Thursday, September 18, 2008

Let's Do Lunch!

I've really been getting into preparing lunches for my kids this year. (Well, for Jackson anyway. The other kids have been mostly buying lunch at school.) What motivated me was meeting Biggie from Lunch in a Box at the BlogHer conference this summer. She's got a great site about all things bento. She has terrific pictures and instructions and ideas of healthy lunches packed in environmentally friendly containers. (Speaking of environmentally friendly containers, the lunch boxes from Lands' End are awesome for just this purpose! And I have one lunch container to give away to one lucky reader courtesy of Lands' End! Details at the bottom of this post.)

Well, I wasn't about to go to all the trouble Biggie does. I mean, I'd hate to lose my status as a total slacker. But I did want to make the kids' lunches a little more interesting than your basic pb&j sandwich and chips.

Here are a couple of my very simple ideas.


I made a quadruple batch of pumpkin muffins and froze a few dozen of them. Now I can just pull out a muffin and put it in a container in my child's lunchbox. It keeps their lunch nice and cold and thaws so it's ready to eat by lunchtime. Plus, it's a sweet, yet healthy snack. They're also great for kiddos (a-hem, Savannah) who don't like to eat a big breakfast. Just pop one in the microwave for a few seconds on defrost and you're good to go!

I send snacks to school in reusable containers like this one I found at The Container Store. These are organic Snikiddy Snacks in mac-n-cheese flavor.

Instead of a plain ole sandwich, I sometimes put fillings (in this case, it's ham, cheese and Romaine lettuce) in a tortilla, roll it up, and then slice it into bite-sized pieces.

I sometimes send yogurt with granola or other cereal than can be sprinkled on it. It's fun, tasty and nutritious. In my container is Kashi Go Lean Crunch.

I usually buy large containers of Stonyfield Farms organic vanilla yogurt and scoop out a portion into a Tupperware snack cup. I send fresh fruit along with it and the kids can mix it in.

Here's another cool container I found at The Container Store. I fill it with fresh veggies and Marie's ranch dressing or fruit and yogurt mixed with cinnamon and sugar for dipping. The kids love these!


I got tired of the kids accidentally tossing or losing my silverware so I started sending them with plastic spoons and forks a couple years ago. This year, trying to be green, I got each of them a set of these stackable utensils for school lunches only. I've drilled in their heads that they are to bring them home under penalty of death. But if aliens swoop down and steal their utensils, at least it won't be breaking up my set of silverware at home. I have a few of these cute ice thingys in different shapes, to keep their lunches chilled too.

Instead of a sandwich, try giving your child some tuna, chicken or egg salad with crackers to spread it on.

I found these Crayons in the organic aisle at my grocery store. Jackson loves these and unlike most juices, these are pear based instead of apple based. For those who are sensitive to the salicylates in apples, these are an awesome find!

I found these cute little Rubbermaid juice boxes at The Container Store too. I can buy large containers of juice and just pour some into this container for lunchtime. It's much cheaper and more environmentally friendly.

Another way to make your sandwiches fun is by using a cookie cutter to make different shapes. You could even put a face on them with ketchup (too bad we're out of it thanks to Brooklyn), mustard, cream cheese, yogurt, olives, or other veggies. Cut out pumpkin shapes or leaves in the fall, snowmen or Christmas trees in the winter, hearts, shamrocks, or Easter bunnies for other holidays.

Here's an absolute favorite lunch of both Jackson & Lexi - Annie's Homegrown mac & cheese . I just cook it up in the morning and spoon it into these thermal containers from Lands' End. The kids tell me that the mac-n-cheese stays warm until lunchtime. This is a great way to send soup, pasta, or leftovers with your child for a delicious, hot alternative to sandwiches.

And one of my readers will get a Lands' End lunchbox of their choice for FREE! Choose from half a dozen styles in a whole rainbow of colors! <---- check them out here. And, of course, like everything else from Lands' End, they're well-made and durable as well as stylish and functional. You can't go wrong.
So, leave me a comment here with your favorite school lunch idea and I'll choose a random winner on Wednesday, September 23.

508 comments:

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Necie said...

Those are cool!

Just your everyday average married momma... said...

My favorite lunch idea is to take a "salad" type with crackers or triscuit type crackers. The whole "bread and filling" thing gets old. I also used to make the wrap sandwiches too when I took lunches for work. I did/do this as well for my kids when they want to take a lunch, however lately we've been doing school lunch this year. I've just been so busy and spent on "new" ideas for them, plus I heard they were just throwing their food out or giving it away anyhow - at least with a school lunch I can HOPE they are eating SOME of it LOL!

