We partnered with Canadian lifestyle blogger ‘Little Love Lifestyle’ to help us navigate the realities of the new school year to come. From easy-to-sanitize lunch boxes to kid-friendly food containers, here are 6 lunch-packing essentials for a safe and organized return to school.
It’s that time of year again…or is it?
Who knows when the kids are going back to school or for how long – but what we DO know is our little munchkins need to eat, and there are new health and safety considerations now.
So I’ve teamed up with my friends at Kitchen Stuff Plus to put together a list of Lunch Packing Essentials for the new normal. Because lunchtime is a time when most kids need help opening their snacks and lunch containers, we share easy-to-use lunch containers so that kids are confident and independent at lunchtime and don’t need to ask friends and teachers for help.
And because we all want to keep our home safe and free of germs, we share easy to wash lunch items like water bottles, cutlery, and lunch containers that can be placed in the dishwasher or items that can be easily sterilized with some easy DIY cleaning tips.
The list of amazing items are endless, but we’ve narrowed it down to a few of our favourites to make it simple to shop. Here they are:
1. LUNCH CONTAINERS
If your kids are starting school for the first time, look for easy to use lunch containers like Sistema Klip It containers (available in a variety of fun colours) or the Thermos Funtainer Bento-Style Lunchbox, a modular bento which lets you pack a variety of snacks, neatly separated so you don’t have to worry about contents mixing.
PRO TIP: Have your littles practice eating out of the lunchbox before they start school and show them the right way to open & close containers (ie. not upside down).
If your child has a generous appetite, look for larger lunch containers like the KSP Divided Glass Storage Containers – a great option for bigger kids. These containers are available in a variety of sizes and clean-up is a breeze, because the glass bottoms are dishwasher safe (killing all the lunchtime germs).
For smaller kids, I recommend the Locksy Click N’ Go Containers. These light-weight plastic containers are BPA-free, dishwasher safe, and available in a variety of sizes and fun colours.
PRO TIP: Easily create fancy bento compartments using silicone baking cups like these KSP Colour Splash Silicone Cupcake Liners.
See the entire list of lunch containers available at Kitchen Stuff Plus, online and in-store.
2. WATER BOTTLES
Kitchen Stuff Plus has a HUGE selection of water bottles for kids. One of my favourites is the KSP Grip Glass Water Bottle because they come in a variety of fun colours, hold a generous amount of water, and the glass bottle is dishwasher safe!
Another great option is the KSP Quench Double-Wall Water Bottle. The stainless steel bottle is eco-friendly, durable, and the double-wall insulation keeps water cold for hours. It’s also super stylish because it’s available in fashionable styles like Unicorn, Ombre, and Mermaid.
For more active kids, check out the KSP Sport Tritan Water Bottle. It holds 750ml of water and features a durable hanging loop – so it can be easily attached to the outside of a school bag.
PRO TIP: To properly clean bottles that can’t be placed in the dishwasher, wash the bottle in warm water and detergent every day. Use a cloth or brush on the inside to remove any slimy build-up that may have formed. Rinse well and be sure to dry completely — either by air-drying overnight or hand-drying with a clean cloth. If you would like to sanitize the bottles (maybe on a Friday after the school week) fill the bottle with plain white distilled vinegar and let it stand for about 10 minutes. Rinse and air dry.
Check out the full variety of water bottles available at Kitchen Stuff Plus.
3. LUNCH BAGS
Keep lunches cool with an insulated lunch bag like the Dual Compartment Lunch Bag, by Thermos. Available in a variety of colours and prints, this well-designed lunch bag is fitted with antimicrobial treated interiors, 100% free PVC with PEVA linings, and has two separate compartments.
Another amazing choice is the KSP Bella Insulated lunch bag, which is also available in a variety of colours and fun prints. This soft and flexible lunch bag fits most lunchboxes, and easily fits into school-age back packs leaving room for books and school supplies.
Tip: To kill viruses and germs, first wipe clean with a damp soapy cloth, then lightly wipe or spray lunch boxes with rubbing alcohol. Be sure to dry completely overnight.
Click here to see the entire selection of Lunch Bags available at kitchenstuffplus.com
4. THERMAL FOOD JARS
A great thermal food jar will keep foods hot and at safe temperatures for hours. And if you choose a fun printed container, like these fun kids prints from Thermos, or the KSP Togo ‘Unicorn’ Thermal Food Storage Jar (my favourite) they will make boring leftovers exciting at lunchtime!
Thermos Brand thermal containers and KSP Togo thermal containers will not only keep food hot, they are leak-proof, durable, and easy to clean. The smaller size will be easier for kids to use, and for bigger kids, check out the classic colours, like charcoal, violet, white, or pretty pastels like pink and turquoise.
PRO TIP: Keep food hot until lunchtime and always preheat your thermos! Fill it with boiling water for 5 minutes, empty and fill with piping hot food.
Click here to see the entire selection of Thermal Lunch Containers available at kitchenstuffplus.com
5. LUNCH TOOLS
One sure way to make lunchtime exciting, is to incorporate fun and colourful lunch tools like the KSP Colour Splash Silicone Cupcake Liners, which allow you to easily create fancy bento compartments and keep food separate in any lunch container. These handy containers are dishwasher safe making them a breeze to clean!
Ice packs like the colourful Luciano Slim Ice Packs are essential for keeping lunch cool. And the slim design makes them easy to fit in every lunch bag!
Fuel Primary Foldable Fatware Cutlery is available in 3 bright colours, dishwasher safe, and the foldable design helps keep them clean until they’re ready to be used.
Easily cut sandwiches and other soft foods into creative shapes with the KSP Bakers ‘Assorted’ Cookie cutter Set of 5. You can also use them as bento compartments in a lunchbox. Because they’re not leak proof, I suggest filling them with dry foods like cereal or fruit like blueberries and grapes.
Kitchen Stuff Plus offers a wide range of reusable silicone bags that are dishwasher- safe and perfect for litter-less lunch programs. The Joie Clip & Seal Silicone bag is available in two sizes, snack and sandwich size.