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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!
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School Lunch Packing Tips
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.
- Take a step back.
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)!
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. :)
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
- 1 winner will receive $250 reusable lunch gear
- 2 winners will receive $100 reusable lunch gear
- The contest is open to U.S. residents only.
- 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!
- The contest will end at midnight EST on Thursday, July 31, 2014.
- 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.