Oh, summer mornings, how we miss you. Now, the kids suddenly need to be at school in less than 45 minutes. And they’re not even awake.
After some “encouragement” to get them out of bed, you realize school’s serving its infamous rubber chicken nuggets your kids just will not eat, so you have to pack lunches.
Now it’s time to play super mom.
Not to worry, because we’ve rounded up these borderline brilliant ways to save you time on those crazy mornings and ensure that your kiddos will actually eat his or her lunch:
Freeze juice boxes
The freezer is your friend. Freezing your juice boxes (or water bottle, or whatever you pack for your kids to drink) not only ensures a cold refreshing drink for the kiddos at lunch, but it also keeps perishable food cold until lunchtime. By lunch, whatever you’ve frozen should be thawed.
Pre-slice apples and hold with a rubber band
Preparing fruits and veggies is half the battle in getting our kids to actually eat them. Apples are delicious, healthy, and affordable, so next time you’re at the grocery store, do yourself a favor and pick up an apple slicer for less than $5. Use this, then throw a rubber band around the apple to hold it in place.
These are supposed to be lunch hacks, so you might be skeptical about seeing “skewers.” So let’s think of it as “lunch on a stuck.”
Grab a pound of delishaved smoked turkey and a pack of skewers at the grocery, then instead of individually packing everything, simply fold the turkey cuts and put them on the stick, add cubed cheeses, pickles, tomatoes, or whatever your kids like. You could put an entire lunch on a couple of sticks!
Cookie cutters on a sandwich
If your kiddos are anything like ours, they hate the crust. Instead of cutting each piece off, grab a cookie cutter of your kids’ favorite characters or shapes and use them to cut the sandwiches you make.
Slice crusts with pizza cutter
Or here’s a similar hack, if you don’t have cookie cutters. You can make clean cuts with a pizza cutter without sacrificing any sandwich.
Make a week of PB&J sandwiches at once
OK, so if the kids need to be at school in an hour then you shouldn’t be making a week’s worth of PB&J in the morning.
But if you’re going with this timeless classic, do yourself a favor and make them all at once. PB&J by far demands the most of your time, so knock all of them out at once and put them in the freezer. Remember, when it comes to saving time in the morning on lunches, the freezer is your friend.
Use empty bottles for sauce
If you’re going to pack carrots or other veggies without packing ranch or some other type of condiment, are you really confident they’re getting eaten?
Here’s a helpful hack you MUST try: If you ever buy those Mios water flavoring things, or even a generic brand of water flavoring, these are PERFECT for condiments and super easy for kids to use.
Bonus: No need for fancy Tupperware that your kids can lose or accidentally toss in the trash.
Squeeze lemon juice into lunchbox
You know how foul those lunchboxes can get, especially if you have a messy eater.
With no time to scrub these things down before school starts, just squeeze a lemon into the lunch box and let the juice do its magic. And guess what: It also keeps those apples from browning!
Select snacks ahead of time
Just designate a cabinet or drawer for snack and stash them with one or two types. There’s no time to waste letting our kids mull over a ton of options.
Make them commit at the grocery store when you buy some mom-approved snacks for lunches so it’s a no-brainer what’s getting packed in the mornings.
So hopefully these hacks alleviate some stress on those chaotic school mornings. For moms with kids a little older, you can save even more time by having the kids pack their own lunches, but hey, one step at a time here.