The busy mom's guide to school lunch 2016

Packing school lunches is one of the things we dread most about back to school season. Don't get us wrong, we have plenty to look forward to (like grocery shopping alone!) but our kid's lunches seem to go from creative to schlepping the scraps in less time than it takes a toddler to inhale a Gogurt packet. (Approx. 15 seconds, if your kids are anything like ours)

Hence, we hope this guide to school lunch can save the day and keep the mundane from creeping in for at least another month or two! Read on for a lunch box buying guide for any age, followed by a roundup of our favorite non-sandwich meal ideas.

1. For your older kids who appreciate a little irony. (No, they won't be getting French fries in their from-home lunch anytime soon!) $7.99 at Target.
2. A clip-in Bento to keep our slightly-OCD selves in pure merriment. $7.92, Amazon.
3. A cute lunch box that's out of this world. $12.59 at Target.
4. We love the external bottle holder on this one. $22 at Land of Nod.
5. Perfect for any age and can hold a ton. $12.80, Amazon.
6. Skip Hop has an adorable selection perfect for the pre-schoolers. $14.99, Amazon.
7. Eco-friendly and comes in bulk. The best of both worlds. $13.95, Amazon.
8. The Cadillac of Bento boxes, with endless ways to fill each cute little nook! $55 at Planet Box.

8. Fondue

1. String cheese
2. Apple sauce packets
3. Babybel cheese
4. Trail mix packets
5. Clementines
6. Grapes
7. Raisins
8. Dried mangoes
9. Turkey or ham roll-ups
10. Cashews
11. Skinny Pop popcorn
12. Clif Z-bars for kids
13. Homemade granola
14. Chobani yogurt
15. Baked chickpeas
16. Carrot sticks and Ranch dip
17. Cucumbers and cherry tomatoes
18. Hardboiled eggs
19. Apple slices and peanut butter
20. Homemade protein bites


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