Are you in a lunch box rut yet? It is easy to do.
The routine of packing a lunch can get monotonous, especially if you are packing for multiple children. Sometimes getting the lunch made is more important than making it interesting.
When I’m packing lunches I don’t think, “I wonder if this is fun/interesting/(fill in the blank).” I try to make sure it is:
- Enough to fill them up
- Not too much that will get wasted
- Food they will actually eat
- Food that can be eaten quickly
My boys love salad but it isn’t the best thing to pack in their lunches for a few reasons. It takes a while to eat, doesn’t have many calories (to give them energy and fill them up), and they would probably skip it in favor of other foods. I save salads for home.
We typically stick to a main dish, fresh fruit and/or veggies and side items.
Easy Lunch Box Side Items
I don’t buy a lot of individually wrapped items because they are more expensive. I buy larger containers/bags of lunch box side items but sometimes my boys have gotten tired of things when I’ve pack them repeatedly.
Our lunch boxes aren’t packed full of fresh fruits and veggies. We have those in every lunch box but we also have sandwiches or tacos, pretzels and other convenience items. I consider the items listed below to be side items. Check out these main dish ideas if you need them (there is a printer-friendly version).
I’m breaking them up into two categories, Salty and Sweet.
- Pretzels wheat or gluten-free
- Tortilla chips (when serving Unfried Beans)
- Rice Cakes
- Chips like Plentils
- Apple Sauce Pouches or we buy in bulk and use our mini dipper containers
- Rice Cakes
- Dried Fruit
- Granola Bars (if you have food allergies carefully read labels)
- Enjoy Life Cookies
Keep in mind that we have fresh fruit and/or veggies in every lunch. In a pinch we may use apple sauce but it’s normally seasonal produce, right now it is apple slices.
We use the EasyLunchBox Containers that have three compartments. The large container is for the main dish and the other two containers hold either fresh fruit/veggies or one of the side items listed above. You can read more about our Lunch Box Routine and discover 5 tips to help you simplify yours.
My husband does most of the shopping these days. We shop at Sprout’s, Costco and Walmart most of the time. We also buy quite a bit on Amazon. Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial if you haven’t yet. We use it all the time! You can use subscribe and save to have items delivered on a schedule.
What types of side items do you pack in your lunches. I’m always looking for more ideas!
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