A sandwich, bag of chips, and juice box is a classic bag lunch, but although it may be filling, it’s not exactly exciting. It’s time to throw the brown bag to the curb (well, not literally—don’t litter).
If you’re ready to upgrade your kid’s lunchtime, we can help. By keeping foods hot, cold, and compartmentalized, parents can to pack a healthier, tastier lunch. Here’s what you need to know.
Tip 1: Use Insulators.
Take advantage of highly effective insulators to keep food at the desired temperature throughout the day. The ability to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold makes the possibilities for a tasty lunch limitless.
PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag With Zip Closure
PackIt uses built-in freezable gel to keep lunches cold, so your child never has to eat lukewarm yogurt, fruit, or veggies. Just store the PackIt Lunch Bag in the freezer overnight, and the next morning it will be ready to keep their lunch cool and fresh all day. Pick from dozens of stylish patterns like buffalo check or camouflage.
Get it here for $19.90.
Thermos Vacuum Insulated Food Jar
This insulated jar from Thermos allows parents to save time by using last night’s leftovers for lunch. The stainless steel jar keeps food hot for up to four hours (or cold for up to six hours). Plus, you’ll love the easy-care interior canister that is microwave-, refrigerator-, freezer-, and top-rack dishwasher–safe.
Get it here for $19.99.
Thermos Insulated Dual Compartment Food Jar
Send your child off with soup and salad or other delicious and healthy combos that require separate hot and cold compartments. With a 16-ounce bowl for hot food and a 20-ounce top compartment for cold food, this versatile container can accommodate almost any meal. It’s also top-rack dishwasher–safe and comes with a stainless steel spork.
Get it here for $29.99.
Tip 2: Plan ahead and compartmentalize.
A little planning the night before makes the lunch-packing process smoother and less stressful. We recommend grabbing some compartmentalized containers and getting your children involved in the planning.
First, see if you have any leftovers from dinner that can be repurposed. Chicken or brisket can be made into sandwiches, and veggies can go straight into their own compartment. Getting children involved teaches them how to make healthy decisions and increases the chances that they’ll enjoy and finish their lunch.
Compartmentalized containers also aid in teaching about portion sizes and balancing meals. The little compartments get used for dessert, and the bigger ones go to healthier parts of the meal.
Sistema Klip-It Lunch Cube Max To Go
Separate compartments help you pack proper portions and keep everything fresh and delicious. Easily fit the contents of a brown bag lunch in the Klip-It Cube without having to use any baggies.
Get it here for $9.99.
Tip 3: Healthy snacks are the best snacks.
After you spend all that time and energy on lunch, don’t forget a nice snack. With small tweaks to recipes, many companies make more nutritious versions of classic snacks. Whether you choose whole-wheat goldfish, kale chips, or plain old celery sticks, keep them fresh in an airtight snack box.
Sistema 13.5 oz. Colorful Klip-It Snack Pack Boxes Pkg/3
These are perfect containers for snack time, whether it’s on the bus or at an after-school activity. Airtight lids keep the snacks fresh, and clips make them easy for kids to open.
Get them here for $7.99.
Annie’s Homegrown Organic Products
When you’re rushed, you don’t always feel like reading the ingredients on the side of a box. Instead, it’s nice to be able to trust a company to use only high-quality ingredients. Annie’s uses sustainable, organic ingredients, and their farm-to-table philosophy results in food that tastes great.
Find different varieties here.
Sensible Portions Veggie Chips and Straws
Another healthy snack option is Veggie Straws and Chips. These irresistible treats have less fat than potato chips as well as added spinach powder and turmeric.
Browse different varieties here.
Tip 4: Hydrate in style.
Don’t forget a drink! Insulated bottles keep drinks cool and allow parents to choose a healthy beverage (whether it’s green tea, whole milk, or plain old water).
Thermos 12oz FUNtainer Bottle
Parents love the practicality, and kids love going to school with their favorite characters from Paw Patrol or Shopkins. Everybody wins!
Find their favorite character or design here for $14.99.