7 Tips for Simple School Lunches

When I think of “back to school” I think of packing lunches. They go hand in hand for me. We have a 10 year gap between our older set and our younger set of kids. Sometimes it feels like I’ve been packing lunches FOREVER.

With my youngest starting kindergarten I know that my lunch packing days will be coming to an end in the next few years. Until then I’ll continue my lunch packing routine.

Simple School Lunches

Have a lunch packing routine means you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day. I’m all in favor of simplicity. I typically choose 3 main items for my kids lunch boxes. They get a main dish, a fruit or veggie and a snack type item.

I don’t pack a lot of food in my kids lunches because most kids waste a lot of food at lunch. If you’ve ever visited your kids at lunch you can see why. It’s a mad house, especially at the kindergarten table. A lot of the kids can’t open their containers or individual packages. If this is their first school experience they probably don’t know how to manage their time. You end up with a 5 year old who can’t open their apple sauce and just talks to their new friends.

Tips for Simple School Lunches

  • Use easy to open containers.
  • Stick to just a few foods.
  • Get your child’s “buy in” or let them see the lunch before it’s packed away
  • Have older kids pack their own lunch (with guidelines) See my printable!
  • Let younger children have some choices like apples or strawberries, crackers or pretzels.
  • Include every thing they need like a spoon or napkin.
  • Use a frozen insert to keep cold foods cold.

I love EasyLunchBoxes because they make lunches easier to pack. My kids have always been able to open them without help, we started using them in preschool. We still use that original set that is over 2 years old. We’ve had a few crack but if you’ve seen how my boys treat their back pack you would understand. They are durable.

My boys love that the EasyLunchBoxes keep their foods separate so nothing touches. That means the strawberries won’t get the pretzels all wet and soggy. I also use their mini dipper containers occasionally when I need a small container.

My 7 year old will sometimes pack his own lunch but usually I need to intervene. He would be happy with a piece of bread, a granola bar and crackers. I have a “at least one fruit or veggie” rule that he likes to sneak around. He doesn’t eat a lot at lunch so I usually stick to 3 things.

My 5 year old wants his lunch box FULL! If there is the tiniest bit of empty space he goes looking for something to stick in it. He will eat it all too. He normally gets two types of fruit, a main dish, something a little “snacky” like pretzels or Plentils, and anything else he can fit in there.

I adapt to each of my kids needs but in a way that works for our needs.

Enter the Easy Lunch Boxes giveaway!

EasyLunchBoxes Giveaway

I want you to have a chance to simplify your lunch box routine too! You can win your own set of EasyLunchBoxes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you don’t win a set of containers you can always buy them from EasyLunchBoxes or Amazon! Make sure you read this first so you get the real deal.

This page contains affiliate links. 

Bob’s Red Mill Oatmeal Cups Giveaway

This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Once school starts our mornings are packed. We eat breakfast, get ready, make lunches, and are out the door. I’ve found a healthy, hot breakfast that my kids can make themselves, Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oatmeal Cups.

Bobs Red Mills Oatmeal Cups

We had gotten into a cereal rut because I needed something easy and fast in the mornings. My kids will often wake up before me; I’m not one of those wake up before your kids kind of moms (I get every minute of sleep I can). That meant the kids would usually have cereal. I preferred for them to have something healthier but our busy mornings didn’t always allow it.

Then I discovered Bob’s Red Mill Oatmeal Cups. At first I was skeptical but the ingredients list won me over. The oatmeal cups vary by flavor but use real ingredients that I would typically put in homemade oatmeal like flax and chia seeds. My favorite flavor is Apple Cinnamon!

Bobs Red Mills Oatmeal Cups

My kids are 5 and 7 and they can prepare the Oatmeal Cups all by themselves. If you are a parent of little kids you know this is life changing. They pour the water into the cup, microwave it for one minute, let it set for two minutes, then it’s ready to eat.

There are a lot of things I love about these oatmeal cups:

  • Delicious flavors
  • Healthy Ingredients
  • Easy to prepare (even my kids can do it)
  • Fast
  • Easy clean up
  • Vegan and Gluten-Free

We will still make oatmeal the old fashioned way or in my Instant Pot but these oatmeal cups are a great option, especially during those hectic first days back to school.

Bob’s Red Mill is happy to sponsor a giveaway for an assortment of oatmeal cups! One lucky winner in the continental U.S. will win a selection of oatmeal cups.


Update: Congrats to our winner Donna K!

Bobs Red Mill Oatmeal Cups Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you don’t win the giveaway you can find these oatmeal cups at local retailers (I found them at Target), or order them from Bob’s Red Mill or Amazon.

This post was sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. The opinions and thoughts are my own. This page contains affiliate links. 

Instant Pot Giveaway

There are two kinds of people:

People who love their Instant Pot…

and people who want an Instant Pot.

Today I’m excited to make one of you a little closer to owning your own Instant Pot!

Instant Pot Giveaway

When I went to work full-time a little over a year ago the first thing I did was buy an Instant Pot. I knew that my time would be limited and I wouldn’t be able to watch a soup simmer all day or keep an eye on my Crock Pot.