Angel said...

Neat ideas! My daughter goes to preschool for a half day. She is not there for lunch, but we do pack breakfast. I would love to hear some ideas on this. We do the same thing about everyday..

Micki said...

I like to pack homemade lunchables. Healthy crackers, rolled up lunchmeat, cheese stick cut into 'coins', sometimes a few slices of pepperoni and a slice of wheat bread cut into quarters. There are a lot of variations, but those are our basics. Or we'll do chunks of meat and cheese along with pretzels so the kids can make their own kabobs.

I would dearly love to send reusable containers to school but somehow they never come home. I'm lucky if the lunchbox comes back!

Nicole said...

Thanks for all the ideas!! We're also a Feingold family, so we usually send snacks like the Envirokidz rice bars, Newman's Own pretzels or bananas. For dessert, my son loves Trader Joe's peanut butter cups or organic lollipops!

Vivian M said...

I cut up fruit and put it in a reusable plastic container. Kerri loves baby carrots and ranch dip. And easy make ahead snacks in containers: raisins, (we avoid nuts in case someone has an allergy), Yogos or yogurt covered fruit, craisins, goldfish crackers, cherry tomatoes, gummy fruits, etc.
Since our school does not allow juice, we send flavored water in a rubbermaid container (the teacher has no clue!).

Vicki said...

Oh I want one of these so bad!!! My kids (unfortunately) picked up my "food must never touch each other" phobia. These would be perfect for taking care of that! Although I send lunch with them girls almost every day, I' afraid I'm not very creative to give out advice. The thing my oldest loves most is soup in a thermos. My middle one love Uncrustables. They thaw in the lunchbox, and help keep the other stuff cold. I never win anything, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!
Vicki B.

JessiePut said...

I haven't had to make school lunches yet but, my 7 year old daughter was recently diagnosed with ADD and we are trying to alter her diet instead of medicating. It would be so great if I could give her a new lunch box to carry her lunch in since she is being so grown up about all of this.

Lippy said...

Great lunch ideas. My 5 year old loves soup. Tomato and homeade Italian Wedding are his favorites. Our problem is his chattiness. He never finishes his food.

Laura said...

I like to have a variety of colors. By talking to my kids about the colors of food, it encourages them to eat healthy...gotta get in that green, that yellow, that red! Obviously I can't do all the colors every day, but things like raisins are a staple for purple, sugared prunes (we say they are black), etc. Rainbow lunch!

N said...

Tomato salad with mozzarella, and a turkey, lettuce, and sprout sandwich on whole wheat bread. Yummy lunch for a college girl.

Jeff & Meg said...

Peanut Butter/Almond Butter Balls would be a favorite around here. Mix together equal parts creamed honey, peanut/almond butter, and almond meal. Roll into balls and roll in chopped nuts or chocolate chips or coconut or whatever. Mmmmm!

Stressed Out said...

Wow, Dawn... slacker no more! My kids (4 of em) like breakfast for lunch. Take those pancakes that you cooked for breakfast on the weekend, sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar on them, and roll them up like a taquito. (No need for syrup!)
The other thing they like it "reese cup sandwiches" (peanut butter and nutella) or PB and mini chocolate chips (just a couple sprinkled over it all.) Jif used to sell a PB like this but it was like $3 for a teeny tiny jar. We buy the PB in a 5# container for $8 and a bag of mini chocolate chips and we're good to go for weeks!
Ants on a log - celery with peanut butter and raisins - always a hit.
Yogurt with granola to sprinkle on top and apples misted with a little lemon juice (so they don't brown)to dip in the yogurt.

I have that Lands' End lunch both my two youngest - LOVE THEM!!! They're super easy to wipe out because there's no seams for the crumbs to get caught in. I'm now looking at those thermoses (is there a plural of thermos???)

Now I'm thinking to put cream of wheat in them with little ziploc bags of craisins or raisins and a little condiment pack of honey from KFC... (Whoever said to save the condiment packs from restaurants is sooo true. We do that all the time and never a soggy sandwich!)

I like the new Dawn, but don't forget to bring the old one out now and then...

Innocence Underrated said...

i don't pack lunch, but i have to pack my toddler's breakfast for daycare, i sooo could use one of those! for him it's waffles i cook up the night before (i add oatmeal, yogurt and fruit to the mix for healthier meal) with yogurt to dip it in, instead of way too sugary syrup; whatever fruit is handy; apples and peanut butter; english muffin breakfast pizzas (with egg, bacon pieces and cheese) breakfast burritos (scrambled eggs with cheese and salsa in a tortilla) ... and so on!

