Things You Need for an Awesome School Lunch

I hate to put a damper on your summer, but school is (hopefully, maybe, kinda) starting soon, which means your daily grind will include making school lunch for your kid(s) at least once a week, if not every single day.

And if your district is not going back to school, have no fear: you can still use these for when you take your home classroom outside!

A mom of three shares her favorite school lunch essentials and budget-friendly options to help with the upcoming school year.

I’m not going to lie to you: we’ve been surviving on snacks for several months, so having to put together a complete to-go meal will be out of the norm.

In case you’re in the same boat and looking for a little help, I’ve got you covered with school lunch essentials from bags, boxes, and everything in between.

School Lunch Essentials:

These are all awesome options, and there’s something to fit every budget here.

The Lunch Box

There are so many lunchboxes on the market. Here’s a smattering of some popular options, and something to fit every budget.

Bentgo Fresh, Lunchbots Large Trio Stainless Steel Lunch Container,
Ziploc Food Storage Containers, Bentgo Kids

TIPS: Make sure your kid can actually open and close it properly, and that there aren’t too many sections that you’ll have to fill each morning. They may look like fun, but when you’re making lunch for the 275th time, it won’t be fun. Trust me.

The Lunch Bag

If you like the look of any of these below, check them out, because they all come in different designs.

Fulton Bag Co. Upright Lunch Bag (similar style), Skip Hop Insulated Lunch Bag,
Crckt Kid’s Vertical Lunch Tote, Wildkin Kids Insulated Lunch Box (similar design), Amersun Kids Lunch Box (similar design)

Pro tip (because I’m speaking from experience here): Triple check that the lunch box you get will fit into the lunch bag you have.

Keep it Separated

My kids aren’t too picky yet, but I do like to separate some of their foods from one another.

Silicone Liners, Stainless Steel Condiment Containers

Pro tip: make sure whatever extra containers/separator you get fit inside the lunch box with the lid closed.

Snacks, Snacks, Snacks

Most schools still have snack time, at least for elementary school. If you want to skip the disposable bags, here are some washable reusable bags.

Langsprit Premium Reusable Sandwich & Snack Bags, Cloth Machine Washable Bags, Eco-Friendly Reusable Snack and Sandwich Bags,
Nordic By Nature Reusable Sandwich Bag

EXTRA Fun for School Lunches

This was a rookie mistake that I remedied early on; you’ve gotta put your kids’ names all over their stuff.

Because as responsible as they are (ha ha), they will leave their stuff at school, and it’s so much easier to locate and actually get it back if it has their info on it.

The kids have Mabel’s Labels all over their things. Instead of having their first and last name (because I’m weird about having our last name out there for the world to see and know), I have their first name and my phone number printed on the sticker.

It’s been more than three decades since I started kindergarten, but I still distinctly remember getting notes from my mom in my lunches in elementary school.

Pop a fun little note in your kid’s lunch box and I’d bet your bottom dollar it’ll bring a smile to their face.

Save Money on Lunch

Y’all, the finally thing I have to share with you is this nifty little gadget to make your own “uncrustable” sandwiches. It’s AMAZING and you need it in your life for school lunches.

See my full post on how to freeze your sandwiches here.

What are your go-to school lunch essentials?

Do you use any of these things?

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