunch
Mixing her granola into her yogurt and starting to chow down. :) One thing I love about this lunch box is that it doesn’t take her long to open only one lid during an already short lunch period.
100 Days of Real Food School Lunch
Full disclosure – apparently this is what happens to the lid when there is yogurt on it! LOL
100 Days of Real Food School Lunch
All Done! I am pretty sure she only ate all of the veggies because I was there encouraging her. I told her the cucumbers’ and carrots’ feelings were hurt because she wasn’t picking them, and it worked. :)
100 Days of Real Food School Lunch
Time to pack up! I’ve told my girls numerous times to put that lid back on securely in case a little bit of yogurt is left in there. When my older daughter recently forgot and came home with a mess I had her clean the lunch bag herself so I am pretty sure it won’t happen again (at least anytime soon).
100 Days of Real Food School Lunch
Putting the lunch box, ice packs, and water thermos back in the bag is easy enough for a 5-year-old.

So that’s all there is to it! And since I know some will be wondering :) ….

  • Those are Ziploc brand divided lunch containers – super cheap, lightweight, BPA-free, and available online. I have no relationship with Ziploc whatsoever. We just really like these lunch boxes.
  • I got the muffin cups here. Here are the Thermos cup, the flexible ice blanket, and the fun character ice pack.
  • I bought the fun toothpicks at Party City, although I’ve found cute ones at several different places including Martha Stewart Crafts, and cute Meri Meri Toot Sweet Cupcake Picks.
  • The lunch bag is by Lands End and we have the matching backpack that goes with it. This is the brand my older daughter has been using for almost 3 years now and it is still holding up great.

For more school lunch ideas check out my most recent School Lunch Roundup post.

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  1. I bought the same container for my son as you guys and love it. However just watched a Facebook live from another blogger and use of plastic. Now I worry!

  2. Primal Pit Paste is a fabulous product! Just ordered my second batch, one jar, one stick. I like that it comes unscented, and it works so much better for me than the “industrialized” deodorant. Another product I found on this website is Branch Basics cleaning soap. It was 25% off for Earth Day so I was able to order the large starter kit. I could not believe how it cleaned my (very dirty) bathroom floor in minutes and then I could use the same solution to wash my hands. This product is the best I’ve ever seen in plant-based cleaning products. Just mix with water. INCREDIBLE!! Thanks, Lisa for sharing products that you try out then review!!!