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Back To School Lunch Box Check List

It is Back To School Season! Are you freaking out about packing lunches yet? If so we have the PERFECT solution for you! We created a handy Back To School Lunch Box Check List just for you! This will give you ideas of what to pack and best of all it will make it EASY for you!

Back To School Lunch Box Checklist

Last week I shared my tip for how to freeze Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches. That is my go to when it comes to easy school lunches. Best of all it is perfect for after school snacks too for kids of all ages. If you are like me and you are an on-the-go Mom this is going to be a tip that will save you time and money.

Lunchbox Tip - Freeze PBJ's to Save You Time & Money

When it comes to packing lunches my go-to is Peanut Butter and Jelly.  Every Sunday I prep my school lunches for the week. I started doing this last year and it is a huge time saver for me in the mornings. Best of all I decided to create school lunch bins and my son now packs his own lunch.

That means there is NO complaining and less wasted food because he is choosing from the approved food bins and all the food that goes into the bins are foods that he likes to eat and portioned correctly.

School Lunch Packing Strategy That Works! Put the packing into your kids hands!

I purchased 6 bins at the dollar store. I prep and fill the bins on Sunday and then he grabs and packs his own lunches each evening. In the morning we quickly add an ice pack (love this DIY tip) and off he goes! This is a huge time saver for me and it also keeps him happy because he is choosing his own lunch each day.

I have drinks for him to choose from in one of our crisper drawers in the fridge.  This has been a huge WIN for our household. My son loves having ownership in packing his lunch, it saves me time and energy and each night this becomes HIS responsibility.

I use the following categories:

  • Protein (PBJ is our favorite)
  • Snacks
  • Veggies
  • Dairy
  • Fruit
  • Sweet Treat
  • Beverage

I hope this lunch packing strategy works as well for you as it does for us.  Be sure to print this Back To School Lunch Box Checklist and hang it on your fridge.  Hopefully it will help eliminate some of the stress when it comes to packing school lunches this year!  I also include extras for snacks for after school and before soccer!  This has been a great way for me to keep portion control in check too!

One of our favorite after school snacks is a Grilled PB&J.  It is a fun twist on the traditional PB&J and my son LOVES it!  It is an gooey warm version with a toasty crust that he flips for!  I serve it with a tall glass of milk and he is happy when he gets home and finds this snack!  It is his comfort food.  On busy days or days that he has soccer I normally prepare one of these delicious treats for him.


Grilled PB&J Sandwich

Print Recipe
Prep Time:1 minute
Cook Time:5 minutes
Total Time:6 minutes


  • Peanut Butter
  • Bread
  • Smucker's Jelly Jam or Preserves
  • Butter


  • Spread peanut butter and jam on bread. Press together to form sandwich.
  • In a medium skilled melt 1 TBSP butter.
  • Cook sandwich in medium skillet over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes per side or until browned.
  • Add an additional 1 TBSP butter to melt and flip.
Servings: 1
Author: Melissa Jennings

Other posts you may enjoy:

First Day of School Pancakes
Transitioning from Summer to School
After School Snack Ideas
Tips for Homework Success
Creating a Homework Station

Freeze PBJ's to save time when packing lunches for school

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  1. What a great list! This morning, I looked in my fridge with despair and frantically packed my teen a PB&J and a Go Go Squeeze. I think I’ll have to print off the list and start making my bins! Thanks for joining the #FridayLinkupParty this week!

  2. 5 stars
    We don’t generally put fruits and veggies in the lunchbox because we assume they will be thrown away. Apple sauce is about as fruity as we can expect the kids to eat when we are not watching.

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