School Lunch Anxiety Solved!

Super-Tip Tuesday
Sack Lunch Ideas

School starts on Monday, and when I recently realized that Atty would be needing a lunch packed — for the first time — I was hit with an unexpected bout of anxiety. I don’t know the best way to pack a lunch. What should I make? Should she take a paper sack or does she need some high-tech lunchbox?? How do I keep her food cold… or hot??? Should I pack it in the morning or night before????

Too many questions, not enough answers. So I sent out an email blast to my fellow Sometimes Supermoms and got back these answers:

As far as what to make, here are some clever ideas for non-sandwich lunches from my friend and fabulous photographer Erika (she took the cute pic above). I’ll bet Attalie will love the “Lunch Box Pizzas,” and it is super handy that they can be made ahead and frozen.

Erika also mentioned that her oldest daughter likes to take her lunch in a sack so she can just toss it afterwards, but Erika packs her younger kids lunches in a reusable lunch bag, which was the option most of the moms I talked to preferred. My friend Jenny loves the Retro Lunch Bags from Pottery Barn Kids because they have two compartments that help separate hots and colds with a thermos in the top part. Plus these bags are surprisingly durable, Jenny said her kids’ bags from last year are still in good shape so she doesn’t need to buy new ones for this year!

Many of my friends place reusable ice blocks in the lunch bags to keep things cool. I remember my own clever mom packed our lunches with juice boxes that she kept in the freezer — these acted as a sort of disposable ice block. They were pretty well defrosted by lunch time so you could drink and then toss — a great solution for those brown baggers who don’t want anything to carry home.

Some other useful tips:

  • Most of the moms agreed that packing in the morning is best — the fresher the lunch the better.
  • Don’t kill yourself trying to find the healthiest lunch around. It’s more important that your kids enjoy, eat and have the energy they need to make it through long school days.
  • Take a peek inside the lunch bag that comes home to see what’s leftover so you know what your child doesn’t like.
  • Jar up single servings of ranch dressing/dip or buy the little packets — they’re worth the price to get kids to eat their veggies.
  • Keep PB&J sandwiches from getting mushy by spreading the peanut butter on both slices of bread to sort of “seal” in the jelly layer.

  • Have a Super-tip to share? We’d love to hear your secrets for getting your day going, the kids ready and off to school. Email your tip to We just might publish your Super-tip next!

    Bettijo Bridges

    Administrator at Paging Supermom
    Bettijo is the founder and designer of Paging Supermom where she shares creative ideas for family fun. Known for practical and kid-friendly activities, free printables and holiday entertainment. Bettijo was a guest on the Martha Stewart Show and has frequently appeared on local TV. Her work has also been featured in national magazines including Real Simple, O, Redbook, Parents, Family Circle, and Health. She enjoys art, retro-modern design, photography and making new things. Mom of 4 kids.

    3 thoughts on “School Lunch Anxiety Solved!”

      • Hi Shelley, They’re pretty easy — it’s a recipe I got from Erika’s blog. If you click the link above that says “non-sandwich lunches” you’ll be taken to Erika’s post and recipe.

    1. Just forwarded this article to a mom that I know! Her kids are in for a real treat. I think I am too because, who am I kidding, those breakfast bars sound tasty!

      Heather @ Find That Warm Fuzzy Feeling


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