Not Your Mama’s Lunch: 5 Easy Sack Lunch Hacks

chicken tortilla soup

My daughter actually suggested this post. I guess it’s because, let’s face it, the sack lunches I pack are the BOMB. The first three tips are answers to common sack lunch problems, and the rest are just tips for lunch packing in general.

I’ve already posted a blog with lunch options other than sandwiches, so if you’re interested in that blog, click

This post will focus on easy tricks to keep your lunch fresh and delicious until the very last bite. If you need some quick and easy ideas for weekday breakfasts, click here:

 1. The problem: soggy sandwich

Solution: if you’re making a PB&J, the trick is to put the peanut butter on both sides of the bread with just a bit of jelly between. Tina’s tip: substitute cream cheese occasionally for either the PB or the jelly. It’s a good change.

If you’re making a meat-and-cheese sandwich, put the mustard between layers of meat, and not on the bread. All the flavor and none of the soggyness. Pack lettuce, tomato, pickles in a separate container if your kid likes them. He can add them to the sandwich at the last minute, keeping everything fresh and delish.

2. The problem: my drink is warm

Solution: With thermos drinks, adding ice in the morning tends to melt and water down the drink. Instead, put water in the bottom of the thermos–no more than 1/4 deep–and freeze the night before. In the morning, just pour the drink on top and you have instant block ice that takes a long time to melt. With certain juices, you can substitute juice for the water and freeze that. Carbonated drinks are not the best choice for sack lunches.

Tina’s tip: you can buy Capri-Suns or juice boxes and throw them right into the freezer. As they melt, they help keep your lunch cold.

3. The problem: my soup is cold

When packing hot foods in a thermos, I always pour boiling water in the thermos to heat it while I’m microwaving the soup, or ravioli, or chili that I’m planning to pack. This heats it up a bit and keeps food warmer longer.

Tina’s tip: homemade soup is a winner in the colder months–it’s nutritious and cheap, and easy to switch it up.

Chicken Tortilla Soup is a favorite at our house, and I pack the cheese and chips separate so I can garnish the soup right before eating. So. Good. Don’t underestimate your thermos–it’s a gold mine. I’ve even sent pasta to school in a thermos and it was a hit. Add a salad with packets of dressing on the side and you’ve got a winner.

4. Buy several blue ice packs for lunches. You’ll always have one available, and in the hot Texas months, sometimes we need more than one.

5. Peanut butter, Nutella, ranch dressing, applesauce and fruit are all sold individually. It’s a good idea to have a few of these on hand when throwing together a quick lunch. I do a ratio of a mainstay (sandwich (protein/cheese), fruit, bottled water (which you can also freeze), and snack or treat (chips or muffin). We are also big fans of Go-gurts which can be frozen.

What lunch hacks do you use? Comment below.

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