10 Tips for Packing Healthy School Lunches

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1. Buy a lunch box with compartments.

When I first started packing my son, Iain's lunches, I used a regular insulated lunch bag. What I noticed is that he would usually eat his sandwich, which was zipped into the bottom of the lunch bag, and he wouldn't eat the fruits and veggies and various snacks that I had packed in the big compartment of the lunch bag. After several years of lunches coming home partially eaten, I started to think about presentation. At the time, Iain had a little divided plate that he used for lunch and dinner at home, which got me thinking that he might be more likely to finish his lunch if he could see everything at once.

various lunch boxes with little compartments
various lunch boxes with little compartments

I decided to get a stainless steel PlanetBox, because it was easy to open and close—with no tricky Tupperware-type lids—and it seemed really durable. I have been packing lunches in the PlanetBox for the past three years and I love it. However, the PlanetBox is quite expensive, and there are many compartment-style lunch boxes out there that I'm sure would work equally well depending on the age of your child. What I like about divided lunch boxes is that soft foods don't get squished or beat up, and the different compartments force you to think about packing a balanced lunch with lots of variety.

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