Few things make pint-sized snack fans happier than opening up their school lunch and finding a yummy helping of potato chips
, but when hungry kids discover a mountain of crushed chips where their mouthwatering morsels are supposed to be, things can get, well, messy.
Conquer the case of the smashed snacks with these packed lunch hacks that will make your life a whole lot tastier.
Pack Them in Plastic
Protect your salty snacks from certain destruction by packing them in a sturdy plastic container fitted with a secure lid. Try using Tupperware or repurpose emptied out yogurt containers or sour cream tubs. Their sizes are ideal for loading up one or two servings of chips,popcorn
, or pretzels, and it won’t matter if they get left behind in the lunch room.
Upcycle Your Chinese Takeout Containers
They’re affordable, they’re easy to find, and if they can keep your egg rolls and crab Rangoon safe they can do the same for your favorite snack foods. Sure, the cardboard may not survive the trip back home if it’s used as a stand in for a soccer ball at recess, but at these prices – free! – who cares? If you’re worried about moo goo gai pan stains negatively affecting your chips’ crunch factor, you can pick up brand new takeout-style boxes in an impressive array of colors and finishes at most party supply sites
or craft stores, and if you’re the creative type you can even customize them with drawings and decals specific to each hungry kiddo.
Pack like the Pros
If you want to protect your chips like a pro you have to think like one. To that end, we channeled professional packers and found cardboard tubes
that will keep our salt and vinegar chips in fine fettle until we’re ready to chow down. These tubes come in a variety of diameters, lengths, and even finishes, but our favorite design has a waxed interior that keeps moisture at bay and a screw-on lid for extra security.
To Pad and Protect
Whether you’ve run out of takeout containers or find yourself needing a last-minute fix, sometimes you just have to work with what you’ve already got. For many people that means transporting potato chips in standard plastic sandwich baggies, but these flimsy pouches provide little if any protection for fragile snack foods.
Still, if the baggies are all you have, you can boost your chips’ chances by giving them a little cushion. Put your goodie in a bag with a zip-lock seal, leaving plenty of extra room (don’t fill it to the top). Seal it almost all the way closed, leaving just enough room to insert a drinking straw. Blow through the straw until the baggie is inflates as far as it will go, then quickly slip the straw out and seal the baggie completely, creating a pocket of air that will give your snacks a little extra breathing room.
It’s not a fool proof plan, but at the very least you’ve made it more difficult for the bag to bounce around in a lunch box, and that’s worth something.