Lunchbox Hacks That Make Packing School Lunches Legitimately Fun

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Vote up the tips you'll be trying tomorrow morning.

Kids complaining because they're in a bit of a school lunch rut? You can help them snap out of it and add some variety to their day with these amazing lunchbox hacks for parents. For instance, the old stand-by peanut butter and jelly or meat and cheese sandwiches are classics, but these tips for school lunches have great ideas for mixing it up. Skewers, cookie cutters, and compartments can all be key methods when figuring out how to pack the perfect lunchbox. You can always add some artistic flare to sandwiches and other snacks to brighten up your kids day.

These tips for making school lunches also includes ways to up your snack game – by doing things like giving your kids more control over picking snacks, they can feel a greater sense of responsibility (and take some responsibility off your own plate at the same time). If you're looking for the best lunchbox hacks, you've come to the right place.

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    Create DIY Lunchables

    Create DIY Lunchables
    Photo: María Helena Carey / flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

    Sure, there are pre-maid Lunchables you can buy at the store, but you can also make your own version that will likely end up being cheaper and healthier. Just get a compartmentalized lunch container and pack it with the crackers, meat, and cheese of your choosing. If there are leftover compartments, you can use that for fruit or any other preferred snacks.

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    Make Kid-Friendly Trail Mix

    For a fun lunchtime snack, you and your kids can make your own homemade trail mix. Just mix up some whole grain cereal, raisins or other dried fruit, chocolate chips or M&M's, nuts, sunflower seeds, and any other snack food that sounds like a good fit to you. Place a cupful in a bag and it's ready for lunchtime.

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    Keep Condiments Off The Bread

    When making a sandwich with meat, cheese, and/or veggies, you'll usually want to put some condiments on there as well. This would normally go directly onto the bread, but after sitting around for a few hours, that ketchup or mayo is likely to make the bread soggy. Instead, spread the condiment in between two layers of the sandwich, like between some lettuce and cheese, or cheese and meat, to keep it from getting soaked up like a sponge.

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    Pack A Hot Lunch In A Thermos

    Pack A Hot Lunch In A Thermos
    Photo: Uarter

    Thermoses are without a doubt one of the most overlooked food accessories on the market. Their basic function is to keep things warm without the aid of a microwave or other heat source, which, let's be real, isn't always readily available when you need it. Using a thermos means you can pack a full hot lunch, be it pasta, stew, chicken nuggets, or anything else that should be enjoyed at more than room temperature, and have no worries about it being ice cold come lunchtime.

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    Roll Up Sandwiches Into Pinwheels

    Add a little variety to your lunch box by packing pinwheels instead of a traditional sandwich. Just place the ingredients onto a flat tortilla, roll it up, and then slice it up. You can also do this by flattening slices of bread with a rolling pin, then doing the same thing.

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    Keep Juice Boxes In The Freezer For A Refreshing Lunch

    The problem with packing a juice box for lunch is that, when lunchtime comes around, you're drinking warm juice - which, no thank you. However, that problem can be solved by storing the juice box in the freezer the night before. This way it will thaw out during the day to be refreshingly cool just in time for lunch. It also acts as a bonus ice pack if you have a sandwich with lunch meat that you'd rather not have siting around all morning at room temperature.