Great Organized Lunch Boxes

January 19, 2012 in packing a lunchbox

It’s Hearts At Home blog hop day. Today’s topic: Organizational Ideas. I think fitness and organization are the buzz words for blog posts in January.

Today I will share a cheap and easy way to keep the lunch boxes organized and the food from getting crushed. But first, if you didn’t catch the earlier posts this month about organization, check out Hair ties, Headbands, and Headaches and also the post from Grandma, called Seriously Good Ideas for Around the House. The list amazed me with its innovation and simpleness.

Note: Several of the links below link to Amazon so you can see where you could buy these things, but I always buy them at our local big box store.

Now for that lunchbox.
Organized Lunch box tip #1: I don’t like to use plastic bags for the lunch box. They clog up landfills and if  the lunchbox isn’t hard or if there is a thermos in the box, things get squashed.  I spent months looking for the perfect little containers to put all the small serving sizes into. There are plenty of expensive options: Bento boxes and snap ‘n lock type containers. But the sizes I found were always awkward to fit into the lunch box or the size I loved wasn’t sold separately, only as part of a 10 container set. Plus, I didn’t want to spend too much money, since I knew the girls would occasionally lose a container.

Solution: Ball freezer containers, 8 oz size.  A set of five costs about $3.00, not on sale. I bought two packages about three years ago. We still have six containers that haven’t been lost or cracked. They fit perfectly in lunch boxes. They store chips, pepper strips, fruit (without leakage), even half a banana. And the girls love it when their chips aren’t a pulverized mess. Plus I use these little guys all the time to actually freeze things too.

Organized lunch box tip#2: Reusable ice cubes. These make my girls happy; other kids think I am cool for packing them and sometimes they get pulled out when someone is injured and needs ice pack therapy. Plus they keep the milk and yogurt cold. Also, they are just filled with water so when the occasional ice cube springs a leak, it isn’t a gel mess.

Organizational lunch box tip #3: Use the dishwasher. Have you ever noticed how nasty the corners of your kids’ lunch boxes get? Actually, mine gets that way over time too. We use vinyl lunch boxes, the soft kind. Whenever we have a longer weekend break, I run them through a short cycle in the dishwasher. When the cycle is done, I dry them off, use a Q’tip to get the wet crumbs that are clinging to the seams and the finally they look clean again.

I found the Blog Hop post after the girls were gone
and lunches were packed. I had two freezer containers still at home
to photograph for you. One is straight out the freezer with the last of summer’s
tomatoes and the other is full of peppers and carrots, ready lunch tomorrow.
I tossed the little reusable ice cubes in the picture too. Since we bring our own milk
to school, the ice cubes can be reused, don’t dilute the milk but keep it cold! 

How do you keep lunch neat and organized?
Read other bloggers Jill Savage’s and other bloggers’ Third Thursday Blog Hop: Organizational Ideas for more inspiration. (Some day soon I will figure out how to use the link up widget)
Also sharing with Mama Loves

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Mandy January 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Those containers would be perfect, and I never thought about them… thanks! I hate using baggies, too, so I usually just stuff in random containers. I will definitely be checking out those jars! Thanks for hopping along with us!


Laura January 19, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Thanks Mandy. I love Blog hops and how they allow us to share ideas.


Alicia January 19, 2012 at 7:58 pm

This makes me just want to pack a few lunches 🙂 Great ideas!


Cynthia Heren January 19, 2012 at 10:07 pm

We aren’t packing lunches for school yet. I have some of the freezer jars and I hadn’t thought of them for lunch boxes great idea!


Susan M. Heim January 20, 2012 at 3:04 am

I never thought of running the lunch bags through the dishwasher. My boys’ lunch bags look really icky. I’m going to try this tip!


Jackie January 22, 2012 at 6:56 pm

I use the ziplock divided rectangle containers.
They have 3 sections – one big enough for a sandwich, and two smaller ones – fruit and crackers. Food doesn’t get crushed. They fit inside a soft-sided lunchbox. Dishwasher safe. Great in my opinion!


Laura January 23, 2012 at 12:50 pm

I’ve seen those ziploc divided containers…but my girls rarely want sandwiches. They love hot food…soups, pastas, or even chicken salad and crackers. So really I just needed a bunch of small containers for their “sides.” I am surprised those containers are dishwasher safe! Do you pack more than just sandwich and fruit and crackers. My girls are always starving and need lots of food…plus they share with friends.


Melissa Ann September 2, 2012 at 1:57 am

We totally use those ball freezer jars all the time too! I bought them as an inexpensive option to store homemade broth. My hubby pilfered them for his lunch box one day. I have the 16oz size. I need some of the 8 oz size and more 16 for broth and yogurt. Sadly, they don’t sell the 16s locally after canning season (um… I haven’t even started canning apples.. their definition of canning season varies drastically from mine!)


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