NicoleW said...

There are so many great ideas here! I am also a fan of the tortilla pinwheels....though we call it sandwich sushi. Sometimes all you need is a fun name to make things taste better. My mom was always a fan of the cookie cutter sandwiches. They work great for grilled cheese too which we ate cold for lunch as a treat.

Dee said...

Hey Dawn, I really need this lunch box for myself! The kiddos are all grown and gone, but I work 12 hour shifts and this would be be great for lunch and snacks!
My favorite lunch box meal is roll ups with ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato and ranch dressing.

Monica said...

My favorite school lunch idea is to give them whatever the heck I want and have them eat it all up, and thank me later.

Yeah, that hasn't worked for me yet.

CiNdYe said...

Wow ... you really have some great lunch ideas. I wish you were MY mama! Thanks for sharing.

Lacy said...

My boys love anything in a whole wheat pita pocket and the stonyfield stawberry yogert tubes frozen.

Mom to 4 said...

I put some peanut butter and a banana on a tortilla and roll it up in plastic wrap and send it in my kids lunches for a cool treat! They love it. And a new lunchbox would be great, now that my kids are back at school, and threatening to lose their lunchboxes so that they can buy.

julie said...

My son has a field trip to the pumpkin patch, with his daycare class, coming up. I have to send a sack lunch and I have no idea what I am going to send. He does not really eat sandwiches. He loves peanut butter and crackers, but is that really enough? Whew, sometimes things are just more of a hassle than the fun is worth

Anonymous said...

Oooooh! Pick me! Pick me! :o) With 4 kids in school now, I am trying to be more cost-conscious and pack lunches more often. Cool blog gift idea!

Erin

Anonymous said...

Thanks for some great ideas - I'm dreading what to pack next year for my son. He's such a picky eater and has food allergies. But I'm up for the challenge!
Ali/IL

Francesca Fine Jewelry said...

This is much faster than it sounds, as the food is cooking while you are getting the kids ready for school. In one pan, boil a hotdog. In another pan, heat up a can of soup (beef broth or a tomato or tomato rice soup are nice choices for this). Pour the soup in a thermos. Place the boiled hotdog right in the thermos with the soup. Put either a piece of bread or a hotdog roll in a bag or container. Your child has soup and a hotdog for lunch. The hotdog stays nice and warm this way. You can include oyster crackers or saltines in a baggie for the soup. My kids' teachers got such a big kick out of this that they started doing the same thing for their own lunches. My kids are older now and no more school lunches are to be made. But this one was the biggest hit with the kids as well as with the teachers.
Jean

Karla with a K said...

Wow, Dawn. There's probably even more than 419 comments now. Did you read them ALL?!! (You're amazing!)

So, I have nothing to offer for a suggestion for lunch. I do a sandwich (usually lunchmeat loaded with sodium, fat and preservatives,) try to get them to say they'll eat a piece of fresh fruit. And then some take a cheese stick, too. And sometimes I throw in cookies or chips for "dessert."

I'm stealing the "slacker" title from you.

Thanks for the contest!

the W* family said...

My son LOVES hardboiled eggs. I peel and slice one up for his lunch every day, and stick it in a ziploc.

He also loves it when I take an apple, slice it up, put a thin layer of peanut butter on the apples and put it BACK together with a rubberband. It's like a fun little puzzle and doesn't brown!

Nikki said...

My oldest just started school, so we're new to the 'packing of lunches' thing. Thanks for the great ideas, Dawn! And of course, we would LOVE to win a new lunchbox!

Susan (5 Minutes For Mom) said...

I love all your ideas and the photos add extra inspiration.

My first born Julia is just entering preschool, so her 'lunches' are just snacks so far. I am planning on crackers with cream cheese, or apple sauce, or cut fruit... stuff like that. (And water in a reusable plastic juice box, like you showed.)

Anonymous said...

Wednesday, September 23 . . . . Hmmmm, do you mean 2009? In 2008, September 23 is Tuesday! Maybe someone already pointed that out to you . . . . I wasn't about to read 400+ comments to find out!

Anyway, I found a cool lunch box (no pun intended!!) . . . you throw the whole lunch box in the freezer . . . it has ice-packs built into the liner. Leaves more room for lunch stuff without having to add an ice pack.

Lori L in Wisconsin

Angie said...

