We’re back Toronto! And in true Yashy fashion I jumped right back into everyday life. We landed on a Wednesday and the Thursday was my birthday, but we also realized that we desperately needed to stock up on basics for our kitchen and we had to get the kids ready for school! No pressure, eh?
I had promised many friends I’d spend the weekend reconnecting with them, so all we had was one afternoon to spare for our back to school shopping. We decided to head on over to the one place we knew that would have everything we needed, not only for our grocery needs, but all our back to school needs as well. I love that Walmart carries a great selection of items, every day and for back to school even for my uniformed kids. White shirts and navy blue dresses can be found easily at Walmart, so not only were we able to grab lunch items but uniforms were checked off the list as well.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Walmart Canada as part of the Back to School Lunch and Snack Solutions program. In exchange for this review, I have received special perks in the form of products and/or compensation. All opinions on this blog are TOTALLY ours!
I was on a tight schedule so we did our grocery run first and then allowed the kids to roam around the aisles picking up the lunch bags they needed for the new school year. I’m no longer a newbie when it comes to back to school shopping so I knew exactly what the kids needed and ushered them towards the items that would work best for them. For the last two years I’ve been prepping Little Monkey’s lunch bag the night before and this year with two kids in school, my plan is to get them involved in the lunch prep! Yes, I know Baby Boy is still only 3, but he’ll be 4 soon and I might as well teach him early on.
Tips for Easy Lunchbox Prep
- Lunchbox: My biggest advice is to get more than one lunchbox per kid so you don’t have to wait for the dishwasher each night! Of course you want to choose a lunchbox your child can easily open and close, but I’m also a fan of little containers in addition to the big lunchbox. Small containers are great when you want to send yogurt or dips and kids love the idea of having a variation of containers for snack time. The lunchboxes below come in all different colours and the small containers fit right in so it’s just one box to grab and go during the mad morning dashes.
- I really love the Cool Gear Bento box ($12.47) we bought because it’s collapsible and I can expand it for days when we have bulky items and then have it be relatively flat when needed. The second lunchbox we chose was a LunchBlox Salad Kit ($9.47), which I’ll be using for everything but salad! It comes with a cool ice pack, though I’m not sure Baby Boy will remember to bring it back! We also picked up water bottles ($3.17 each), which the kids were able to easily open and close when we tested them at the store. They are great for juice and water and I love that there are no straws and they are also leak proof!
- Snacks vs. Lunch: At our school they have two snack times and a lunch, which sounds like a lot of food I need to prep! I learned early on as long as I sent a mix of items, they would mostly get eaten! My meatballs have been a huge hit (especially since I sneak in the veggies and cottage cheese!) but I also like to mix in some easy options. Fruits are great, as are veggies. While I wish I had the time to make those cute faces on sandwiches and such, I don’t. I’m a busy working mom who is running towards her corporate day job right after the bus drop-off, so I figured I’d just offer a variety instead. Here are some of our go-to lunch menus and each item we were able to buy from Walmart’s quality selection of fresh groceries – and no, I don’t care whether they get eaten at lunch or snack time. As long as the lunchbox is empty by the time the kids get home from school, I’m happy!
- Prep Ahead: While I am definitely in charge of the lunchbox menu, I don’t plan to be the one making them this year. Nope! This year, the kids are going to pack their own lunchboxes and I’m going to supervise. It’ll be hard not to take over the task when I see them taking longer than I hope (or worse, fighting with each other), but I plan to give them some control this year. We prepare lunchboxes after dinner so sometimes we’re able to toss in some leftovers) and it’s one less thing to worry about in the morning. I even pour the juice into the bottles the night before, which is a small thing to do but definitely helps lessen the stress the next day.
Walmart is a great one-stop shopping solution for time-pressed families and we found our visit to be extremely productive. I was able to get the kids uniforms, their lunch containers and snacks for school, all in one place. We even stocked up on some basic pantry items that our kitchen needed.
If you’re looking for more school lunch ideas, check out your nearest Walmart for more affordable options that come in a variety of options! Have fun with your school lunch prep and don’t stress over it.