Being a busy mom, I know that sometimes one of the hardest things you can do is get your kids out the door in time for school. Not only do you have to make sure everyone is dressed but, you have to make sure everyone is fed and packing lunches is no easy task (at least for me!). It’s so easy to forget something so small can make such a big difference in your child’s day.

That’s why I started trying to come up with ways to make my mornings flow easier and save myself time, money, and sanity! Through trial and error, I found some of the easiest ways to make mornings a breeze. See how you can become a lunch packing pro by checking out these 11 tried and true lunch box hacks.

  1. Make your own pre-packaged snacks.Pack Your Own Snacks

    Not only will this save you a ton of cash, but you can also have your kids help you do it! We even like to make our own Gogurts!

  2. Set up a snack station. Let your kiddos decide what they would like in their lunch box.Snack Station

    This will prevent them from coming home with a half-eaten lunch. Just set limits like “pick 1” on each box to make sure they are packing a well balanced lunch.

  3. Invest in a Drink In The Box!Drink In The Box 2

    My child is not a very big juice drinker. He prefers water or even milk over juice. That’s why we fell in love Drink In The Box. It’s shaped like a juice box and is the perfect size.

    Lunch Box Size
    It’s completely leak proof and dishwasher safe (all the things that are important for mom). You can even order spare parts like the straw, lid, and even an ice pack to help keep it cold on those long rode trips!
    Drink In The BoxIt’s such an awesome alternative to juice boxes! You can learn more about Drink In The Box here and find it on Amazon.

  4. Use frozen sponges as ice packs.Sponge Ice Packs

    This one sounds so silly I know but, trust me it totally works. Damp sponges freeze super fast and take up almost no room in the lunch box or freezer. As they thaw, they will reabsorb any water and you can just throw them right back in the freezer after school. You can even keep them fresh and germ free by zapping them in the microwave for 2 mins (make sure they are wet when you do this!). Plus, you can get 4 for $1 from the Dollar Store!

  5. Freeze PB+J ahead of time!Frozen PB+J

    Just throw these in your child’s lunch box and they will be defrosted by lunch time! They can also help keep other item cold too! Jazz these up by using cookie cutters for fun shapes or save yourself time by using a pizza cutter to cut off the crust!

  6. Use a NEW contact case for single serve condiments.

    If your child really likes to dip things, this is going to be a lifesaver for you. You can send any condiment you can dream of in this easy to use and wash container. It’s so much more convenient sending condiments this way!

  7. Write secret notes on your bananas.Banana Messgaes

    I know this really isn’t a time saving hack but, it’s a really cute way to send love notes to your kids in school. Just use a toothpick (or kabob stick in my case) to lightly carve out a message in the banana. As the message gets more exposed to air, it will turn a little brown making it easy to read. This does not hurt the banana at all.

  8. Wrap a cut apple back together with saran warp or a rubber band to make it stay fresh until lunch.Saran Wrap Apples

    Keeping your apple together after it has been cut is the key to keeping it from turning brown. The more it is exposed to the air the faster it will brown.Saran Wrap Apples 2

  9. Use frozen drink boxes as ice packs.Frozen Juice Boxes

    If you don’t want to use my handy sponge hack, just freeze your child’s juice boxes. They will work as ice packs and will be thawed in time for lunch!

  10. Keep chicken nuggets or pizza rolls warm without them becoming soggy by packing them in a thermos with paper towels in the bottom to absorb any moisture.Chicken Nuggets With Paper Towels

    This will enable you to send some of your child’s favorites without the worry of them being just too soggy to eat.

  11. Make sure your kids are not setting their food down on the questionable lunch table.Wax-paper Sandwiches

    Wrap sandwiches in wax paper so that way when your kids unfold it, they will have a nice sized area to place not only their sandwich but other snacks too. I have tried parchment paper and it works well until you try to tape it. It’s non stick so nothing including tape will stay.. it took me 2 times of trying this to figure it out. If you fold it well enough though, it will work nicely.

Being a mom is hard, make your mornings easy by becoming a lunch packing pro! Am I missing some of your shortcuts? Share them with me in the comments! What are some of your favorite lunch box hacks or ways to save time in the morning?

This post was in no sponsored by any product featured in any of these pictures, however Drink In The Box did provide me with a FREE Drink in the Box for this post.


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Hello! My name is Ashley.
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  1. I love the contact case idea for condiments! My preschooler has trouble opening single serve condiments like ketchup but she can definitely open a contact case! Thanks for the great idea!

  2. Long ago I learned to put a hot dog in a thermos with hot water ! It would be cooked by lunch and water cool enough to pick it out with fingers! Pack a roll with condiments already on that your child likes! My children and grandchildren loved doing this!

  3. These are great ideas! I love the snack station! That is a great way to prep, but let them be part of the process!