How to Pack the Perfect Lunch for School

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If getting your kids ready for school every day wasn't hard enough — from rolling them out of bed on time, to coordinating fashionable outfits, to putting the finishing touches on homework, phew! — there's always the added stress of packing a lunch. And why does it feel like this meal is either a humdrum leftover affair or a creation that comes home cold? We've solved this midday dilemma by gathering a list of options that are healthy, filling and delicious. Put away the peanut butter and jelly jars, because lunchtime is about to get a major upgrade! Start by crafting a new lunch box, and then fill it with the likes of baked kale chips, bran muffins, fruit racers and more. Your kids will gladly eat every last bite.

(Image: eHow)

Let Your Kid Carry Her Lunch in Style

The first step in packing the perfect lunch is having a something stylish to put it all in. Gone are the days of carrying around a boring brown paper sack: this insulated bag will simultaneously keep your kid's lunch cool and express her personality through fun fabrics. Lunchtime never looked so good.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Look Forward to Lunch With a Custom Lunch Box

Or, make your kid a lunch box that's as unique (and awesome!) as he is. Complete with a picture frame, chalkboard, notepad and a moveable storage container, this lunch box has all the answers. You're guaranteed to get an A+ on this one.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Make Eating Fruit Fun With These Tasty Race Cars

These adorable race cars will save you from ever having to hear another complaint from your kids when it comes to eating fruit. You'll need one apple slice, four grapes and two toothpicks for each car. Add a mini checkered flag for effect, and then the race is on to see who can finish their snack first.

(Image: Flavia Andrews)

A Crockpot Makes Putting Together Delicious Sandwiches Super Easy

Take the guess work out of what to pack for lunch with this slow cooker turkey breast recipe. Season the turkey, add broth and let it simmer in your crockpot for about 3 hours. Now you'll have enough meat to make sandwiches all week!

(Image: Ashley Manila)

Satisfy Salty Cravings With Baked Kale Chips

Send your kids to school with a snack you can feel good about. Baked kale chips are crunchy, packed full of nutrients and will keep them from reaching for a bag of greasy store-bought chips. Experiment with flavors, like garlic powder or cumin, to find out what your kids prefer!

(Image: Leigh Ann Chatagnier)

Healthy Snacks Can Taste Good, Too

These hearty and healthy bran muffins are great for breakfast, but they'll make the perfect addition to a lunch, too. Filled with the flavors of browned butter, cinnamon, vanilla and fresh blueberries, these muffins will turn you into super mom after your kids devour them.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Be the Cool Mom and Pack a Side of Crunchy Potato Chips

If you're going to let your kids indulge in potato chips, then you might as well make them as healthy as you can. Use the sharpest knife in your kitchen to slice the potatoes as thin as possible, and then bake them on a cooling rack. Get ready for the best chips ever — without the guilt.

(Image: Leigh Ann Chatagnier)

Reusable Snack Bags That'll Keep Food Fresh

Your eyes stir up your appetite, and these reusable snack bags look absolutely delicious. Cover your "eat it all" fabric with iron-on vinyl to make your snack bag reusable and waterproof. Now you can stop wasting all of those plastic snack bags and replace them with ones that are attractive and good for the environment.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Hide a Sweet Note in Your Kid's Lunch

Your kid's day will be made when she sees the sweet note you left in her lunchbox on the marbled paper you made together. What starts out as plain paper, water and ink turns into beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces of art. If your kiddo is too cool to get a note from Mom, then start a game of tic-tac-toe instead.

(Image: Lucy Akins)

A Little Dessert Goes a Long Way

Add a sweet treat to your kid's lunchbox and he'll chow through his sandwich to get to the dessert. Put together your own brownie mix and stay away from those unpronounceable ingredients in the store-bought versions. And if you make a double batch of the dry mix, you'll be able to whip up a batch of brownies during the weekend, too.

(Image: Jennifer Farley)
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