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No Sandwich Lunch Box Hacks

No Sandwich Lunch Box Hacks
This post has been sponsored by Mott’s. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Moms and Dads, school’s back in, and that means it’s time to start packing a seeming endless line of lunches. I’ve done it for 8 years now, I know making sandwich after sandwich gets boring and repetitive. And that’s why I’m going to show you a few of my family’s favorite no sandwich lunch box hacks to make lunch time more exciting!

Also, I’m going to tell you right now that this is NOT one of those posts where every piece of food is styled in an impossibly time consuming way making it completely useless to you, the busy mom. These are HACKS, so that means they’re fast tips and all quick to put together but are going to delight your kids and make them feel special at lunchtime.

In our house, we make good use of things like Mott’s Applesauce in the cups and pouches and the new Mott’s 100% Juice apple pouches to make lunch prep faster. There’s a variety of flavors the 100% juice pouches come in, including Apple, Apple White Grape, and Apple Mango. Every one contains 1 1/2 servings of fruit to help get all those fruit servings in every day. Publix is where I usually grocery shop and the new juice pouches are pretty easy to find there, and when they go on sale, I stock up!

No Sandwich Lunch Box Hacks

Onto the no sandwich lunch hacks! We are going to use absolutely nothing fancy or expensive here, we’re just going to pair things up in different ways to make it interesting.

As far as what to pack the lunches in–pick up a few compartmented lunch containers. You can buy them in plastic for pretty cheap and they eliminate the need for plastic bags that have to be bought over and over. I’ve seen these at Publix, so stop down that aisle while you’re shopping.

No Sandwich Lunch Hack #1: Turkey avocado roll-ups

What’s in it:

  • (3) Slice of avocado rolled up in a slice of deli turkey
  • Crackers
  • Peeled orange and a handful of berries
  • Mott’s 100% Juice pouch
  • Mott’s applesauce cup

How to assemble it:

All the work that’s really required here is slicing the avocado and rolling it in the turkey and peeling the orange. The rest is placing the food into the compartments of the lunch container.

Dress it up:

As I said moms and dads, we need FAST things to make the kids feel special. Grab some google eyes out of the craft kit and pop them on top of the apple sauce. Because I have things like this at my house, I added a fuzzy mustache. Cut a quick mustache out of paper if you don’t keep fuzzy mustaches around. It’s instant lunch fun, and very very quick to add.

Bento picks are a savior for dressing up lunches. (you can buy them here, affl. link)  I swear the kids will fight each other to get the best picks in their lunch boxes. I found some eyeballs to pop into this box and go with my suave applesauce cup.

 

No Sandwich Lunch Hack #2: Tiny Lunch

What’s in it:

  • Cubed ham
  • Cheese cubes
  • Baby carrots and a handful of berries
  • Granola bars
  • Banana
  • Mott’s 100% juice pouch

How to assemble it:

Put each of the items as separate as you can in the lunch container. The banana and juice pouch do not go in.

Dress it up:

More bento picks! There are so many kinds out there (like these). Also, include a tiny fork or a pick with long tines to spear the ham and cheese with. (buy them here.) This is always a favorite with my kids because they’re weird and enjoy eating their food with toothpicks. But if they eat it, it’s no problem for me to buy the pre-cubed ham and cheese and throw it in their lunch box.

Bananas. (Make sure you say that in a minon-like voice.) When my son started school, I started drawing faces with a sharpie on his bananas before I threw them in his lunch box. Every day when he came home from a banana lunch, I got a story about his banana in the cafeteria. Apparently it was always the talk of the lunch table. This is a 60 second tops activity to draw a face on your kid’s banana, and they will appreciate it more than you know!

No Sandwich Lunch Hack #3: Protein Box

What’s in it:

  • Nut butter (almond or sunbutters are great for no-peanut schools)
  • Crackers
  • Cheese
  • Hardboiled egg
  • Carrots and sugar snap peas
  • Mott’s 100% Juice pouch

How to assemble it:

Find a super small sealable container for your nut butter (like this one.) Be sure to peel the egg before putting it in the lunchbox as kids sometimes have trouble with it. Or, Publix does sell eggs pre-cooked and peeled in the deli section. I used a cheese that has a red wax rind on it and took part of the wrapper off, but you can use any kind of cheese that your child may like for their box.

Dress it up:

Here’s where you can quickly cut the cheese into a little shape or something like that. I would only aim for 1 piece of food art per lunch box if you want to keep it up. The kids won’t remember more than that anyway! Couple of bento picks, and you’re good for decoration.

No Sandwich Lunch Hack #4: Hummus Box

What’s in it:

  • Hummus
  • Dipping veggies
  • Raisins
  • Oatmeal cookies
  • Mott’s 100% Juice pouch
  • Mott’s applesauce pouch

How to assemble it:

Find a sealed container for the hummus before you put it in the box. (like this one.) You know what kind of veggies your kid will eat–I’ve found nearly every vegetable tastes great as a hummus conveyance vehicle. I LOVE that they are slicing carrots into chips for dipping now and there isn’t a better pair than that for hummus. If you’ve got a veggie that tends to be damp, just don’t put it next to the cookies in your box.

Dress it up:

For this 60 second adornment, cut one of the veggies into a shape: heart, star, moon, etc. Put it on top of the hummus before you close the lid. You can also use cucumber peels as swirls garnish as they shape very easily.

Go Forth and Make Lunch!

Hopefully you’ve got a few good ideas now so you can ditch the sandwich at least a few days a week, but for even more lunch box inspiration visit buildbetterlunches.com. If you need help finding your local Publix, they have a handy store locator here.

See More Lunch Ideas

Want more lunch ideas? Check these out:

 

Paula Biggs

Paula Biggs

Owner at Frog Prince Paperie
Paula Biggs is a professional party planner, DIY crafter, and owner of Frog Prince Paperie, where you can find hundreds of party and craft ideas. You can also buy birthday party supplies, printables and accessories from the Frog Prince Paperie Etsy shop.

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Jennifer

Wednesday 13th of September 2017

I'm about to care for my mother, and all I could think was, these would be great lunch ideas for both of us! I might would cut out the raw carrots, since they would be more difficult to eat. That's okay, though! The main concept is all there. Thank you for publishing this!

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Yum! I love the idea of putting avocado in the turkey roll ups. Pinned it on our back to school board for later.Those eyeball picks are so cute!