Lunch Box Planning

lunch box planning main

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. Rosemary Butcher says

    I love the look of
    4MyEarth® Cotton Canvas Lunch Sack. It would take up a lot less room.
    Rosie

  2. Tina says

    I love the Neoprene lunch bags. They look like they will dry quickly and have a zippered pocket for ice packs, canteen money etc – very handy!!

  3. Jodie Field says

    I like the wraps. I think they would suit my girls as they can open them out easily and see all the contents. They also look easy to wipe clean.
    Many thanks.
    Jodie

  4. Michele L says

    I like the 4myearth Snack Pocket. It would be so handy to carry a healthy snack in my bag so I am not tempted to eat sweets for my morning tea break.

  5. Lucy says

    I try really hard to make rubbish free lunch boxes and will need some more sandwich wraps this year. However I love the food covers. Lately I’ve been using more cling wrap as I’m covering left over salad in the salad bowl every night. The food covers would complete my journey away from cling wrap, freezer bags and plastic zip lock bags.

  6. Jane says

    Definitely the insulated lunch boxes. Love that they are more eco-friendly than a lot of what is available at the moment.

  7. Melissa says

    I like the snack pockets the best. It’s hard to find small containers that suit all the various shapes that snacks come in, plus these would take up heaps less room in the cupboard.

  8. Alyra says

    I like the the insulated Cotton Canvas Lunch boxes – in the butterfly girl pattern, especially as it’s ethically made!

  9. says

    I love the insulated cotton canvas lunch bag. The outside looks gorgeous but it still has the insulated lining to prevent leaks in the school bag and the ice brick pocket is great for the hot start to the school year.

  10. Jennifer says

    I love the sandwich and snack wraps and pockets. With 4 kids in pre-school to secondary college, we are using way too much plastic wrap and plastic snack bags. I love the snack wraps and pockets and how perfectly sized they are for all of my kids lunch box treats, and they can go straight from the freezer into their lunch box, saves double handling time .

  11. Stef says

    Oo…I like all of them…I especially like the idea of giving for putting baby’s dummy and then they can use for baby’s snacks when they grow up. Also like that someone uses it for covering their pizza dough instead of cling wrap that’s used for 1 hour and then gets chucked… Like them all!

  12. Cassandra says

    I love the sandwich and snack wraps – reusable and environmentally friendly. Great idea.

  13. sam says

    Snack pocket – I always wonder what the grapes look like when reopened at lunchtime. Squished is my bet.

  14. Tory Huth says

    I love the sandwich wraps. But I would definitely use the food covers, especially for rising bread.

  15. J says

    I love the neoprene lunch box. The pocket would be perfect to put a hand wipe in to use after eating juicy fruit.

  16. Doll says

    I absolutely love the book covers!!! I hate covering books with contact, it never goes on flat without bubbles!

  17. Jodie Parke says

    I like the look of the lunch bags. Love the fact that they are machine washable. I already have the food covers and may buy the book covers next year.

  18. Mary Preston says

    The 4MyEarth Food Covers are just brilliant. I’ve never been a fan of cling wrap & these would do away with it completely. Got to love that.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

  19. jodi says

    I would like the insulated lunch bags best – one in each colour – for each of my 4 kids, plus one for me!
    However I am also tempted by those very nice looking bamboo silk shawls!

  20. Justine says

    Love the neogreen insulated lunch bags – how wonderful to know there’s no nasty chemicals lurking to taint our kids food!
    Love love love the combi design fabric, would just love anything in that really! But I think the sandwich bags look great! Could fit the sandwiches in nice & snug in the lunch bag! :)

  21. says

    The cotton canvas lunch sacks are cute and would be a great way to introduce a ‘surprise treat’ in the lunch box! Love that it saves glad wrap and can be reused again!

  22. vida says

    I couldn’t go past those snack pockets. My bag is always full of containers for sultanas, fruit or crackers — the kids often need something to keep them from “starving” — but they do take up more space then I’d like. And the designs are great.

  23. Linda says

    My little girl is starting big school this year and she would be so excited to have her food wrapped in the Butterfly Girl Value Pack.

  24. Joanne says

    Love the sandwich pockets. It would be great to know that we aren’t contributing to landfill as well as that they are ethically made. Keep up the good work.

  25. Kara Beal says

    I would get the most use out of the sandwich pockets for my 3 children. I try not to use much packaging but when it comes to sandwiches I always come back to plastic wrap to keep them fresh. I would love to try out the pockets and see how they go. Its a great idea. I would love to see them in retail stores :)

  26. Amanda says

    The sandwich wraps and pockets are fabulous and even better that they are produced ethically – nice to see a business with a conscience! My kids love sandwiches (not very adventurous!) and these would get used every single day…

  27. Tanya says

    I love the insulated lunch bag. My nearly 4 y.o son is a bottomless pit and I struggle to fit his lunch and snacks into his lunch bag, let alone an ice block. This larger sized lunch bag with a special pocket for the ice block sounds perfect!

  28. Pam McGuinness says

    My husband has been buying clingfilm in bulk. With 4 children – I love the idea of Food Covers – something that will make clingfilm obsolete!

  29. Trish says

    Definitely the snack Pocket for fruit break saves all those zip lock bags from going in the garbage. Brilliant !

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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!

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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!

  36. 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!

  37. Cass says

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

  38. 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.

  39. 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

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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!

  43. 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!

  44. Carolyn says

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

  45. 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’!

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

  49. 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 :)

  50. 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.

  51. 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

  52. 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!

  53. Kirsten W says

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