Instant Pot was a huge help for my family. We most frequently use it to “bake” potatoes, or to cook beans, rice and oatmeal.

I wrote a post called 10 Reasons I Bought an Instant Pot and I’ve come up with more reasons since then.

What You Need to Know

I get a lot of email about Instant Pots. Here is what you need to know:

  • Instant Pots are safe.
  • You can cook things quickly, but it’s not magic, it takes a little time to come to pressure and release pressure.
  • You can use it as a slow cooker, but you’ll want this lid. I just bought it.
  • You don’t have to use all of the buttons, I cook many things on manual.
  • When you first unbox your Instant Pot you will be overwhelmed but it’s a lot easier than it looks.
  • You can find recipes made for the Instant Pot so you don’t have to figure out conversions.
  • When it is done cooking, it will keep the food warm until you are ready.
  • It comes with a trivet that is used inside the Instant Pot, we set potatoes on it to steam

The Instant Pot Club

Ok, there isn’t a real “club” but there are a ton of people who use and love their Instant Pot, it’s kind of like an unofficial sisterhood (society is another alternative) (or brotherhood if you prefer) of people who love to talk about cooking with their Instant Pot. You can connect with them on Facebook or Twitter but this Facebook Group is one of my favorite resources.

There are also several great books like New Fast Food Kitchen and Vegan Pressure Cooking that have a lot of great plant-based recipes that are made in the Instant Pot. Vegan Pressure Cooking for Kindle is only $2.99 right now!

Get Your Instant Pot

Instant Pot is available on Amazon. This is how I buy almost everything except perishable groceries. I love Amazon! The price on the Instant Pot is great right now, barely over $100 but it changes all the time so buy it quickly. Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial to get free shipping!

Instant Pot is also available on Walmart.com with an in-store pick-up option.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Instant Pot is making this giveaway exclusively North America, the continental US and Canada (sorry Hawaii and Alaska) due to shipping: We cannot ship to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico or Internationally. The UK site is a separate business entity, not sponsoring the Giveaway.

This page contains affiliate links. I was not compensated for this giveaway. All opinions are my own.

Southern Homestyle Corn Crumbs Giveaway

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve shared two new recipes that feature Southern Homestyle Corn Crumbs. Today you get a chance to win both the original corn crumbs and the tortilla crumbs.

These versatile corn crumbs provide a crisp, gluten-free topping or coating to your favorite meals. They are used just like regular break crumbs but these are gluten-free.

Enter the gluten-free Corn Crumb Giveaway for 2 containers of corn crumbs.


[Read more…]

The Last Back to School Giveaway

I’ve really enjoyed the last two months of Back to School Giveaways but all good things must come to an end. Today will start our last week of giveaways but I’m actually giving away 3 separate prizes! I’ve still got some back to school tips I’ll continue to share this month!

Prize #1 Fresh & Fit Bento Lunch Kit

bento kit 1

One lucky winner will receive a Fresh & Fit Bento Lunch Kit.

The thing that really sets this lunch box apart is on the inside. The lid has built-in sections for ice packs. The ice pack are removable which make for easy cleaning and freezing.

bento kit 2

I think these are great for anyone who needs to keep a lunch cool until lunch time. The ice packs sit right up against the food which work better than ice packs that may be in your lunch bag but not necessarily near your food. We’ve been using the ice packs for years, even before we knew about the lunch kits.

bento kit 3

We’ve used these for sandwiches, salads and just snacks. The 3 compartment design keeps foods separated.

Prize #2 FLYJOY Bars

flyjoy 1

These may be my favorite bars! I love them!

I’ve loved every flavor I’ve tried. These energy bars, yes they are considered energy bars, they are made from quinoa, oats and flax. FLYJOY Bars are all natural, gluten-free, non-gmo and vegan. They contain nuts so these wouldn’t be suitable for someone with nut-allergies. (I have news about my sons oral challenge I’ll share later this month.)

flyjoy 2

Read the story about how FLYJOY bars came to be. You’ll be inspired!

Another great thing about FLYJOY is that every FLYJOY purchase donates 10% of the profit to HOPE International, making it possible for women, men and families to break the cycle of poverty and pursue their dreams through self-sustaining businesses and education.

One winner will receive a package with all six flavors. Trust me, you’ll have a hard time picking a favorite. These filling bars are perfect for breakfast or snack. I’ve taken them hiking for energy and eaten them on the way to church when I didn’t have time for breakfast at home.

Flavors include Cashew Cookie Dough, Peanut Cacao Nib, Cranberry Almond, Cherry Coconut, Coconut Almond, and Blue Berry Almond.

Prize #3 Product Assortment

I’ve given away a lot of great products over the last two month. This week I’m choosing some of my favorites to send to one lucky winner.

The package will contain an assortment of full and sample sizes of products like SunButter, Enjoy Life Food Soft Baked Cookies and Plentils, SoyNut Butter and more. I’ll have to see what all I can fit in the box.

Enter below and you’ll be entered in all 3 giveaways!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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