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Back to school time is just around the corner for kids in our area. We are buying school clothes, going to bed a little earlier, and trying to put a little more structure into our daily lives. Hopefully, this prep work will make the transition to the start of school a bit easier!
For me, the hardest part of this annual transition is the lunch packing. Our school doesn’t offer lunch, so we pack every day for 6 years. This chore gets really old, really fast.
Lunch packing isn’t just throwing a sandwich in a bag and calling it a day. First, we have to clean the counters to get rid of the peanut butter remnants that always seem to splatter across our kitchen. We are a heavy PB-eating family, but we are careful to make sure that kids at school with allergies are protected. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean DayⓇ Multi-Surface in Honeysuckle scent is our go-to cleaner for this task. It is made with essential oils and is free of parabens, phosphates, phthalates, and chlorine bleach so I feel solid about using it in the kitchen. It also cleans up peanut butter like the dickens.
After the counters are prepped we can get down to actually making the lunch. We use reusable lunch boxes with one lid so little hands don’t have to open a ton of containers. This year, with two kids in school for the first time, I decided that reusable snack bags would be a welcome addition to the lunch routine. They can hold all those crunchy snacks the littles love, but are much better for the environment than disposable baggies or individually packaged snacks. They can be washed by hand or in the dishwasher and used over and over. Since we are still in the middle of a kitchen renovation, I have been hand washing our bags with Mrs. Meyer’s Clean DayⓇ Dish Soap in Basil Scent that we find at Whole Foods Market. There is something in that garden fresh scent that makes the misery of a kitchen remodel actually tolerable!
– fabric – My pieces were 6.5 inches x 16 inches, but you can make these in whatever size you need them to be.
– plastic bags – I used the heavy duty gallon sized bags.
– binder clips
– sewing machine
1. Cut out fabric into a rectangle. As I mentioned, my pieces were 6.5 inches by 16 inches, but you can make yours whatever works for your needs.
2. Cut the top off your plastic bag.
3. Cut down the side seams of the plastic bag so you can lay it out flat.
4. Cut a piece of plastic bag the same size as your fabric.
5. Put the plastic on top of the RIGHT side of the fabric and hold them together with binder clips.
6. Stitch around most of the rectangle, leaving a 1-2 inch hole open.
7. Turn the stitched bag right side out by pulling it through the opening.
8. Top stitch the hole closed.
9. Create a bag shape by folding the rectangle so that the right sides of the fabric are touching. Make sure you leave a 1.5-2 inch lip of fabric so that you will have a flap to fold over to keep those snacks safe!
10. Stitch up the two sides of the folded bag.
11. Turn the bag right side out.
12. Cut out a piece of velcro that is 3-4 inches long and sew it to the bag and flap. I used stick on velcro, but stitched it in place so it can stand up to washing.
You can whip out enough bags to get you through a week of lunches in about an hour. Imagine all the healthy snacks you can shove in these bad boys! If you have any other tips for making lunch packing easier, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!!
Speaking of healthy snacks, this year Mrs. Meyer’s Clean DayⓇ is sponsoring the Whole Kids Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping kids eat better and enjoy it. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® will be donating $1 of each of the first 25,000 cleaning products purchased between 8/24/16 – 9/13/16 to the Whole Kids Foundation. The Foundation will then invest that $25,000 donation to support edible learning gardens and salad bars at schools.
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