10 Tips to De-Stress Your Lunchbox (plus a printer-friendly guide)

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Do you struggle with packing your child’s lunch every day? I’ve eliminated the guess-work and created this handy-dandy guide for you. You (or your child) can pick an item from each column. You may want to mix and match your favorite combinations.

You are welcome!


I also have a FREE Printer-Friendly PDF version available for you HERE!

10 Tips to De-Stress Your Lunchbox

  1. Pack everything they need like napkins or utensils so they do not waste time waiting for assistance.
  2. Cut up fruit and veggies to make them easier to eat.
  3. Invest in quality lunch containers.
  4. Don’t pack too much food.
  5. Let your child help pack the lunch by giving choices, “pick one item from each column”
  6. Freeze items that need to be kept cold; they will defrost throughout the day. Use ice packs as needed.
  7. Prepackage things like sliced veggies or popcorn so they can easily be added to the lunchbox.
  8. Make sure the meal isn’t too messy. No Build Your Own Pizza on picture day.
  9. Peanut Butter (or Sunflower seed butter) and jelly is always a good standby.
  10. Buy rolls or mini loaves of bread to make sub style sandwiches with veggies.

The PDF has a few recommendations as to how to use the Lunchbox Guide as well. I have mine hanging inside my kitchen cupboard door. It’s easy to reference but not visible unless you open the cabinet (that tip is just a freebie).

It’s your turn! What is your best tip to de-stress the lunch time chaos?


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  1. Pack as much as you can the night before. If taking water as a beverage, make sure it’s in the fridge.

    • Joye, we fill our water bottles 1/3 of the way up then stick them in the freezer (at an angel). The next morning we fill it the rest of the way.

  2. I always make large pots of meals, muffins etc. so they last a few days and all I have to do is heat them up or grab from the fridge!

  3. I was just working on back to school meal plans and lunch ideas this evening, you have made my day!!

    • Lisa I am so glad I could help! For years I had a simplified lunch box matrix like this hanging in our cupboard. I may need to do another one as the seasons change (and food prices and temperatures).

  4. I don’t have kids but I’ve dowloaded your PDF to use when packing my lunches for college. And I NEVER would have thought of freezing items that need to be kept cold. Thanks 🙂

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