Lunch Transformation

Packing school lunches- so glad we don’t have to do that again for a while. School is out, and I meant to post this when it was more relevant, but now is when I have the time. So here we go.

Here is my wonderful, lunch-making husband. When we moved here we were disappointed that we could no longer walk to school, but had to drive. And on top of that we had to be out the door 45 minutes earlier. Since neither Rob or I are really the type to jump out of bed in the morning, making lunches was almost impossible to do while getting the kids breakfast and ready for school. So we decided that I would be the driver and Rob would be the lunch maker. He decided that it was easiest to prepare a weeks worth of  shelf-safe-starter-lunches on Sunday night and put them in a cupboard. Then each night he would make sandwiches and add in just the refrigerated items. The finished lunches were put on the top shelf in the fridge and we could just grab and go in the morning. (Notice the beautiful homemade bread for sandwiches?! Rob made that. I love it when we run out of bread on Sunday!)

When we made up so many lunches at once we realized that we went through a ton of plastic baggies and paper bags. I don’t count myself as an environmentalist, but it was a surprise to see how much trash we were generating.  As I was contemplating this, I came across a great deal at Easy through Jasmere -a website that provides discounts where the more people that commit to buy, the lower the prices are. It was a little confusing at first that I was actually buying vouchers to use in the store, and not the products themselves, But eventually I got my lunch boxes and we have been using them for a while now.

Usually we stick with the PB&J sandwiches, string cheese, a fruit or veggie, and a couple of cookies as the standard menu. Above is a day that I was feeling adventurous and used pita pocket bread and gave them all cheese and either pepperoni or roast beef to go inside. It wasn’t a huge hit with the kids, but I tried.

So here’s a breakdown of my experience going to the container lunchboxes:


  • Not so many baggies and paper bags
  • It’s faster to line up the trays and just drop things in
  • Sandwiches, strawberries etc. don’t end up squished
  • The kids bring them home so I know what they did and didn’t eat
  • They stack nicely, so they take up less space in the fridge
  • Everyone has their own color lid so we can tell which belongs to each picky eater
  • The cooler bags are big enough to add in extras that don’t fit in the tray
  • The lids are easier for kids to open and close than plastic baggies.


  • The bags are bigger than a standard lunch bag and are awkward to fit inside a backpack
  • Washing the trays and lids (although they do great in the dishwasher)
  • If we put things like cookies or crackers in the trays and overnight in the fridge, they end up soft the next day. So we still use some baggies.
  • It’s a big initial investment. I wouldn’t have done it without the great deal I got.
  • The trays are just barely the wrong size to be able to put a fruit cup in and close the lid tight. Since you can’t put canned food in a compartment without making a sticky mess that would be handy.


  1. Jenny
    Jun 23, 2010

    Just a small tip I heard about – You can put a small piece of plastic wrap over the section with wet food in it before snapping on the lid and it’s supposed to keep it contained. Haven’t tried it yet, though.

  2. Erica
    Jun 24, 2010

    I love the efficiency and organization here. Truly inspiring. Actually, a little daunting as I realize that this will be us in just a few years. Rob has done a great job though….note to self: Jed would make a great lunch maker as well. 🙂

  3. heather
    Jun 26, 2010

    I love this idea, so organized! And I love your idea of the pita pockets with the pepperoni/roast beef. I have a few recipes for making sandwiches to freeze that will thaw by lunchtime, but I have yet to really dive in and give them a try. I know, what’s taking me so long eh.