No kids at home but I love to pack leftovers for hubby. That is his favorite but he also likes PB&J. For lunch, I now love baked or grilled tofu (just recently tried it for the first time) served up with some spinach leaves and mushrooms with dressing. Yum!

Amanda P said...

Wow, you have such great ideas. Thanks for the list. I'd love to win the thermal containers.

Pam said...

I have been doing the reusable containers for my kids this year also ... my kids get so sick of sandwiches - so I let them pick what they want - most days it is a salad with croutons (dressing in a separate container until lunch time) some raw veggies, a go-gurt (frozen, it thaws by lunch time) and for protein a piece of ham rolled up.

Thanks for the chance to win!

Anonymous said...

You have great Ideas!!!!
My two kids like to pack their lunch. I also use reusable containers. I like to pack Chicken wraps with cheese and ranch dressing. I put the chicken in a thermos and put the cheese seperately. I out ranch dressing a little container. They can use the ranch dressing for the chicken wrap and also for dipping vegetables. I also pack a fruit and some crackers and cheese. They love this lunch!!! The lunch bag would be GREAT!!! Thanks!!!

Dragonfly4276@hotmail.com

Step Monster said...

to go with your non-sandwish tuna idea....we as kids used to do peanut butter and jelly crackers. I love making my kids lunch!
Therese C.

Joanie said...

Pick me!! I have three kiddos, the oldest in kindergarten, so I'm new to this packing lunches stuff. I loved everyone's ideas! My best one so far is to save the little Ranch dip cups from Wendy's or McDonald's to use with carrot sticks!

Bethany K said...

My mom used to give us theme lunches. Like everything would be green (green apple, celery sticks, spinach flavored tortilla for a wrap, etc) or everything would start with the same letter in the alphabet (celery sticks, chicken sandwich, chips, etc) and then we had to figure out the theme by time we got home. It was great fun.

Bethany K

Kelly with the Jello Belly said...

I am so proud of you! A smart slacker mom! I love the idea of the frozen muffin!!!!

Lenice said...

Thanks for the ideas!!!

~Elisabeth~ said...

These are great ideas Dawn! I'll have to tuck these ideas into the back of my mind for when my daughter starts school next year. Thanks again!

AmyFinSD said...

Love all the lunch ideas! My kids aren't big lunch packers, but my 9 year old would like to be...I just tend to be not-so-creative and hate the idea of her eating pbj so often. I'll have to try some of your ideas! Totally agree, too, about the threats regarding silverware tossed in the garbage at school!:)

Anonymous said...

OMG - those are great and I have been struggling with fun Lunch ideas-

PICK ME! Alice C. in Mississippi-

Virginia said...

I love to send vegetable cottage cheese for my daughter (and she loves it). It is light cottage cheese with tomato, celery, onion, bell pepper and pickle chopped up and stirred in. She eats it with crackers on the side (fun to dip with). It stays nice and cold with an ice pack. Great healthy, colorful lunch. And she is only 4 years old, in pre-school.

Eli and Angela said...

I try to cook enough dinner that there are leftovers for lunch the next day. Probably not the most original, but it works for us.
angelou22 at gmail dot com

ET @ Titus2:3-5 said...

My kids like the days when I send a mish-mash lunch. Looks something like this:
- goldfish crackers
- some sliced block cheese
- a few pieces of sandwich meat rolled up into little rolls
- a handfull of grapes
- a dollop of yougart.

LaLa said...

(Random Comment inserted here)

Christy said...

wow thanks so much for the crayons idea i have never heard of them and my 8 year old daughter has apple senstives so thats an awesome find thanks again!!

Anonymous said...

My kids like ham or turkey roll ups. Instead of using a tortilla, we use the deli meat as the "tortilla" and put cheese and lettuce and roll it up. Our school is nut-free so we're always searching for new ideas. Thanks for so many!

seva-and-leah said...

During the warm months, I like to pack a "fruit and yogurt" combination using frozen berries, stonyfield organic yogurt in "plain", a dash of honey (to sweeten the deal and boost their immune system) and Kashi granola (their current favorite is "orchard spice"). The frozen berries melt by lunch time, but keep the yogurt from going bad :)

Anonymous said...

We've just started bringing lunch to school after realizing it cost us $126 a month for school lunches. Love all of these ideas!! It's making it so much easier!
momof3beas@yahoo.com
Thanks!
Kara J

The Summers 5 said...

I love the chicken nugget idea in the thermos. I will have to try that my son would love it!!!! We would love a lands end lunch box here!!!! Thanks for all the great ideas!

shana said...

