Packing Hot Lunches

Packing Hot Lunches For The First Cool Fall/Autumn Days

After long, hot summers, we look forward to those first crisp fall/autumn days. And with it, our daily menus start to change.

Why not change the lunch you pack for your kids as well? Salads, wraps, and cold sandwiches are great options, but when the temperatures start to drop, our little humans might like something a little warmer in their lunch box.

Soup And A Hot Sandwich

One of my favourite school lunches as a kid was tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. I mean, who doesn’t love soup and a hot sandwich for lunch on a cool, crisp day, right?

If you thought those were outside your packed lunch capabilities, think again! All it takes is a small thermos, some aluminium foil, and ideally, an insulated lunch box…And you’re sorted!

Make the soup the day before from scratch, or heat up some canned soup in the morning, right before school. Get it piping hot, and if possible, run some hot or even boiling water in the thermos first to get everything as warm as possible. Leave it for a few seconds and empty it out. Then, pour the soup in the thermos and sit it in the insulated lunch box.

Don’t forget to pack a spoon!

And, of course, don’t forget to make that important hot sandwich. Grilled cheese or grilled ham and cheese are always a favourite in our house, as is any sort of Panini.

Fix the sandwich as usual and then wrap it in foil. If you’re worried about the bread getting soggy, wrap it in a paper towel first, then the foil. Keep the sandwich in the insulated lunch box; everything should stay toasty warm for hours.

Mix and match the soup and sandwich combos for endless portable lunch possibilities.

Chili and Stew

Of course, you’re not limited to just soup!

A nice hardy stew or a bowl of chili with some corn chips or a side of fresh cornbread make a nice addition to any lunch box. Make a batch of your favourite chili or stew and put it in your kids’ lunch boxes for the following days.

Another great option is to freeze it in smaller portions and take them out as needed to add to lunch boxes. This is also a great time for you to take lunch to work or keep a bowl at home to reheat at lunchtime.

As with the soup we talked about earlier, you can get a short thermos, run hot water in it, and then fill it with the piping hot chili or stew. That will keep the lunch warm until well past lunchtime.

Leftovers Galore

Last but not least, don’t forget about leftovers. Leftovers are always great for lunch box additions. There are wide-mouthed thermos out there that can hold a variety of leftover food, from pasta dishes to things like fried rice or anything you can think of that would work well put in a bowl.

I hope you’ve found these simple hot lunch ideas helpful. Please do share some of your awesome ideas with us in the comments below.

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Packed School Lunch

4 Simple Tips To Get Organised And Make Fixing Lunches Easier

You know that awful feeling when your alarm hasn’t gone off, or you’ve dismissed it instead of hitting “snooze”…and you end up oversleeping?

Yeah…SO DO I!!!

There is nothing worse than running late in the morning and you find yourself desperately trying to figure out something you can put in your kids’ lunch boxes. If you feel flustered or end up buying school lunch because packing it seems like too much of a hassle, I have some tips to help you. These tips will help you get organised, and fixing lunches will become a breeze.

1.  Create A List And Go Shopping

A good place to start is by sitting down with your kids, and together you can come up with a list of lunches they like.

This could include:
or even homemade lunchable

But it doesn’t have to stop there!

If you add a thermos to the mix, you can pack reheated leftovers, homemade soup, and the like. The key is to find lunch foods and snacks that your kids will eat that are also easy to pack.

Make sure you have appropriate containers, and then head to the grocery store to pick up everything you need for the week. Don’t forget about snacks and drinks as needed. The list you’ve created should make this much easier. Once you have several different lunch ideas your kids like and will want to eat, you can simply rotate through them and make the ingredients part of your weekly shopping trips.

2.  Prep What You Can As Soon As You Get Home

When you get home from the store, keep lunch foods out and see what you can do to prep things ahead of time. Instead of putting that bag of grapes away, go ahead and wash them and store them in little bags you can grab and toss in the lunch box. The same goes for things like carrots and even salads. Slice cheese as needed and whatever else you can prep as soon as you get home.

