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The Best Way To Pack A Lunch



I’ve written a couple posts on packing lunches. It has been something I have done every school day for the past 7 years, and  I think I have finally found the best way to pack a lunch.

Last year I ditched plastic baggies and bought containers with lids.  It was a step in the right direction, but not quite what I wanted.  I quickly found washing out all those small containers and keeping track of their lids made lunch making more of a chore than it should be.  I’m all about efficiency, working smarter not harder, and keeping things simple.  A bunch of lids and containers was not smart, simple or efficient.

photo 1

This year before school started, I was on a mission.  I wanted to find something different that would keep me from going back to baggies but that would be just as simple as baggies.  These lunch kit containers from Sistema were the perfect find. They are affordable and a huge plus– BPA free!

photo 2

The school lunches I make for my girls 90% of the time start with sandwich & something crunchy–tortilla chips, crackers, pretzels–free from artificial colors, preservatives, and high fructose corn syrup.  I think this habit stems from the school lunches I had as a young girl.  I always loved a crunch along with my sandwich.  The other 10% of the time I throw soup or leftovers into a thermos.

photo 5

These containers have a large area for a sandwich,  with an attached lid/divider that keeps the sandwich safe and your chips from tasting like peanut butter. My girls favorite bread is an oat bread & I use a peanut butter with no hydrogenated oils or corn syrup in it. If you make a cheese or meat sandwich, this small blue ice pack is perfect for putting right on top of the sandwich.  I place a paper towel in between the sandwich and the ice pack, but I have found it is not necessary as these ice packs do not ‘sweat.’

I use the second compartment for something crunchy, and the 3rd area for some type of bar (store bought or homemade) or cut up veggies.  A cut kiwi with a spoon fits nicely in there–I just cut it in half, unpeeled, and my girls scoop the fruit out with a spoon, using the peel as a bowl when they eat it. Carrot sticks are another great item for that compartment.

photo 4

I like to add a piece of fruit on the side.  A nectarine, banana, or apple.  Having a fruit and veggie gives my girls a head start on eating their daily rainbow.

See how the container shuts so nicely into a compact square.  Hearing the ‘snap’ of the lid after packing their lunch in the morning gives me such a satisfied feeling.

photo 3

This BUILT Neoprene Lunch Tote bag is really cute.  It belongs to my now FRESHMAN girl.  When did my Teagan get so old?

When did I get so old?

photo 2

This water bottle fits nicely alongside the sandwich container.  Usually my girls just get a cup of water at school, which leaves that area free for fruit.


photo 1

This system is the best, most efficient way I have found to streamline the chore of not only packing lunches, but also emptying them out and cleaning the containers for the next day.  They can be placed in the dishwasher, but I find a quick rinse is easy and enough, making sure they get cleaned with hot water and soap at least a couple times a week.

Do you pack lunches?  What do you use to hold the food?

What are your kids favorite foods to eat in their lunches?

Would you like to try out the Sistema Lunch Cube lunch container?  If so, Amazon has a great deal on them, and if you order them through this link I will get a small percentage which would support New Nostalgia & make me happy!


mini squeeze bottles

Ok…I said I didn’t want a bunch of little lids to wash…but I might make an exception with these super cute sauce-to-go containers!  My girls would love them filled with ranch dressing for dipping those veggies, and I would love that I can control the portion size.


More on school lunches at New Nostalgia:

14 Healthy School Lunches Your Kids Will Love

School Lunch Smoothies

How To Make A Note Into An Envelope–Perfect For School Lunches


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  • Rachel
    January 22, 2015 at 11:50 am

    I use these same containers I love them. I also use silicone muffin cups as dividers within the smaller sections for more variety. I use large cups for the bigger section and small cups for the small sections. Then nuts stay separate from apple slices ect.

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      January 23, 2015 at 9:39 am

      Ohhhh…great tip! Thanks, Rachel!

  • New Nostalgia – Peanut Butter Banana Honey Fold-Overs
    October 9, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    […] lunches is never my favorite chore. Read more about the lunch cubes in my Best Way To Pack A Lunch […]

  • Catherine
    September 30, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    Hi Amy,

    I have been out of action in the blog reading stakes, trying to get back in to life and exercise after BC. I have commented before, some time ago now, but I am from New Zealand and was excited to see you promoting the Sistema range which is made here in good old NZ. I use it a lot in the various tasks of running a home, for food storage, for lunches, and now using the home/office storage systems.

    Just had my annual mammogram today so my head is all over the place so sorry if this makes in sense. Will keep reading and updating myself with how you are doing. I find the further out from diagnosis and treatment the more I can put it behind me rather than having that at the forefront of my mind,

    Take care, Catnerine

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      October 2, 2014 at 12:17 pm

      Hi Catherine,
      So happy to hear from you, all the way from New Zealand. I will have to check out the rest of Sistema products. Fun to know they are from your neck of the woods.

      I pray your mammogram is clear & that you continue to adjust to life after BC. I found everything is different, but that is ok. It has been hard for me to put it all behind me as side effects from anti-hormone meds keep me constantly aware. I’m 4 years out –Praise God!–but cancer is very much a part of my everyday life and thoughts. It does get easier though, the fear is not what it used to be and I don’t dwell on recurrence like I used to.

      Good luck with exercise. Start slow. I really just walk and do yoga now. I need gentle due to misbehaving joints (med side effect) I am starting to really enjoy yoga–feels so good!

      Blessings to you..keep in touch.

  • Shel Harrington
    September 10, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Fun stuff here, Amy! I, too, am smitten with those little sauce to-go containers! Poking around your site, I read about your diagnosis and enhanced zeal for life. I was diagnosed with invasive lobular breast cancer last year and am now doing great. Love your mission!

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      September 11, 2014 at 10:13 am

      I am so happy to hear that you are doing well. So sorry to hear of your diagnosis. Thank you for taking a look around New Nostalgia and letting me know you did. Please come back to visit. This mission I’m on is proving to be more difficult than I thought–keeping my mind on living new and with zeal. Life can sure make that hard to keep up! I will write about it soon..of course. 🙂