How To Simpify Packing School Lunches

The sun is just peeking over the horizon. Bleary-eyed, I stumble out of bed and am immediately tossed into a whirlwind of activity. “Mom! Where’s my library book?!”  “I need you to sign this paper right now.” “I can’t find my other shoe!” “Fix my hair!” “Don’t forget I have soccer today.” “Here comes the bus!!!”

If you’ve got school-aged kids, I know you can relate. School mornings are hectic, especially now that I’ve got two kids who get on the bus at 7:20am. I am not a morning person. The struggle is real, my friends.

I still don’t have it all figured out, but I do have a pretty good system that has helped me simplify packing lunches for my kids.

After I go grocery shopping, I pack the non-perishable lunch items ahead of time and put them all into “the lunch basket.”

Each morning I make sandwiches or some other main dish and get fruits and veges out of the fridge. Then the kids grab one or two snacks out of the lunch basket and we are DONE with lunches!

I can’t tell you how much this has helped our mornings run smoother. Plus my kids like having a choice of what to put in their lunch boxes and it keeps things exciting.

I’ve also found that we use the lunch basket a lot for after-school snacks on days when we’re busy. Double win!

So what snacks go in the lunch basket? Crackers, raisins, dried fruit, cookies, chips, granola bars, etc. Jif Bars are one of our favorites. My kids are crazy about peanut butter so I knew these would be a hit. Jif Bars are creamy, fresh roasted Jif peanut butter layered with chewy, crunchy granola. It’s a match made in heaven if you ask me. My kids think they are a treat, but they have 7-8 grams of protein in each bar. Score! They come in three flavors: creamy, crunchy and chocolate, and we like them all.

Want to try Jif Bars for yourself? Use the Rafflecopter link below to enter for a chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners must reside in the U.S.A., be 18+ years old, and respond within 24 hours of the close of the giveaway to be eligible.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


  1. I can relate to not being a morning person. We have a system every evening that helps get us out of the door on time the next day. After all homework is done I check each child's folder to make sure all papers are signed and everything is put back. Backpacks are completely readied by putting books, folders and snacks and put in the designated place by the door. If they are taking their lunches, we make sure all nonperishables, untensils and napkins are put in the lunchboxes that night. Also drinks are placed in the refrigerator. The next morning all I have to do is put the perishable items in and that saves everyone time.

  2. Chobani came out with all natural, non-GMO yogurt tubes that have only 6 grams of sugar & 5 grams of protein! I freeze them & just pop them into the lunch bag. They're thawed by lunch time & as an extra bonus, help the freezer packs keep the food even colder! Yay!

  3. We do something similar with baskets and pre-packing small bags/cups of bulk items. I also have had a list where the items I would like them to put in their lunch is posted on the fridge. Dairy or protein, fruit, drink, main, and recess snack.
    I haven't seen those Jif bars before. Thankfully my home lunch eaters are not on a nut free campus. They have a special table at lunch that is nut free and I think recess snacks have to be nut free. Which is good because my 6 year old is super picky and peanut butter is one of the few things she will eat consistently.

  4. Thanks for the super helpful ideas! Forget about kids, I'm going to be working in an area with no easily accessible places to grab stuff to eat on my lunch break, so I'll need to remember to pack lunch each day, haven't had to do that in 4 years! And I am a total fiend for peanut butter anything!

  5. We have a lunch cupboard and it's the kids responsibility to throw away empty boxes/containers as well as update the grocery list when they take the last of something (or if they have a lunch item request). I'm happy when I see things like hummus and grapes! We also have a travel basket that has snacks like this, too! When you live 2 hours from anywhere, it's a necessity!


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