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10 Lunch Box Hacks That Will Save Your Sanity

Our Top Lunch Box Hacks for Brisbane Families!

Packing a lunch box is akin to preparing for birth.  You know it’s going to be hard but you expect your good work to be rewarded with a healthy, happy child.  In the end it’s just a big old mess and often a fair bit of yelling.  We’ve put together some lunch box hacks that will save your sanity and will actually result in fruit and veggies getting eaten!

Lunch Box Hacks

Packing a lunch box:

  1. Carefully prepare beautifully ornate sandwiches and healthy food options
  2. Pack gently into box
  3. Lose your mind looking for a lid
  4. Choose a new box
  5. See point 2
  6. Pack in school bag
  7. After school remove from bag
  8. Feed dog beautifully ornate “dinosaur” shaped sandwiches
  9. Feed dog half eaten cheese
  10. Replace all fruit items ready for packing tomorrow.

We say NO MORE!  No more wasted energy, food and time!

Lunch box hacks that will save your sanity

The cure for the soggy sandwich

Yes, it’s the go to lunch box filler – the humble sandwich.  After a morning in a hot (or cooled) lunch box, your child decides that the sandwich she loves to eat at home is actually the most disgusting thing that ever graced her plate.  It doesn’t matter that it took you time to make, devoid of crusts and cut neatly to order (or even to turn into a whimsical and wasteful shape) – that thing is not going in her belly!

The perfect lunch box hack for kids who don’t eat their sammies?  Two ingredient, totally freezable, totally delicious lunch box scrolls.  The Organised Housewife NAILED this recipe.  It takes almost no time and can be done in whatever flavours your child desires.  Cheese and vegemite, ham and cheese, cinnamon? Like so many things in life, the only limit is your imagination and your child’s attitude!

LUnch Box Hacks
LUnch Box Easy Pizza Scrolls

Fruit Hacks for Little Fussy Breeches

So much time spent peeling an orange… how can mum not know that that right there is premium play time.  Fruit that takes too long to deal with comes home whole!  Here’s the ultimate lunch box hack for citrus fruit!  Bonus:  No more orangey stains on uniforms (just dirt coloured and what-on-Earth-is-that coloured).

Mandarin Lunch Box Hack

Or if your child prefers an orange in the lunch box – check out the orange version!

The “Ewww-my-apple-is-brown” lunch box hack

I want it peeled but I don’t want it to go brown.  Sure.  Let me just change the laws of chemistry for you my darling little angel.  Lemon juice stops oxidation (the process that makes it go brown) but kids will definitely complain about the flavour.  Instead, here’s a hack for providing a cut up apple that they can eat from the inside out (leaving the skin if that’s their current complaint).

Lunch box hacks with apples

Quick easy carrot stick alternatives

Carrot sticks require far too much chewing.  Yes, that’s the complaint I had about carrot sticks in lunch boxes.  My main complaint is cutting the buggers up without the carrot scooting off the cutting board.  This “carrot spaghetti” is about as fun as carrots get.  Less chewing, more room for making slurping noises – it’s a kiddy lunch box winner!

carrot lunch box hack

Easy Peel Eggies

Ok so every healthy lunch box website is telling you that your kid needs protein during the day.  The school is saying no nuts.  Meat in a lunch box makes your toes curl because let’s face it Brisbane is hot enough to thaw the most frozen popper and big lunch is a long time away.  If your child will eat hard boiled eggs (can I get a hallelujah!) they make an easy neat protein source for your child’s lunch box.  Except that they don’t like the smell.  And they don’t like peeling them.  And it’s all too hard.  Dropping eggs into already boiling water means that peeling is a breeze (fresh eggs won’t “pop” generally either).  The shell will just slide right off at lunch time!

Egg lunch box hack

When in doubt, ask yourself, will it blend?

It’s 8.10am on a school day and you’re staring in disbelief at the lack of lunch box suitable foods in your house.  You’ve managed to scrape together something from the veggie crisper and now you’re rationalising that lemon is a fruit right?  You could send a lemon?  It’s time to head to the freezer for whatever frozen berries, fruit and yoghurt you can find.  Slap them into the blender and bam, you’ve got a “mother who does everything right” lunch pouch out of nowhere.  All the “good” mothers are sending kids with carefully orchestrated protein shakes and green smoothies – you’re no longer the mother who forgot to buy fruit, you’re mother of the bleeding year!

Lunch box hacks - reusable pouches

Image courtesy of My Lil Pouch

Don’t let them judge you on your lunch box skills

There’s a lot of “bento box” style products out there designed to make a child’s lunch box look like a delicate piece of Japanese culinary art.  Before you succumb to the trends, make sure your segmented lunch box is practical and well sized to fit all kinds of foods, not just those you need to spend hours shaping into origami like works of art.  Remember too that a lunch box too well packed may be a sign of a mother with no life.  If you’re busy, don’t even bother trying to compete on style, focus on substance.  Hopefully these lunch box hacks will help!

But what about if your child HATES healthy food?

choosing healthy lunchbox options

“My kids love healthy eating and will choose a brussle sprout over a chocolate bar any day”, said no parent ever.  It’s an uphill battle and you’re not alone.  But, help is at hand for Brisbane parents wanting to get their kids eating better, and the best news is, it’s free.  Read more…

What should we talk about now?

How to read food labels – it’s surprisingly tough!

What your child will learn at Prep? 

Help for parents of kids with Autism

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

4 thoughts on “10 Lunch Box Hacks That Will Save Your Sanity”

  1. I have tried the mandarin thing before, it’s harder than it first appears but it does get them more interested in eating it. We call them mandarin snakes.

  2. I totally didn’t know that about the eggs. I was raised with the “put them in cold” way of doing things. Will try this for sure.


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