Lunch Box Planning

Our kids return to school next week and with that comes the lunch boxes! If you have been reading the blog for even a couple of months you will know I have a standard process for putting together the kids lunches.

My aim is to make the process of producing the school lunches as easy as possible, while still providing good food that they kids will eat.  This is how I go about it:

Lunch box template

Creating a template of what goes into the kids’ lunch boxes is one of the key things you can do to take the hard work out of putting lunches together. I know each lunch box needs five items:

  • 1 main lunch item – wrap, sushi, rice patties, homemade pizza etc. You can see a full list of lunch box recipes here.
  • 1 whole piece of fruit – apple, banana, mandarin or the like
  • 1 piece of veg or fruit pieces – strawberries, grapes, watermelon, carrot, capsicum, cucumber, celery etc
  • 1 home baked treat – muffin, biscuit, slice of cake etc
  • 1 selection of crackers, dried fruit or dry cereal.

Having this as a guide, takes away much of the time spent thinking of what to put in the lunch boxes each day. It also means it is then easy to delegate this task to someone else if needed!

Bulk and easy cooking

I now have a sizeable and growing collection of recipes that are both easy to cook and that can be cooked in large quantities. Bulk cooking is an efficient use of time and makes sure that I consistently serve the kids up nutritious lunch boxes.

These are a couple of my favourite bulk recipes for lunch boxes:

Kids responsibility

Once our kids’ reach secondary school, making their own lunch becomes their task. I still make the primary school children’s lunch boxes and have all the food available, they need to put it together themselves. The plan is that once the younger kids make it through secondary school, I am free from making lunches!

The primary school children need to take their made lunch boxes from the kitchen bench themselves and place them in their school bags. When they come in from school it is their responsibility to bring their lunch boxes to the kitchen bench.

The right gear

The main stay of the lunch box gear I use for my kids has been 4MyEarth wraps and pockets. They are easy to use, reusable, easy to wash and don’t leave any funny taste on the food.

4MyEarth have been a long term sponsor of Planning With Kids. They are an Australian owned company and their products are ethically made in India. 4MyEarth also donates 15cents to Keep Australia Beautiful from the sale of every wrap and pocket.

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This year we are also going to use the 4MyEarth insulated lunch boxes. They are free from toxins such as PVC, BPA and Phthalate and are lined with a water proof fabric that is food grade safe and non toxic. They have an inside pocket for an ice brick which will be great in the current hot weather to keep food fresh.

4MyEarth has a very cute new product, for back to school as well, School Book Covers. Much easier than contact and they are reusable. They come in a few sizes, Exercise, Scrapbook and A4 and start at $2.50.

4MyEarth Lunch Box Giveaway

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Now you have a chance to win a fabulous eco friendly lunch box and set of wraps of your own, as picture above. (You will be able to choose from the available prints.)

To enter all you need to do is:

  • Simply visit the 4MyEarth website and leave a comment stating the product you like best and why.
  • The winner will be notified via email. You must have a valid email address to enter. If no response is received with 72 hours, a new winner will be selected.
  • This give away is available to Australian residents only.
  • The give away will close 9pm AEDST Friday 1st February 2013.
  • Good luck!

Congratulations to Sharon – My favourite product is the 4MyEarth® Value Pack. because if we had them to use it would be 105meters less of plastic wrap that my 3 yr old would contribute to landfill in his first year of kinder. They would also be much easier for him to open than the containers I have bought – despite lots of practice runs those lids are still a bit ‘tricky’! Please check your inbox for more details!

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Comments

  1. Sarah says

    I like the insulated cotton canvas lunch boxes – especially the “Birds” and the “Fuzzies” designs. I find soft sided lunch boxes are so much more flexible for fitting lots of different sized items in and I can therefore fit more in them and in the hard sided plastic equivalents.

  2. says

    I work in a school and the amount of rubbish in the yard at eating times never ceases to amaze me. I like the idea of the lunch and snack wraps/pockets.

  3. says

    I love the food wraps! Not only is it reuseable and easy to wrap but I love that it also provides a clean placemat for my child to use as she eats. Cool idea!

  4. Gin says

    I like the value pack with the full set of wraps and pockets. With the different sizes and shapes of lunchbox ingredients, you need a range available.

  5. Emily Keller says

    I love how they wraps are labelled, so that the kids don’t even have to think about which snack they will have when.

