Here in Kentucky, the middle of July signals more than just oppressive heat. School supplies start to replace drool worth patio furniture, fresh notebooks full of blank pages signal the hope that come with a new school year.
And the dreaded packing of lunch.
I went to culinary school, I have intimate knowledge of creating fantastic meals. But I despise packing lunches. So much so that I have made a deal with my kids that I will make sure there are appropriate foods in the pantry for them.
BUT, they have to pack their lunches themselves, minus the sandwich, I help them with that, if they need it.
Last year was a bit of an organizational disaster, because our pantry, much to my chagrin is about the size of a shoebox. Add in 2 elementary age kids, and any organization that it thought about having, is out the window.
How I keep snacks organized
Enter a plastic over the door shoe holder. Like this one for less than $10 on Amazon.
I am able to ditch the clutter in my pantry and keep all of the snacky type items organized and in visible, for kids packing lunches AND easier to make a grocery list.
To jump start your school snack repertoire, I thought that I would list the items that I have ready to go for my kids (and let’s be honest, my husband and myself).
Easy Back to School Snacks:
Did you know that the Otis Spunkmeyer brand offers more than just their delicious cookies, that by the way, my kids scarfed down in about 2 seconds. We also tried out the pumpkin snack cakes, iced lemon cake and coffee cake. My husband told me that I am not allowed to bring the iced lemon cake back into the house, because he didn’t think that he would be able to stop eating it.
My kids hadn’t ever tried freeze dried fruit before, one taste and they were sold. They particularly liked the strawberries, they said the strawberries tasted sweeter than candy. I will happily let them munch on freeze dried fruit any day of the week. The best part is that there is nothing added, just fruit.
As a mom of 2 kiddos that consume fruit snacks in larger quantities than I care to admit. Welch’s has a wide variety of flavors of fruit snacks, including my kiddo’s favorites Cherries and Berries and Mixed Fruit.
Look, my kids aren’t drinking coffee yet…but I might as well have an IV of coffee during the busy school year. What with practices and papers to sign and last minute projects, I need fuel. Community coffee has a wide variety of flavors of coffee that help get my day started on the right foot.
My kids have been pounding GoGo SqueeZ applesauce for several years now, in fact it is my youngest’s preferred snack of choice. Recently they came out with a line of GoGo SqueeZ yogurts, my kids like them just as much and I like them because they have protein that help fuel their active bodies.
This brand offers a wide variety of snacks that my kids gobble down quickly. Their favorite are the fruit and veggie strips, and I don’t worry about the ingredients that are in them. The fruit and nut bars are a great snack for my kids to grab on their way out the door to sports practices.
Little Kernel is a brand of popcorn that offers “mini popcorn” meaning the kernels are much smaller than the popcorn that we are all used to. My husband liked it because of the great flavor but more than the flavor, there aren’t annoying hulls to get stuck in your teeth. That earned Little Kernel Popcorn major bonus points with us. Be sure to check out the white cheddar!
So this snack has morphed less into a snack for the kids but more for my husband. He enjoys eating trail mix while he waits for the kids in car rider line. This trail mix satisfies his sweet tooth and provides fuel to help him get over the mid afternoon slump.
So tell us: What snacks do you keep on hand to make lunch packing easier? Do you have a method to keeping things more organized?