I just made TONS of homemade salsa which my boys LOVE. I found some GladWare bowls with screw on lids and filled one with salsa and added some baked corn chips in a baggie. I guess all of the kids wanted to try some of Caleb's lunch. :o)

I found you over at 5 Minutes for Mom. Love you site!

INSANITY ENJOYED said...

Im new to the packing lunches thing so I dont really have any great ideas..but I do like to put a little note somewhere in my son's lunch bag just to say "I love you." Thanks for the good ideas, maybe I can get my picky eater to try some of them.

Mandy P. said...

my kids love "banana dogs" - we use whole wheat hotdog buns and put a little pb on one side, preserves or jelly on the other and 1/2 a banana in the middle - it's a fun alternative to a regular pb&j sandwich. and no, the banana doesn't turn before lunch b/c the bun & air-tight resuable container protect it!
I LOVE the LandsEnd lunch box!!!

Angela said...

You are way more creative than I am. Would love the opportunity to have these.

Angela W.
Texas

Jawan said...

Wow, look at all those comments above. Random Interger will have fun with this giveaway.

I likey the HotStuff Lunchbox in Woodland Pine. Thanks for the food ideas. My two sons will appreciate something other than PB&J or Nutella sandwiches everyday.

geisme said...

Dawn, loved the lunch blog & ideas. Saw manic's comment as I was scrolling through & had to smile.
I know you like to do things easy- just stumbled upon a blog you might want to check out. At first glance it looks like it might fit for your special diet. They are gluten free(so maybe more towards the celiac side, but...)crockpot365.blogspot.com
Would love to win the lunch bag.
Thanks, -Gail

Hot Chica in Me said...

APPLE SMILES!! You slice/wedge a apple. Take 2 slices and put peanut butter on each one, then squish together. Take marshmallows sp? and use them to make the teeth. The peel of the apple is the red lips, peanut butter is the "glue" and then you have the teeth. My kids LOVE when I surprise them with these in their lunch. It's a great fun snack for them to make at home as well. It works well if you have several kids to make these for so you don't waste any of the apple slices/wedges.

Anonymous said...

Breakfast meals for lunch.......zucchini and eggs; cheesy eggs; Amy's mac and cheese; strawberries and yogurt....all yummy.

Gadillon@sbcglobal.net

Katie said...

I like lunch. And I wish I was cool enough to be proactive about it all the time. When I was in school though, the staple when I was tired of pb&j was a hardboiled egg, cheese, whole wheat crackers, a piece of fruit [often an orange] and...I don't remember. Usually something else. Some chips or something sweet [fruit snacks or a couple cookies or the like] or something depending on what was in the house at the time.

momathome43kids said...

Whoo Hoo, Lands End and Lunch, what could be better?! Thanks, Dawn.

Cecilia

Hege said...

I'd love to do this with my kids. But here in Norway we hang on to our three slices of bread with cheese...
And my kids are happy if they can have leftover pizza with them ;)

Katie W. said...

My kids like to take lunches, but I'm afraid I'm pretty boring next to yours! A sandwich, fruit, and a snack or some crackers. I'm going to need to try some of these! I like the thermos idea. Of course, I don't know that I'd actually get up and make mac and cheese that early in the morning, but it sure sounds cool.

Alison said...

What great lunch boxes! I'd love to have one.

Renee said...

I bet you'll hate me if I win...#460!!

Erika said...

lands end makes such awesome products....and the lunch box looks just as great :)
this would be perfect for my son. (or maybe my hubby who i'm trying to encourage to bring his lunch to work instead of buying!! :)

good luck everyone!
-erika j.

Tracie B. said...

Five kids - yay! Five lunches - boo! One new lunchbox - yay! Love your blog...

Gillian said...

My kids love to make different things from "Kinder Krunchies," a kids book of fun food ideas that Discovery Toys used to distribute (don't know if they still do) but the ideas are great! We also found a couple of good ones in "365 Foods Kids Love to Eat."

Ruth said...

I purchased a Lands End lunch box for my daughter a over a year ago. Last week I noticed the lining was starting to come off so I called Lands End on Saturday and they are replacing it at no charge to me. I should have the new lunch box by the end of this week and they are including a postage paid label to send the defective one back so I don't even pay shipping. You have to love their commitment to customer satisfaction.

Betsy said...

Great ideas, thanks! I like to freeze pint bottles of water and pack them in lunch boxes as the ice pack - by lunchtime they've melted and ready to drink, and there's no ice pack to remember to take home after the water's gone! I'm going to try this with juice packs as well!

