Sing it with me now y’all, back to school, back to school! No more paying sitters and I might just get the Phineas & Ferb theme song out of my head sometime this century.
The better news? I actually have one thing all ready: the lunchbox. All it took was one year, and I’m a pro. Our kids are all off to school together, so let ME school YOU. You just might learn something:
1. Organic Mashups from Revolution Foods: Oh Amazon, how silly of you for putting these in the baby section (although that means they SHOULD qualify for your Amazon Mom membership!). I discovered these bad boys at the Yo Gabba Gabba concert a summer ago, when the folks from Revolution were worming their way into Mom’s hearts by giving us FREE (healthy) alternatives to the standard $8 hot dogs and $7 baskets of fries you find at a concert venue. Since then, I’ve been powerloading from Amazon.
The skinny: They’re heaven in the from of pureed fruit in a little pouch. I have been known to eat one (OK, 4 — they’re small!) for lunch myself, they’re that tasty. But the real crowd pleaser here is the screw on lid, which means your “eats like a bird one day, swallows a house the next day” elementary schooler can actually BRING LEFTOVERS HOME WITH THEM. As much as I love fresh fruit, that was the seller for me. I was sick of throwing away food.
Don’t Miss: Already a convert, I tweeted my love @RevolutionFoods earlier this summer, and the result was an email from their PR firm and a few boxes of their newest flavors. Whatever you do, get the Beetbox Berry. You’ll thank me later.
2. SkipHop Zoo Lunchies. I made the mistake of going for a character lunchbox for the kid last year. It made her happy. It fell apart mid-way through the year. I learned my lesson and went out and bought her something that would last. At $14, it didn’t even break the bank!
The skinny: Cute characters. Insulated bags. You may have heard the warning that the lunches you pack at home are breeding grounds for bacteria? On a completely unscientific level, I can tell you that this bag plus an ice pack kept her food cool all year.
Don’t Miss: The Owl! Owls are hot this year, and this one is hooting “buy me.”
3. The Frozen Juice Box. Hat tip to my mom here, because I’ve got the secret to ensuring they’re not drinking lukewarm juice come snack time.
The Skinny: I freeze the box the night before. Throw it in the aforementioned lunchbag, and by the time they pull those babies out of their cubbies, the frost has melted down but the liquid inside is still cool and sweet.
Don’t Miss: I know, I know, juice is getting a bad rap anymore. But all it takes is balance. She gets milk at breakfast time, water in the Thermos. And one 100 percent fruit juice a day is enough.
What are your must haves for your kid’s lunch?