Credit: Tabitha Blue of FreshMommyBlog.com

The new school year is closer than you think! To help make the frantic morning rush easier, Tabitha Blue of the Fresh Mommy Blog shared her top five lunch box hacks with Us Weekly. 

1. The Clearwater, Florida–based mama of Aliyah, 9, Brayden, 6, Skylar, 3, and 6-week-old Aria uses cookie cutters to slice sandwiches into fun shapes such as butterflies and hearts. Pinched for time? Blue recommends freezing a week's worth of sandwiches (peanut butter, canned tuna and turkey are all safe bets!). “They will be thawed and ready to eat when it’s time for lunch,” she tells Us. 

2. “A common issue with healthy food such as apples is that they turn brown by the time lunch rolls around,” says Blue. Solution: After slicing that juicy Pink Lady, put the pieces back together and secure them around the core with a rubber band. 

3. Blue reduces her kids’ sugar intake by replacing juice boxes with bottles filled with frozen fruit and water. “The berries help keep the drink cold and it serves as a little reward when the water is finished!” she says. 

4. Personalize a meal with jokes and sweet notes. To make it easier, download free printable designs from the link here. Other bloggers swear by ‘magic message’ bananas. Just write on the peel with a toothpick, and within an hour, the words slowly appear.

5. Get creative! “Instead of sending a plain hot dog, slice it and kabob it with cheese,” Blue tells Us, “or use a rolling pin to flatten bread and create a roll-up or kid sushi.”

For more ideas on how to speed up packing and making fun lunches, check out Blue’s fresh lunch box recipes and ideas.

Blue is on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

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