I don't know about you, but packing school lunches can be one of the most stressful parts of the day. Sending the kiddos off with a healthy lunch box that is fun, tasty and allergy-friendly is a formidable task. So to get ready for the new school year, we're sharing our five favourite lunch packing hacks for saving time and sanity!

1. Set up a lunch packing station

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Set up an easy to reach shelf, basket or trolley in the pantry and fill it with snack options that you (or the family) can easily grab from. Crackers, popcorn, pretzels, nuts, dried fruit, cookies, muesli bars and more can be stored in jars or portioned out in mini containers.  Likewise in the fridge, you can allocate a drawer or shelf to cold snacks like cheese, yoghurt, veggie sticks, whole or cut up fruit, dips, cold meats, and more to make snack packing a cinch.

Depending on your child's age, you can provide them with a Cheat Sheet to follow (like this one here) with plenty of ideas for healthy lunch box fillers.

2. Try packing lunches the night before

Weeknights can be super busy with after-school activities, homework, bathing and dinner right? But before rushing off to Netflix after dinner, try packing lunches to save a whole lotta time and energy the following morning. Some parents swear by this, others not so much, but it's something to consider if you're finding school mornings uber hectic.

3. Bake it till you make it

A couple of the Love Mae Studio crew get set for the week by baking a selection of lunch box goodies on a Sunday afternoon (possibly with a glass of wine in hand!). Some of our favourites include cookies, muffins, bliss balls, slices, pizza scrolls and quiche. The bigger the batch the better as many baked goodies can be kept in the freezer for weeks.

4. Get the kids involved

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One sure way to make sure the kids will love the contents of their lunch box is to get them involved in the process. It's also an opportunity to teach them about making healthy food choices, acquire kitchen skills, and to value the time and care that goes into preparing meals! Whether they help with packing snacks, making a sandwich or wrap, filling their drink bottle, or emptying out their lunch box and popping it in the dishwasher, getting the kids involved saves you precious morning time.

5. Invest in a bento-style lunch box

Love_Mae_Lunch_Box_Bento_KidsWhether your little ones like to snack on finger food or favour sushi over sandwiches, a bento-style lunch box allows them to pack a self-contained grazing platter. The compartments and mini containers help them to organise their snacks and to remember what foods to pack. There's no need to search high and low for just the right size containers or to add extra packaging or plastic wrap with a bento-style lunch box. Opt for a sturdy, dishwasher-friendly option like one of our lunch boxes here which not only last longer but save hand washing.

We hope these tips help to make lunch box life a little easier for you. 

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