  6. Erin says

    Ooh, I’ve been eyeing off these things for a while. With my eldest starting school next week, I’m thinking the sandwich wraps will be great and I also love the idea of the book covers – I remember the days of contacting when I was at school and I think the reusable covers, while more costly initially, will be the way I go to save hours of sticky book covering!

  7. Amanda Gorton says

    The Insulated Lunch bag with handle is sure to keep lunches cool and hygienically safe, with the spacious inner compartment a healthy lunch is sorted!

  8. Cass says

    I love the 4MyEarth® Insulated Lunch bag with handle. A machine washable lunch bag almost sounds too good to be true!

  9. Meghan says

    I love everything – but at the moment I really love the food covers. Love the alternative to plastic wrap!! I am also a big fan of the sandwich wraps.

  10. Nicole Taylor says

    I really love the sandwich wraps and pockets. Great idea to cut down the amount of rubbish at the school and helps my daughter learn about recycling and keeps her eating area clean by using them as a mini table cloth as well while she eats

  11. says

    I absolutely love the sandwich wraps and lunchbox and would love to have my son using them. But seeing as we have to pick a favourite I’m going to say the Food Covers. They reminded me of my Nan straight away. She always has a fridge full of food and once bought the plastic version of these covers. They would be awesome for her and much easier than wrap because she has arthritis. Love that they keep salads fresher and you could even get cereal in bowls the night before and cover them overnight. Awesome!! Thanks for the chance to win.

  12. Liz S says

    What clever ideas! The lunchbox and sandwich covers are my favourites. Hygienic (not that crosses the mind of my boys), novel and reduces packaging waste. Winner all round.

  13. Stacey Shailer says

    I love the 4MyEarth® Insulated Lunch bag with handle – no more warm sandwiches and spoiling fruit due to our hot weather in FNQ, plus they are manufactured using 25% less energy!

  14. Fiona says

    Last year I spent a lot of time trying to track down my daughter’s snack container. Locations included the sandpit (used for digging!), garden bed (potion holder), hopscotch area (hopscotch marker), basketball court (tiny basketball?) and oval (relay racing baton) but it never ended up in lost property. I love the idea of a snack wrap that fits in her pocket, might be less multipurpose and only used for… um… food!

  15. Carolyn says

    The 4MyEarth® Food Covers are a fantastic idea. A huge saving on plastic wrap plus eco-friendly and non-toxic!

  16. Sharon says

    My favourite product is the 4MyEarth® Value Pack. because if we had them to use it would be 105meters less of plastic wrap that my 3 yr old would contribute to landfill in his first year of kinder. They would also be much easier for him to open than the containers I have bought – despite lots of practice runs those lids are still a bit ‘tricky’!

  17. Natalie Blanch says

    We have a selection of 4myEarth lunch wraps and pockets and love them! Such a brilliant idea, and save so much rubbish (we live on a property with no bin collection, so aside from environmental benefits, it’s practical too!). They still look like new too, and they’ve had a lot of use! I’d love to try the food covers, I avoid plastic containers for food storage, and the food covers would allow me to use all my ceramic dishes on the fridge.

  18. Sally says

    Ohhh I love it all but was particularly interested in the food covers. How easy would that be camping instead of clumsy nets and fly swatting.

  19. Nicola says

    Love the snack pockets and sandwich wraps, we use plastic containers but the lids always seem to vanish (probably to the same place the socks go!) so having an all-in-one solution is a fantastic idea! Great products all round.

  20. Stephanie says

    Wow what great products!! I love the snack and sandwich wraps and pockets. Such a brilliant eco friendly idea that still keeps your food fresh, and the designs and prints are so varied! Would help to reduce all that litter in no time. Might just have to steal them from my son for my own lunchs! haha :)

  21. Petrina Backhaus says

    With 3 children I love the school book covers. My daughter is loving the mermaids. I love the ease. I hate wasting precious hours contacting books.

  22. breege ward says

    I always have water, a fruit, a veg, a calcium, carb and protiene based product and a treat in the lunchbox . I notice that you havnt a calcium based food such as a cheese, Yougart, milk etc Wondering if this was a concious decision. Thanks Breege.

    • says

      Hi Breege,

      We do eat dairy, but I find my kids don’t eat it in their lunch boxes, it is always left in there! Quite often do yogurt as an after school snack.

      Nic

  23. Belinda says

    I think the sandwich pockets are genius! My little girl has joined her brother at school this year and I think she’d love the funky designs especially!

  24. Kirsten W says

    I love the reusable sandwich wraps and pockets. What a fantastic idea! Wraps that can get past the NO WRAPPER LUNCHES!