School Lunch Packing Tips + $250 in Lunch Gear from MightyNest!

This contest is now closed and the winner has been selected. Congrats to…

Stephanie O.!

It’s soon going to be that time again…back-to-school. I know some of you can’t wait, but for me, it’s bittersweet. Especially after our fun travels so far this summer (in the RV!). I’ve really been enjoying the time with my girls and especially not being so scheduled, if you know what I mean. But alas, it’s almost time to get back into the routine.

And with that routine of course comes the duty of packing real food lunches—something I talk about a lot around here! So I’m excited to partner with our sponsor MightyNest on today’s post, which includes a campaign to equip our kids in helping to pack their own healthy lunches. Yes, you read that right! As parents, we often try to do everything for our kids, but one of the greatest gifts we can give them is empowering them to pack their own lunches. Plus, I can tell you firsthand that when my girls pack their lunches, it’s almost a guarantee their lunchboxes will come home empty. (And as a bonus, this gets us off the hook AND is a good lesson in responsibility—a win-win in my book!)

So I am asking all of you to please take a pledge with me to involve your kids in packing their own real food lunches in real containers this year. What do you say? Some super cool prizes are involved. See below!

Real Food Lunches with MightNest on 100 Days of #RealFood

School Lunch Packing Tips

    1. Take a step back.
      As I mentioned, resist the urge to just do it for them even if they are making a mess or taking too long! They will have a nice sense of accomplishment when it’s all done, plus kids love to feel that they have a say in decisions. Offer them plenty of real food options to choose from, and let them go to town. And consider getting their input on what fruits, veggies, and other healthy options to buy before you even hit the store!
      Real Food Lunches with MightNest on 100 Days of #RealFood
    2. Plan ahead.
      This is my secret weapon when it comes to packing lunches. I like to have a minimum of at least 3 (or even 4) different homemade goodies in my freezer to help me along throughout the school week. This can be anything from whole-grain muffins to soups, meatballs, or whole-wheat waffles (to be used as sandwich bread). Real food lunches would not be happening in my house if it weren’t for this stash!

      Real Food Lunches with MightNest on 100 Days of #RealFood
      Homemade meatballs and sauce ready for the freezer.

    3. Use the right tools.
      I personally couldn’t live without the right lunch packing gear. The right tools make it SO much easier and more fun for the kids to pack their lunches! Plus, you can feel good about being waste-free. Here are some fun ones from MightyNest to consider for the new school year.

Back to School Lunch Gear on 100 Days of #RealFood

Pack your real food lunch in real containers with these tools (pictured) from MightyNest:

    • Apple/Pear Corer – This one is perfect for kids to effectively cut apple slices to pack in their lunch (or even their snack). Readers ask me all the time what I do to prevent apples from turning brown, and long story short…nothing. :)
    • Waterproof Labels – If containers are properly labeled, there is less of a chance of losing all your precious lunch packing gear!
    • Divided Containers – Kids don’t get overwhelmed when all they have to do is fill all the compartments and lunch is done. Plus this one has an adjustable divider.
    • Cookie Cutters – Who ever said cookie cutters are only for cookies? Try them on sandwiches, cheese slices, and even fruit.
    • Fruity Water Bottle – Add some flavor to water bottles with a slice of orange, grapefruit, or lime. Plus these are insulated – my favorite kind.
    • Ice Packs – Not all ice packs are created equal. Try these no sweat packs that are made from recycled plastic bottles!
    • Lunchskins – Reusable sandwich bags made from the same material as a pastry bag. They are super easy to clean.
    • Double Decker Lunchbox – Ideal for packing foods in different compartments (like keeping hot and cold separate or crunchy foods from getting squished)!

Real Food Lunches with MightNest on 100 Days of #RealFood

School Lunch Program

One other thing I’d love to tell you about is the wonderful school program that MightyNest put together. With your purchase of better goods for lunch and home, MightyNest will donate 15% to your local school. A typical lunch gear order donates more than $10 to the school of choice. And MightyNest has a goal to raise $1,000,000 for schools this school year! In all honesty, my school was not a part of the program last year, but as some of you know, we’ve been redistricted. So I plan to get our new school set up with the program this year.

Meanwhile check out my two using this apple slicer together …what a cute moment. :)

Real Food Lunches with MightNest on 100 Days of #RealFood
First little sister tries it, then big sister offers to help, then they realize that teamwork is the way to go …and just check out those happy and proud girls for figuring it out!


And last but definitely not least, it’s giveaway time! MightyNest has some fantastic prizes including $250 worth of school lunch gear to make your packing – or your kids’ packing – that much easier AND $1,000 for your school. Three winners will be chosen to win. Enter by using the form below!

The Contest is Now Closed

Contest Details:

  • 1 winner will receive $250 reusable lunch gear
  • 2 winners will receive $100 reusable lunch gear

Contest Rules:

  1. The contest is open to U.S. residents only.
  2. To enter, take the pledge (using the form just above) with me to involve your kids in packing their own real food lunches this year!
  3. The contest will end at midnight EST on Thursday, July 31, 2014.
  4. The 3 winners will be selected at random and emailed directly. The winners will have 3 days to respond before they are disqualified and a new winner is chosen.
Real Food Lunches with MightNest on 100 Days of #RealFood
Happy Packing! :)

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157 thoughts on “School Lunch Packing Tips + $250 in Lunch Gear from MightyNest!”

