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If you are a family that sends homemade lunches to school with your kids, you know that the chore of packing interesting lunches day-after-day can be taxing. This is especially true if you have multiple kids that aren’t yet able to assist with the lunch-making process. If you’re in need of a few clever hacks to make school lunch packing a little smoother, look no further.

Bulk Sandwich Prep

Prepare for busy nights by making sandwiches in bulk and freezing them for later. Nut butter sandwiches can be made in advance, frozen and placed in the lunchbox the morning their needed. They will thaw by the time your child is ready to eat, and the consistency will be the same as if you made it fresh. PB&J’s (or any nut butter of your choice) is a classic that will freeze well and can be made with a few different jelly flavors to keep things interesting. Mix it up by making honey and nut butter sandwiches. Simply individually wrap and freeze your sandwiches for easy lunches anytime you need a helping hand.

Skip the Ice Pack

Young kids are notorious for losing those cute little ice packs that come with their lunches, and there’s nothing more frustrating when it comes to lunch packing than running out of ice packs when you need them. Eliminate the problem by freezing your child’s juice pouches or yogurt squeezies. The item should be thawed by lunchtime, but if it’s not, a slushie drink or frozen yogurt is likely to make your child feel like they’re having a treat.

Go Beyond Bread

If regular sandwiches are getting a bit boring, and your child is not able to microwave food, you can add interest to your usual routine by replacing your bread. Tortillas, ciabatta rolls, waffles, croissants, and bagels all are perfect candidates to liven up the traditional sandwich faire. 

Seal it Up

If your family prefers bento-style lunch boxes to the brown-bagged lunch, you may have found difficulty preventing one compartment’s contents from sliding into the next. This can be a problem especially for sauces or dips. A simple solution? Use the sticky kind of plastic wrap to press along the edges of the compartment in question. Seal the sauce away, and keep the bento looking perfect no matter how much it’s jostled on the bus ride to school.

Keep your mornings sane with these lunch hacks, and say goodbye to boring school lunches.