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. I pledge to empower my children by getting them more involved in packing their own real food lunches this school year.

  2. love this challenge and encouragement to let my kiddos take charge, taking it to heart and will start trying to gather ideas and goods to make it possible.

    1. Hi Emily! Yes, the divided container from this post fits in either the top or bottom section of the double decker lunchbox. It also fits in most of our other lunchbox options. Thanks for the question!

  3. I think that there is nothing more empowering for your child that enabling them to pack their own lunch. My daughter took it upon herself to pack her own lunch when she was eight (apparently I didn’t do it fast enough) and after I praised her she continued. She is now 12 and still gets her own lunch every day. She is very much a creature of habit and eats the same thing every day but I am happy to buy or make whatever she wants so long as I don’t have to think about the lunchbox.
    Interestingly other children at school complain about their lunches, and often throw the lunch their parents have packed in the bin, but when my child suggests they make their own so they get something they like the other children are not interested. At least I know she is eating everything she makes.

  4. Linda Gutierrez

    Let’s get these kids healthy by encouraging the eating of foods that contain only ONE ingredient!!!

  5. I pledge to let the kids get involved in packing their own healthy lunches this year for school!! :-)

  6. tracey chippas

    I will take the pledge… older kids have been making their lunches the last few years. Time to get the little one doing it too.

  7. I pledge to get my children involved in helping pack
    wholesome lunches containing real food.

    Another good idea: make ahead great snacks such as
    bars or granola and pack them up in the reusable containers.
    Even veggies & dip in the containers in the fridge ready
    for the kids to grab and pack!! Busy mornings call for pre work!

  8. Working to switch to whole foods all-around, and going back to school and teaching this year. I need to have the kids involved, from 4-12 year old. :)

  9. Our U•Konserve stainless steel rectangle container with removable divider is finally back in stock as of today. Thank you for your thoughtful lunch-packing tips!

  10. Just took the pledge for my daughters and I. Their amazing school wasn’t listed so just waiting on the approval. Would so amazing to see the prize go to their school!

  11. I’m taking the pledge to make sure our lunches are healthier! We started letting the kids pack their own lunches last year and that was a tremendous help in the chaotic mornings! We’ve sat down together to list out some of their favorite real foods to have on hand for the school year. I would love to win this great package!! Thank you for the opportunity!

  12. I pledge to give my kids real food options and let them make their own lunches. Thanks for all the great ideas and the inspiration!

  13. I am sending two off to kg this year and need all the help I can get!
    I will take the pledge and would love some tools too!

  14. I am planning to change my family’s eating habits over to real food. As a new follower and fan of your site, I pre ordered your book but would love it if you offer your 6 weeks of school lunch meal plans again. I’m sure your new followers would love it too!

  15. My son is starting Kindergarten and daughter is going to 3rd grade–excited to get them both off on the right foot this year having fun packing their own lunches and enjoying yummy real food!
    I pledge to encourage this healthy habit!

  16. I take the pledge to get my kids involved in packing their lunches. I also need to get my freezer stocked.

  17. My daughter is 7 and last year really started helping with her lunches. My son is starting Kindergarten this fall and I look forward to helping him pack his lunch.

  18. Melanie McKinney

    I will definitely take the pledge to I need all the help I can get to get my four kids eating better at home and at school. The school lunches are a joke.

  19. I think this is wonderful. I definitely take the pledge…I need all the help I can get! I’d also like to get my school involved in the MightyNest program.

  20. I am guilty of packing without help! It never occurred to me to ask my son to help! I will now! I take the pledge!

  21. I am definitely taking this pledge for my kids to make their own healthy lunches! I’m sure they will be more likely to eat everything when they are involved in making their own!

  22. jennifer eidemiller

    I do take the pledge to let my kids help pack healthy and real food lunches this year! I need this to help me!