Freeze a wet sponge
Freeze a clean, wet sponge inside a resealable bag to use as an ice pack before lunch and refreshing face cleaner after lunch.

Stick on some googly eyes
A pair of googly eyes make anything fun, so save yourself the terror of packing an elaborate bento box and just stick some eyes on your kid’s banana, juice box, sandwich wrap, etc. instead.

Add a lunch box note
Anecdotal evidence suggests that a little love letter in every lunch box is more likely to result in the lunch being eaten. This may or may not be true, but it’s still a lovely way to say hello to your school kid, especially in the early days of back to school angst.

Pack the lunches the night before and store in the fridge or freezer.

Slice an apple, put it back together, secure with a rubber band – no brown!

Freeze drinks and they’ll double as an ice pack.

Make a week’s worth of sandwiches and freeze them in Ziploc bags. Put them into the lunch box frozen and they’ll be ready to go by lunchtime.

Use a straw to punch out a strawberry stem.

Pack leftover dinner into tubs and serve cold in the lunch box (you can also get Thermos containers to serve food warm if you’re keen).

Roast an extra chicken on Sundays and shred it to use in the lunches throughout the week – make a bunch of sandwiches and freeze them (see tip above!).

Pack a lunch box for yourself when you pack the kids’.

Have two sets of any plastic containers you need for packing lunch boxes – that way you can make the lunches the day before when the kids are at school.