The 10 best and worst ways to pack a school lunch

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The 10 best and worst ways to pack a school lunch

Worst: Brown Paper Bag

You may think the brown paper bag is the way to go, but it's not the most environmentally friendly option. Using them creates way more waste than anything reusable. (Plus, it's difficult to make everything fit properly into a paper bag without it getting smashed or spilled.) You may want to skip the plastic sandwich baggies for the same reason. Both are not the best options for the environment.

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Best: Lead-Free Lunch Box

Buy a reusable, washable lunch box instead. Make sure you avoid certain vinyl lunch boxes because some of them may contain harmful materials that you want to keep away from kids. You can opt for a waste-free sandwich baggie like these re-usable ones!

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Worst: One Big or Several Small Containers

Several containers are harder for your kids to keep up with, harder to fit into a lunch box, and they ultimately create more dishes for you to clean.

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Best: Bento Box Containers

A Bento box container carries well, keeps the food separate, and it takes up much less space in a lunchbox. You can use simple 3 compartment containers or an eco-friendly stainless steel one if you want to stay plastic-free.

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Worst: Cupcake in a Bag

This one might be obvious, but believe it or not, it happens. It's hard to predict just how much your child will be throwing his or her lunchbox around before it's time to eat. So anything that can get damaged in transit, like cupcakes, is probably not a good idea for a plastic bag.

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Best: Cupcakes in Mason Jar

Not only are these incredibly pretty, but your kid will love you for them because they can finally bring a cupcake to school for lunch. We suggest packing this on special occasions. Get the instructions here!

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Worst: Packaged Deli Meat

Lunch meat may seem like a healthy option, but not all deli meats are created equal. Packaged meats can contain sodium, preservatives, nitrates, and other fillers.

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Best: Whole Cuts

At the deli counter, look for whole cuts of meat. You can tell the difference between these because they will have a more natural looking shape than the processed meats.

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Worst: One Peanut Butter Slice, One Jelly Slice

If you spread jelly on one side of the bread and put the slices together, the jelly side will be soggy by lunchtime. The bread will look gross and mushy to kids, and we're pretty sure they won't want to eat it.

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Best: Jelly in the Middle

Smear peanut butter on both slices and then put jelly in the middle. This will keep the sandwich from getting soggy before it's time to eat.

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While all you moms have been searching for school lunch ideas, you might have overlooked a less obvious, but vitally important factor to consider: how to pack your kid's lunch. In the morning, it may seem like these little details don't matter, but they could be the difference between a good and bad lunch, a clean or messy lunch, and a safe or dangerous lunch.

If you've ever wondered how should you package a school lunch, if packaged foods are safe, or if there are hacks to keep food fresh, we have your answers! These tips and tricks will help you pack a better and safer school lunch, and will let you know what you shouldn't do when getting back-to-school ready.

Check out the slideshow above for the best and worst ways to pack a school lunch!

For more back-to-school content, click here, and check out our #BTSselfiesweeps for the chance to win the ultimate back-to-school prize pack!

Back to school supplies inspiration:

The 10 best and worst ways to pack a school lunch

Click through this slideshow for some back to school supply inspiration before you hit the stores. 

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Make sure your young artist has plenty of colored pencils this school year. 

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Any budding mathlete needs a protractor, compass, and plenty of pencils. 

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Be sure to stay organized with plenty of binders and file folders!

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A neat desk starts with all the right supplies in all the right places.

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Make sure you snag a pencil holder to keep track of all your writing utensils. 

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Gearing up for art class? Grab a new set of paint brushes before the school year begins.

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Composition notebooks are a must for any young writer.

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Make sure to get a stylish but sturdy new backpack to carry all these supplies!

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An assignment notebook or planner is sure to help you get everything done on time.

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Don't forget an iconic pink eraser! Pencil-top erasers are never enough.

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And of course, don't forget to assure all summer reading is finished before the first day!

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