5 Back to School Tips for Packing Lunch

Back to School Tips for Families

Back to School Tips

Pencils, notebooks, lunch boxes! Oh my!

I spend my days surrounded by children. Before W was born, I had plenty of experience with children. Can I admit that one almost 2-year old is definitely more exhausting than 22 first graders? Managing a room of six-year olds is definitely demanding but being mommy to a toddler takes the cake! How can one little boy be so busy?

I know many of my fellow moms are balancing chasing toddlers with getting older kids ready for school. So I thought I would share a few tips from the teacher turned mom perspective. I definitely look at the beginning of a new school year differently now that I’m a mom.

One thing that always gets to me is lunch. I get tired of packing my lunch for school after just a few weeks. I can only imagine what it will be like when I have to pack a lunch for W too! So here are some ways to spice up lunch planning!

back to school tips lunch packing

5 Back to School Tips for Lunch

  1. Make it a family affair! Get everyone involved! You can fill up plastic tubs with fruit, portioned bags of crackers, and dessert items or granola bars. Have your kids pick one item from each basket to add to their lunch! Then you’re only in charge of a sandwich or other main dish!
  2. Team work! If your child’s school will allow it, team up with another mom! My stepmom does this for my brother. She works with another mom to take turns making lunches for both boys. So instead of making my brother a lunch every single day, she is responsible for making lunches for 2 boys. But she only has to do it half of the time. This works great if your child has a close friend whose parent you’re close to as well!
  3. Message me! Use contact paper on the inside of your child’s lunchbox to turn it into a dry erase board! Then you can easily leave little notes for your child each day!
  4. Sandwich gone wild! Vary the types of bread you use for sandwiches! Make it fun! Consider english muffins, hot dog or hamburger buns, Hawaiian bread (my fave), or even pita bread! It can turn a boring old sandwich into something fun and breath new life into lunch!
  5. Shape up your sandwiches! You can also turn an ordinary sandwich into a lunch that will brighten your child’s day by using cookie cutters. It will make preparing lunch more fun for you too! You can go with a theme sandwich shape to match the seasons or upcoming holidays!

Don’t end up dreading making lunches this year! Make it fun instead! I’m going to have to remember my own tips when I hit the lunch time slump in November. That’s when it always hits me first!

Do you have any back to school tips that help get your family excited about the fall?

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Kraft Foods via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kraft Foods.

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About Mariah Moon

Mariah is a former teacher and mother of a rambunctious little boy living in The Woodlands, Texas. She recently welcomed a little girl into the family and is learning how to balance a toddler and an infant! She works every day to figure out how to balance all of her roles and figure out her formula for being mom! She can also be found at Mommy Mindset Media, Disney DIY and Noise Girls.


  1. Cute bag! Thanks for the great tips.
    shelly recently posted..Back to School Bash Giveaway Event

  2. My boys aren’t in school yet but my oldest will be soon, thanks for the tips!! They’ll so come in handy when school time arrives for us!
    Sofia recently posted..Reducing Waste at Home

  3. Great tips! My daughter is going into 3rd grade and has never bought a school lunch! :) Of course, by the end of the year I’m out of ideas.
    Wendy @ AMFT recently posted..Freezer Meal Packets

    • I get in a rut after a few months so I thought these might help break me out of it! I can’t be the only one that gets stuck, right?

  4. Love the tips! As a fellow fan of Hawaiian Bread, you never I never thought to make our sandwiches with it! Usually I just gobble it up myself :)
    Ashley recently posted..Bebe Bottom Skincare ~ Baby Fresh Cleanser #Review

  5. I love the third tip! I already include little notes in my son’s lunch, and that would make it much easier!
    Nikki recently posted..{Review & Giveaway) BabbaCo BabbaBox

  6. I love the tip about putting contact paper in the lunchbox to write dry erase messages. I am definitely going to do that one! My biggest tip is to make lunches the night before. That way in the morning, the kids can just grab them and go.
    Jennifer V recently posted..Your Grocery Budget Toolbox Giveaway Winner

  7. Back to school clothes shopping always gets my daughter excited. We send her to a private school so we never need to buy school supplies, it’s already included in the tuition we pay. I kind of wish we had to back to school shop for supplies. I always enjoyed doing it as a kid. I love school supplies, pens, paper, and notebooks. Oh, and the glue!!
    Tiffany Revels-Cruz recently posted..GoGreen for Baby Event $100 (retail value) US and Canada

  8. that’s an adorable lunch bag!

    When it comes to getting close to school I always start a “game” called lets get ready for school, where we start getting into the routine that we go through with school. Getting up at a certain time in the morning and going through the motions of getting ready for school with breakfast and their morning reading, and then by the time schools starts the kids are all ready to begin.

    • I love the bag! It’s not too big but not too small and it keeps things cold.

      Do the kids buy into your “game”? I know some do get excited about the start of a new school year!

  9. I love that lunch bag. I need to get started on back to school supply shopping soon!
    Ellen Christian recently posted..Caprese salad with sardines – gluten free recipe

    • I usually end up putting off shopping and then it’s crazy busy. I should get out there and pick up the things I need now!

  10. Those are excellent tips! I love that bag!
    Jennifer recently posted..Keepin the Kids Stylish with Tea Collection + $100 Gift Card Giveaway

  11. These are great! I will second the leaving a message in your child’s lunch! When I taught kindergarten, the moms who did this had kids that felt special and secure and the other kids would always want to read what the note said! So cool!
    Gena recently posted..Love Conquers All – Madi and Dutch the Service Dog

  12. I love these tips. I will definitely be doing some/all of these when my boy starts school next year!
    JanetGoingCrazy recently posted..Five Things I learned from NOT going to BlogHer 2012 in New York City

  13. I love to make it personal. I know how excited I got over 20 years ago to open my lunch with a note from my Mother saying how much she loved me :)

    My kids love different shape sandwiches but also really enjoy even things like tuna or salmon dip with crackers for a change. Mine even really like hummus so those are great changes to alternate with sandwiches.
    Amanda @ The Frugal Greenish Mama recently posted..Enjoy Green Sleep with Naturepedic Organic Quilted Mattress Topper ~Natural Newborn Sponsor~

    • Love the ideas for sandwich alternatives! Sometimes my students bring soup or spaghetti in a thermos too!

  14. Fantastic ideas! We homeschool, but we still hit the lunch slump… you can only serve chicken fingers so many times!
    Jennifer S. recently posted..Delicious Cookie Dip Trio

    • Oh yes! We had the lunch slump this summer too! And to think I was the mom who said I wouldn’t have a toddler who only ate chicken! It was just so easy to make and I knew he would eat it!

  15. I love the idea of leaving notes for your little one! We aren’t anywhere near the school stage yet, but I can remember my dad leaving us notes in our lunch boxes and I loved it! Great tips!
    Elizabeth L recently posted..Frugal Tip Tuesday – DIY Slug Killer

  16. Paula Schuck says:

    Well, I like to feed my kids the cute cutout sandwiches. For fun I make them little hearts or dinosaurs or whatever cookie cutter shape I have.
    Paula Schuck recently posted..Barbie Tales and #SaveWithBarbie

  17. I love that bag also…and thanks for such awesome tips!
    Minta recently posted..A visit to SeaWorld Orlando!

  18. Great tips. We are headed back to school next week!
    melissa recently posted..Laundry Made Fun With My New Maytag Bravos XL High-Effeciency Top-Load Washer-Dryer!

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