6 Easy Steps to Packing a Superb School Lunch

Bloggers,Fall,For Moms,How-To
August 8, 2013

Mom blogger Katie Morford shares back-to-school lunch packing tips and tricks from her newest book.

Best Lunch Box Ever

With back-to-school season right around the corner, it’s time to get organized. So we asked mom blogger Katie Morford, author of Best Lunch Ever: Ideas and Recipes for School Lunches Kids Will Love, to share her tips and tricks for packing a great school lunch every time.

Here are Katie’s six essential lunch-box tips:

1. Start with the main course. This means a sandwich, salad, or even a thermos of rice and beans. Be sure you’ve got some protein in there, and tailor portions to your child’s age and appetite.

2. Add a fruit. Pack cut or whole fruit, and do any preparation that will help your child reach for the healthful stuff—peel tangerines, cut melon into bite-size chunks. Aim for seasonal fruit, such as strawberries in spring and grapefruit in winter.

3. Add a vegetable. If your main course is already loaded with vegetables, this is optional. Try to mix it up by experimenting with crunchy options such as jicama or fennel. Add a container of salad dressing or other veggie dip to add interest.

4. Include a satisfying side or snack. Kids like crunchy sides, and there are plenty of options such as tamari almonds or homemade popcorn. There is more to life than little fish-shaped crack­ers. Often, the side dish becomes a mid-morning snack that tides them over until lunch.

Homemade Fruit Roll-Ups anyone? Here’s a how-to on Blueberry (or Blackberry if you prefer) Mint Lime Fruit Leather:


5. Don’t forget a drink. Packing an icy bottle of water or milk to keep the kiddos hydrated is a lunch-box must—unless those are provided at school, of course.

6. Surprise them with an occasional sweet or loving touch. Goodies (like a homemade cookie or handful of chocolate chips) and non-food “treats” (like a note, sticker or drawing) make school lunch some­thing to look forward to.

Katie Morford Mom BloggerKatie Morford is a food writer, registered dietitian and mom of three. For more from Katie, visit  Mom’s Kitchen Handbook, where she chronicles her recipes and adventures, “raising fresh food kids in a french-fried world.”

Blackberry Mint Lime Fruit Leather

Blackberry Mint Lime Fruit Leather

Kids love fruit leather, and by making your own, you know exactly what's in it.


Roast Beef Wraps

Roll up a quick (and picnic-portable) lunch from deli meat and cheese.

Turkey Cranberry Wrap

Turkey Cranberry Wrap

Our favorite deli sandwich remade into a wrap.


Cinnamon Granola Bars

These chewy bars contain whole-grain oatmeal and more than 5 grams of protein. They make the kitchen smell delicious while baking.


Apple Chips

Apple chips make a great after school snack.


Peanut Butter and Jelly Power Muffins

Whole-wheat flour and rolled oats make these muffins with staying power.


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