School starts on Monday, and when I recently realized that Atty would be needing a lunch packed — for the first time — I was hit with an unexpected bout of anxiety. I don’t know the best way to pack a lunch. What should I make? Should she take a paper sack or does she need some high-tech lunchbox?? How do I keep her food cold… or hot??? Should I pack it in the morning or night before????
Too many questions, not enough answers. So I sent out an email blast to my fellow Sometimes Supermoms and got back these answers:
As far as what to make, here are some clever ideas for non-sandwich lunches from my friend and fabulous photographer Erika (she took the cute pic above). I’ll bet Attalie will love the “Lunch Box Pizzas,” and it is super handy that they can be made ahead and frozen.
Erika also mentioned that her oldest daughter likes to take her lunch in a sack so she can just toss it afterwards, but Erika packs her younger kids lunches in a reusable lunch bag, which was the option most of the moms I talked to preferred. My friend Jenny loves the Retro Lunch Bags from Pottery Barn Kids because they have two compartments that help separate hots and colds with a thermos in the top part. Plus these bags are surprisingly durable, Jenny said her kids’ bags from last year are still in good shape so she doesn’t need to buy new ones for this year!
Many of my friends place reusable ice blocks in the lunch bags to keep things cool. I remember my own clever mom packed our lunches with juice boxes that she kept in the freezer — these acted as a sort of disposable ice block. They were pretty well defrosted by lunch time so you could drink and then toss — a great solution for those brown baggers who don’t want anything to carry home.
Some other useful tips:
Have a Super-tip to share? We’d love to hear your secrets for getting your day going, the kids ready and off to school. Email your tip to firstname.lastname@example.org. We just might publish your Super-tip next!