How to pack amazing school lunches your kids will love

Brooke Parkhurst

Packing lunch for my daughter Parker every day and keeping things interesting is challenging enough. And, as a busy, health conscious mom, I’m always looking for fun and easy ways to insert fresh fruits and veggies into the mix.

Luckily, plastics help me stay organized and reduce waste because I grab what I need on the weekend and, with some prep work, organize a week’s worth of lunches. We’ve probably all heard that food waste is a growing problem globally, but even on the home front, nothing is more discouraging as a parent than packing a healthy lunch and seeing that lunch box come home with the fruits and veggies, uneaten.

Here are some tips from my kitchen to yours that hopefully help get you more organized, make lunches more fun and get your kids eating more healthy foods.

Tips for packing amazing school lunches

  1. Bring Your Shopping Buddies.
    Start at the store. Parker loves picking fruits and veggies at the market with us. Teach your kids about as many different fruits and veggies as you can; let them explore. Chances are if they pick it, they’ll try it. Play a fun game and challenge your little ones to come up with a fruit salad recipe made with three fruits you can find at the market that day. Food prep should be fun!
  2. Involve Little Helpers.
    Parker loves to be active with us in the kitchen. When you let your kids help out with food prep and cooking they’re generally more willing to try whatever you’ve made together. They get more familiar and comfortable with the ingredients.If you’re cutting carrots for a pot roast, encourage your kids to taste one. Then pack carrots in the lunch box the next day, they’re more likely to get eaten.
  3. Practice Good Storage.
    Prepping all my fresh fruits and veggies requires a little organization and good storage. Air-tight plastic packaging helps keep oxygen away from food, which means it lasts longer. I can slice a week’s worth of carrot strips or orange wedges and store them in plastic zip top bags and divvy up portions for lunch every day.
  4. Think Ahead.
    I like to spend my Sundays prepping for the week. That means organizing and prepping my fruits and veggies, but it can also mean taking the time to bake a special homemade treat. Our Birthday Cake Blondies store well in an airtight plastic bag or container for up to a week. They’re absolutely delicious and put a signature bite of love in every lunchbox.

Get more great kitchen tips at our website The Couples Kitchen and check out our book Just Married and Cooking.

Brooke Parkhurst

How to pack amazing school lunches your kids will love

Brooke Parkhurst is an author, foodie and mom. A southern girl who moved to The Big Apple, Brooke has been described as “Carrie Bradshaw turned June Cleaver.” Her work has been featured in media outlets such as the BBC, New York Times, New York Daily News and New York Post. She currently teaches couples cooking classes alongside her chef husband and they write a cooking column for MyScoop Media. We're thrilled to have Brooke share her favorite hacks for preparing kids lunches for going back to school.