Packed Lunches - An Entire School Year

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Ava's kinder year afforded me the opportunity to pack her lunches and snacks for the entire school year (minus the week we packed our Texas home and the week back in March where our entire home was plagued with illness). Let me tell you, I have absolutely LOVED making my child's lunches and I will continue to do so in the coming years. I love knowing exactly what my child is consuming, I love putting fun/healthy spins on her meals, and I get peace of mind knowing that Ava enjoys what's in her lunch box. Because I've had so many mamas + even a couple papas ask about our "system" I have decided to compile a list of all the tools and accessories that have made packing lunches a breeze for our family. This year we've added a few additions (thank you, Pottery Barn Kids- again) and I can't wait to see how those do in our lunch gear line up this year!

Yumbox: This is our go-to almost always. I love these lunchboxes because one of the designs has a space for each part of the food group (including a sweet treat). In another design, it is complimentary to sandwich days. Both are perfect for the portion sizes that Ava needs. I recently purchased a cousnack-sizedized yumboxes and I cannot wait to give those a try next year. On top of the functionality, it's also leakproof! No leaks, spills, or messes.

OmieBox: I use this lunchbox when I want to pack Ava a drink in addition to her water bottle (she appreciates the horizon chocolate milk from time to time). But mainly I use this lunch box for Ava's hot lunch days. I love that the thermal aspect of this lunchbox is removable and I also love the little space block provided to section off foods from one another. This box is super heavy duty and bulky. I try not to send this lunchbox frequently, but it definitely does the job when we need it to.

Pottery Barn Kids Food Storage Containers: The Spencer Clear Food Storage Set. I bought these mostly because they matched her lunchbox and other lunch accessories, but I use the smaller containers more for Ava's snack bag than anything else. The sandwich container is great for sandwiches but this set feels limited on the foods I can include without losing too much room.

Pottery Barn Kids Hot and Cold Container: In Texas, Ava never had to really use this container, but moving to Washington, especially during the winter - you bet she used this more than a handful of times. I love how easy this hot and cold container is for Ava to open. It's got just enough room to fill her up with yummy soup or other warm food items (pancakes, sausage, etc). It doesn't take up a ton of space in her lunchbox either and that is definitely a huge plus!

Contigo Water Bottle: Tried and true these are hands down our most favorite water bottles. Our children only drink water or milk (with the exception of Ava drinking white grape for regulation from time to time) and we have gone through SO many water bottles. It's been close to probably three years that we've been using Contigo and we will never go back to using anything else. They are durable, they are leakproof, and they come with the cutest prints!

Pottery Barn Kids Water Bottle: If I'm being honest, I also only purchased this because it matched all of Ava's other school accessories. It's not my favorite (Contigo water bottles hold more water) but it does its job and its a fun switch up from time to time. Ava enjoys that it matches her lunchbox, hot and cold container, and backpack. I have never been a fan of those detachable straws (they get lost so easy) but it is super cute.

Planet Wise Wet Bag: We started cloth diapering the moment she was born and as a result, we used a lot of wet bags for soiled diapers and other needs. Turns out these bags are still useful for us, even at her current age. I use wet bags for snacks, but it also gives Ava a place to store any soiled items, dirty items, etc. These are easy and machine washable - when you know waste is going to happen, I love reusable everything. These fit right in her backpack and our girl knows that her snack is in there, so its a win/win!

Bumkins Snack Bag: I love these smaller reusable snack bags for smaller snacks like goldfish, pretzels, raisins, etc. On the days where I'm not packing fruit or something larger, these come in handy. Ava loves that they fit in a special compartment on the front of her backpack for even easier access. These are so durable and wash SO easy! It doesn't even require a machine wash if you manage it well enough. This is a super easy snack bag for Ava to open and it comes in so many prints! We have four of them.

Light My Fire Spork: TOTAL game-changer, these are! We do have the pottery barn utensil sets, but this spork takes the cake. I pack yogurt and other spoon necessary foods almost always and it is nice to know that I don't have to worry about multiple utensils being packed. Or worse, forgetting a utensil Ava needs for lunch. These are dishwasher safe, super durable, and so convenient.

***Not Pictured: Yumbox Snack Box, Condiment Containers, Pottery Barn Spencer Bento Box, and food cutter accessories.

I hope this compilation of lunch gear is useful for other mamas and papas! I linked everything (hence the pops of blue throughout) so feel free to browse, ask questions, etc.


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