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When it comes to packing school lunches sharing is caring. So with back to school season on the horizon, we asked savvy moms across the web to share how they stay organized, find inspiring lunch ideas and get their kids to actually eat their entire lunch. Here they reveal their best lunch survival hacks. What tips would you add?

1. Give them a choice
Bay Area mama, Lisa Jackson of Good on Paper tells us that her son’s lunchbox usually comes back empty when she gives him a choice of food.

 

2. Create a snack bin
Make grabbing snacks as convenient as possible. With a snack bin busy mornings become a bit less hectic says Samantha McBride. Pro tip from Samantha: keep the snack bin out of your kids’ reach!

 

3. Pack ahead
Busy mom Dana Leigh says her method to the lunchtime madness is to pack her kids’ lunches the day before. She reveals, “I have found it easiest to pack lunches for the next day the minute my kids walk in the door from school! They empty out and clean their lunch boxes and load them up with the next days lunch. Our evenings and mornings are hectic so it’s nice to take packing lunches out of the equation during the busiest times of the day!”

 

4. Teamwork
Getting out the door on time with lunches in hand is a team effort says mom of four, Renee Hill. By asking her girls to pitch in, Renee teaches her family responsibility and as a bonus, she buys herself a few more minutes to sip her morning coffee!

 

5. Add a little treat
Packing a lunch EVERYSINGLEDAY is probably one of the most challenging parts of the school year. Chelsea Andrews divulges three essential tips to streamline lunches for her picky eater. One of our favorites? She surprises her kiddo with a treat in her lunchbox, which makes her little scholar’s lunches a bit more exciting. For the other two hacks read below!

Sorry, kids. It is that time again. It's time for your parents to start celebrating, I mean, preparing for back to school (yay)! One of the biggest pains during the school year is packing a school lunch every freaking day. Okay, it's not that bad, but my kiddo can be picky and I'm always looking for creative ways to make lunch more fun for her and less work for me. 😉👏🏻 I wanted to share a couple tips with you guys, and I'd LOVE to hear any tips YOU have for making school lunches easier. I'll take all the help I can get. Tip 1: On Sunday my daughter and I discuss the lunch options we have for the week. It's our lunch meal planning. Tip 2: I do pack her lunch the night before. There's too much happening in the morning to pack food up. Tip 3: Sometimes I'll add a surprise to her lunch, like a treat. We typically save treats for after dinner, so this is one small way I can keep her lunches a little exciting. Okay, let's hear it. Do you have any school lunch tips? Are you ready for back to school? #ad #redtricycle #KEENkids #boundlesswonder

A photo posted by Chelsey Andrews (@thepapermama) on

 

6. Put your kids to work
Ken Kinzie and April Riehm are all about empowering their kids to make their own lunches. They find that their kids are more likely to eat lunches that they made themselves.

 

7. Trust that your kids are capable
We love Marlynn Jayme Schotland’s perspective: your kids are more capable than they let on. She gives her kids tasks like washing fruit to picking out juice boxes to help guide their independence and as a bonus, it helps make her family’s mornings a bit less hectic.

FOOD BLISS: Okay, fellow busy parents. Some of your kiddos just started back at school already (yowzas!) and some, like mine, don't start until after Labor Day. Thought I'd share my #1 Back to School lunch survival tip with y'all. Ready? —-drumroll, please—-> Have your kids make their own lunch! Wha wha what??!! Yes! Mine do, albeit not *every* day, but they've at least helped with lunch prep since kindergarten. Start them with small, basic tasks & work their way up to the whole lunch. This way, kids are more likely to eat their lunches since they chose what went in! And, it's one more opportunity to get them more comfortable in the kitchen 😃🙌🏼 Some tasks kids can do: -wash fruit -pick out crackers, granola bars, juice boxes, cheese sticks, etc. and pack them into lunchboxes -spread peanut (or almond!) butter & jelly on sandwich bread -scoop out leftover noodles, rice, meatballs, etc. into small containers & pack into lunchboxes -older kids can chop carrots, broccoli, celery and separate them into containers -refill & pack water bottles Trust me: your kids are more capable than they let on, and this is a great way to help guide their independence! Do your kids pack their own lunches? . . . #sponsored #RedTricycle #KEENkids #boundlesswonder . . .

A photo posted by Marlynn Jayme Schotland (@urbanblisslife) on

 

8. Prepare Everything on Sunday
Kendra Stanton’s pro tip: pack the entire week on Sunday. She says this will save you time, energy and may even prevent some future fine lines in the future!

 

9. Let your picky eater make the decisions
Picky eaters happen to the best of us. Sara Olsher’s daughter has a long history of picky eating. To help her daughter finish up her lunches, Sara gives C a choice by letting her choose her lunchbox and what goes in it.

 

These kids who have clearly mastered the lunchtime routine (with a little help from their savvy parents) are all outfitted in KEEN Kids’ Encanto shoes. Love the styles and want to get in on the fun? Click here to see KEEN’s newest collection of school-ready shoes and as an added bonus, get 15% off your order when you use code RedTricycle2016 at checkout. Offer valid July 29-Aug. 19, 2016. 

 

What other hacks and tips should we add to our list? How do you survive the lunchtime routine?