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  1. Lunch ideas for teenagers? they are not big fans of bringing thermos’, or leftovers. I pack their lunches in paper lunch bags, so having them bring any type of container is a pain because they throw away their lunch bags when they are done. I mostly make them sandwiches and I would love other ideas. I make their sandwiches with the Great Harvest Honey Wheat Bread and use applegate lunch meat. I want to cut down on the lunch meat because I feel they eat it too much.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Love all that you have done for making us aware. We want the best for our families and you have helped my family change the way we eat. Thank you.

  2. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

    Hi Erin. Hmmm, maybe on Facebook? Her last video on Charlotte Today did have a lunch box that is labeled with what to include. Could it have been that? I’ll keep searching. : ) ~Amy

  3. I thought I saw you post a checklist your kids use when packing their own lunch, but now I cannot find it anywhere. Can you help? My daughter loves checklists and is excited to pack her own lunches for

  4. I don’t mean to be rude, and I do admire Mighty Nest contributing to schools….but $33 for an apple corer?!!! Are you kidding me?! I am sorry, but I will take the $2.99 version at my local grocery store :/

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Cherie. Lemon juice will slow down the oxidation process. Lisa doesn’t typically do anything, however, because her girls don’t mind the discoloration. ~Amy

  5. I haven’t had a chance to read all of the comments so I apologize if this question has already been answered. Do you know if the ziplock divided container fits in the double decker lunch bag featured in this blog post?
    Thank you!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hello Angie. Here is an earlier response from Jason: “The container itself fits just fine, but the little lift tab that sticks out on the one corner makes zipping it a little tight. If you found that to be a problem you could easily trim the tab a bit with scissors, taking care to leave rounded edges.” :)

  6. Do you have any advice on packing a grilled cheese sandwich? My super picky eater loves them. I’ve tried on occasion to pack in his lunch but he says it isn’t good. I’ve let it cool before packing, put it in a sandwich box, etc.
    Thank you!!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Kathryn. Kiran mentioned that she has a friend who puts her kids warm sandwiches in a thermos by cutting it into halves or fourths. :)

  7. Did you already choose winners? Because the entry form is still open and I just entered before seeing the July 31st deadline.

  8. I have used your website for so many ideas to get my kids to eat clean and I have to tell you the recipes are great. They love the food. Thank you for the wonderful information, resources and recipes!

  9. I have always wanted to be that mom that packs these beautiful colorful healthy lunches. In fact, I tried it for a season and actually did a pretty good job. Like many of us, working full-time, havinkg kids on different schedules, and maintaining a crazy busy household schedule can just seem to take over without me even realizing it. Before I know it, I am back to a few days every week of quick grab processed food just to get soemthing in their bellies. I am tired of it and I know, if I plan correctly, I can do it. I AM COMMITTED this school year to healthy meal plans, pre-made foods, and healthy lunches!!!! Having motivating supplies would definitely help!!! If I don’t win, this has still inspired me to purchase a starting set of supplies, even if its pieced together and using similar materials. I am grateful to have you to follow. Your website and emails have provided an anchor for me to return to, to never get too far away from feeding my family in a way that I feel gret about. It gives me encouragement as well as practical, real life ways, to give my family the gift of health through real food. Thank you! I will be checking my email daily in hopes of a win! :)

  10. Amanda Williams

    I’ve shopped here for years and I’ve always been happy with my purchases, life factory is by far one of my favorite brands! Love love mighty nest!

  11. Where can I find tips on defrosting the jars in the freezer and best way to heat int he morning? I prefer not to use the microwave. Didn’t know if there was anything easier than dumping into a pan and reheating.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Amy. Typically, defrosting overnight and reheating the contents in a pan is my first choice but I have also heated the defrosted jars (minus lids) directly in a pan of water very successfully. :)

  12. Can anyone recommend literature on real food and avoiding processed foods that is targeted at kids? I would like for my 11 year-old daughter to read up on this, rather than us just lecturing.

  13. Crossing my fingers. Though I will probably still order from Mighty Nest if I don’t win. I love their products and mindset! SO awesome!

  14. Thanks for a great website, helps me as I am raising my step-son’s 10 & 12 year old girls. We have had them 4 years, when I took the oldest to the doctor she told him “My Meme only lets us have healthy food”!

  15. I’m not sure if I entered. There was no confirmation or a finish button or anything like that. I hope I am entered!

  16. I’m having a hard time getting this to work on my phone. This is a great idea, and I know a lot of people who would like to participate!

  17. Awesome give away!!! Signed up for this for my family and promoted it to my school community.
    If you want to help my classroom get ready for Back to School and not just my lunchbox check out my Donor’s Choose project that’s almost fully funded.

    Happy packing!

  18. Keeping my fingers crossed. Would love to have such cool thing to pack healthier more eco friendly lunches for my 3 kiddos.

  19. Thanks for the opportunity to enter this giveaway – its so much of what we wanted and needed to help Ellie start school this year.