Well, it’s almost that time again, back to school is less than 2 weeks away for us. In Canada, most schools go back the day after labor day.
I think making lunches is one of the most dreaded tasks for parents. It’s definitely not one of my favorite things to do, but one thing that does make this tedious task more manageable is having the right lunch gear on hand. And if it’s colorful and stylish to boot, then all the better!
In an attempt to get us organized for back to school, I was taking stock of our lunch “gear” and thought I would share some of our time-tested favorite items as well as show you the new additions I have made to our collection.
I am a die-hard fan of this lunchbox from Lands End, it’s called the classmate EZ wipe lunchbox. I love being able to easily wipe it out with a little cleaning spray. For any major spills or leaks, or even if they are just getting grungy, I toss these babies into the washing machine and then let them air dry overnight.
My kids like that you can personalize them with their name and a graphic. We have been using these lunch bags for years. I bought each kiddo one when they started kindergarten and the girls are still using theirs. Kallum uses a smaller lunch bag now that he is in high school, as this one is a bit big and he is short on room in his backpack.
Like they say in Disneyland, “hydrate before it’s too late”! I make sure to send a water bottle to school with my kiddos in the hopes that they will remember to drink water throughout the day. I like water bottles that have the pop-up lid option because they are leak proof and easy for the kids to use. The above Zulu water bottle is new to us, in the past we have used these Thermos brand “Funtainers” as they are called. Ours were all Disney themed, and now that my girls are in Grade 4 and 5, they are a bit beyond Nemo, sniffle sniffle. But the water bottles below do come in solid, less “babyish” colors and prints. I mean the fat unicorn? Stop it! I might want one for myself!
I am a huge fan of Sistema containers and have been for years. We just recycled a sandwich cube from this line, because my son had been using it for so many years, I lost track! It was actually still functional, but I just felt like it was probably about 8 years old and therefor time to retire it. These containers stand the test of time friends!
This bento box is new to us, I bought one this summer for my daughter because she was attending an all day horse camp at our Lake place and I didn’t have anything to put a lunch in for her. I spotted this little gem at Walmart and after using if for her all week, I bought a second one for my other daughter. My girls love an assortment of small snackie things for lunch so I loved all the different compartments this bento box has to offer.
A fresh ham and cheese croissant from our local bakery is a pretty yummy treat!
Lunch Cube/Salad Container
Even though I recycled my son’s Sistema sandwich cube, we still have a few of these salad cubes in our rotation and they are great. My middle kiddo loves bringing a salad for lunch (I don’t know where she gets that from but it’s so awesome!) so these containers are great for that. I have also packed a sandwich in the bottom and veggies and dip on top. Love these containers!
Salad Dressing Containers
Another often used bit of gear in our house-the dressing container! Luckily my girls really love salad and veggies, as long as there is ranch dip available. Unfortunately my son is not a fan of fruit or veggies at all, regardless of dip. I guess 2 out of 3 aint bad! These are also great for mustard and ketchup if you need to bring a small portion of these condiments.
Divided Snack Container
We really like the Sistema divided snack containers. We use the one above for veggies and dip or crackers and humus. While not pictured here, there is a flap that is meant to seal off the end where the dip goes, but we find this can leak, so we prefer to stick a little dressing container in there.
We also use these flat, divided containers for snacks on the go. A fun and weird fact about me – even though I am a grown woman, I still have a thing against my food touching. I really like to keep everything separate, which is why I am such a big fan of these Sistema containers. Looking at the photo below, the thought of the sausage touching the fruit actually makes me twitchy. I know, I am a werido!
Another brand of lunch gear that is newly on my radar is Cool Gear. Last year I discovered these little portable cutlery sets, so purchased one for each of my girls. Our school has a hot lunch program on Fridays, so the girls need to bring cutlery. These ones are super compact and easy to fit in their lunch containers, but then expand to a regular size.
We used the thermos brand “funtainer food jar” for many years. Last year we lost one and when I went to replace it, this Cool Gear thermos caught my eye.
It’s pretty neat because it has a little spot for a spoon! I also love that these are microwave and dishwasher safe. If we have left-overs at dinner that I want to send with the kids for their lunch the next day, I just fill the thermos, put it in the fridge and then microwave it in the morning. Doesn’t get much easier than that!
That is the end of my list of current lunch gear favorites. Last year I wrote a post about managing the school morning chaos. One of the ways I do this is to have a “lunch prep station” in our kitchen We have a bank of drawers dedicated to storing both lunch gear and snacks, which you can check out here. I am in the process of tweaking our system for the upcoming school year, so I will hopefully be ready to share that with you here soon! I would love to hear about any favorite lunch containers you have at your house, eave me a message in the comments below!