3.  Pack Lunches The Night Before

Mornings are busy enough as it is and not always the perfect time to have to worry about packing lunches. Try making them the night before. Get the kids involved and have them help with their lunch prep and clean-up after. You can store cold items in the fridge and have everything else sitting in the lunch box ready to go. It won’t take long to get into a rhythm of preparing lunches while cleaning up after dinner. You’ll start to appreciate this new habit in the mornings when you only need to grab a couple of things from the fridge and toss them in the lunch boxes. There’ll be no more panicking and rushing around trying to figure out what to pack!

4.  Get In The Habit Of Cleaning Lunch Boxes As Soon As The Kids Get Home

To make lunch prep even easier, I would recommend getting the kids into the habit of cleaning out their lunch box as soon as they get back from school. Even the youngest can help with this. Have them toss any uneaten food and bring the containers to the sink to be washed. Older children can easily clean their own containers, while you’ll probably have to do the washing for your youngest. Having everything clean and ready to go will make it easier to pack the new lunches later on in the day.

It’s really not a big chore for any age kid to take on, and it gets them into a good routine…Plus it teaches them discipline.

Stick to these tips; it won’t take long to get into an efficient lunch packing routine that will make it a snap. Don’t forget to involve the kids and put them in charge of the preparations. Not only will this make your life easier in the long run, but it will also give them a sense of ownership over their lunch.

I’d love to hear what you do for your kids’ school lunches.

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Packing Healthy School Lunches

How To Pack School Lunches That Your Kids Will Want To Eat

Winter is finally coming to an end, DownUnder, so that means Summer is just around the corner…YAY, I can’t wait…I LOVE Summer!

But in the Northern Hemisphere, Summer is coming to an end, and the kids have just started back at school.

So, for you, it means it’s time to get back into your daily routine.

Do You Give Your Kids A Packed Lunch Each Day?

Is part of your daily routine spent packing school lunches? It has been my life for the past 14 years.

Packed lunches are a great option when your child isn’t too fond of what the school offers or you want more control over what your child is eating.

Of course, if your child has dietary restrictions or food allergies, a packed lunch is a must!

For me, packing a lunch allows me to include healthy foods my kids will eat. I find overall, it costs less than what I would be paying for lunch at school.

Of course, packing a lunch daily doesn’t do any good if your child doesn’t eat it or ends up trading most of it away for junk food. The key is finding things your child loves and enjoys eating.

The Best Way To Start Is To Get Your Child Involved

Depending on the age of your kids, you could even put them in charge of making their own lunches. Not only do you know that they’ll pack something they will eat, but being in charge of packing lunch will teach them responsibility.

Start by talking to your kids about what they want in their lunch box.

Make a list of options, then head to the shops, to make sure you have everything you need for the upcoming week of school.

Getting the kids as involved as possible will make sure that they end up with the lunches they will eat.

For older kids, that may mean making their own lunches (under your supervision, of course).

Younger children can help. Even your kindy can wash grapes and put them into a container or pick a snack for his/her lunch box.

Get in the habit of making lunches together the night before. But whatever you do, make sure you make it fun!

Over time you can give the kids more and more responsibility for their lunches. This alone will help make sure they eat what they’ve packed. After all, it’s the lunch they made. Along the way, you’re teaching them independence and important life skills.

Check out this amazing Daily Task Printable to help kids learn to be more independent.

Daily Task Chart

It goes without saying that you want to encourage your kids to pack and eat healthy foods.

Insisting on all healthy, organic food options all the time may not be your best strategy, though. Strike a balance and make compromises. If your kids pack and eat a healthy wrap or salad, let them have some cookies for dessert. Teach them to make good choices, but try not to freak out if they decide to pack some Cheetos or a pack of Oreo cookies. Your goal is to get them to eat fairly healthy and make smart food choices, not restrict all access to junk food, causing them to trade with friends for forbidden Twinkies.

How To Pack Healthy School Lunches          Healthy Lunches Your Kids Won't Want To Chuck in The Bin          Fussy Eaters No problem