Kathy in Alabama said...

I have three seven year olds, so that means lots of lunches. The insulated bags are a great idea!

Kathy

asbreedon said...

I love your lunch ideas. Now to put them into practice!

lbugsh2 said...

One of our favorite lunches is ants on a log. I take celery smear it with peanut butter in the center and put raisins on top. Then we add some crackers, and some juice or milk. It works like a charm and she does not realize celery is a veggie.
Stacy H.

Jenny's Vegcafe said...

So many great ideas! Next year I'll have to start packing lunches for my K'gartner and the only thing I know is that she likes cheese pizza lunchables and pbj.

Sarah said...

My kids are all about tortilla wraps. Anything I can send that they can dip...apples and PB, carrots and ranch dip. They love it!

I had never thought of sending a thermos of mac and cheese. That would totally work for one of my boys!

Traci Gregory said...

We do a lot of the same things you do, although I've yet to find containers I like for juice or water. Wah!

As for a luncbox treat, both of my kids love Babybel cheeses. They're portable - and fun! ;)

jdp said...

Am I too late? Those are awesome. I've not wanted to order something like that over the internet w/o actually SEEing it but need a set because my son is already asking for hot lunches with our chilly mornings.

Lunch ideas?

My son was asking why other kids get "lunchables" and he doesn't (just starting kindergarten and it already starts) so I got turkey, chicken and ham and instead of having it sliced like lunchmeat just got a thicker slab, cut it into chunks, cut some cheese "curls" with the cheese slicer and put it all with crackers in his box.

I think we might also try his turkey dogs with cheese that way.

Maybe make his own pizza squares too.

erin said...

HiDawn, please pick me, i really need this my son just started school and i am clueless about all this, i liked the torilla sandwich idea, my son hates sandwiches with bread, go figure!

Tamar said...

I get so lazy at night when it's time to make lunches. I make 4 lunches every night and usually each one is different! AAAAAHHHHHH!!

Becky in KCMO said...

What is Bento?

And thanks, Dawn, for making us all look bad again with June Cleaver packed lunches. You're awesome!

I would love a Land's End lunch sack. My DD just started MDO and her lunches are packed in a Target sack.

Oh, the lunch tip that my mom did in our lunches was freezing grapes. She would freeze grapes (which we loved) then they would thaw out and keep our sandwiches cool on days that we had lunch meat sandwiches instead of pb&J.

Angela said...

My 7 year olds favorite things are homemade lunchables. But in colder weather I like to send ABC soup but I get the kind without the meatballs and then make my own turkey balls with a flaxseed egg binder its way healthier. I make a bunch of tiny ones and freeze and then add them to soups and sauces. Now my husband wants to take that stuff too and we only have the one thermos : ).

Deb said...

My son started preschool this year and I was asking moms of older kids what to pack for lunch since I was clueless. I didn't want him to get bored with pb&j. I love your ideas! My son is also addicted to go-gurts, so I pack one a couple times a week!

The Ball Team said...

My big tip for school lunches is to know your kids - some will throw away the silverware no matter how to threat/bribe/conjole and other want the same old same old, day in, day out. I like to use leftovers, too, and leave love note in there, so they know that dear-old-mom at home is thinking of them. Love your blog - you crack me up!

Chrissy said...

I homeschool so no packing lunches for the kids, but my husband works 11pm to 7am so he takes left overs with him to work. I usually like to put together a whole meal for him, including vegetables, so I like to put veggies in a glass bowl for him to microwave in and season them and everything, then he just adds a little water and cooks them in the mic. That way he has fresh veggies and they are hot and ready when he is ready!

HeathSaw said...

I hope I am not too late! A coworker of mine once told me that her mom would fix pb&j sandwiches from a loaf of bread,put them back in the bag and freeze them. She would then pull it out, pop it in the lunch, and it would be thawed by the time they went to eat. Kind of like the uncrustables but DIY and you could do it all organic.

Also for yogurts- you need to check out Trader's Joe's Vanana. Vanilla and banana flavored and organic.

heidi said...

Well, I have lots of good ideas. Problem is, my picky eater goes to school, while I homeschool the kid who will eat anything. He likes the same thing everyday: PB&J, applesauce, organic fruit leather or granola bar and a juice drink.

My creativity is lost on him. The best I can do is freeze gogurts and let them thaw by lunchtime. Guess I'm losing this contest!

Sylvia said...

My son likes to take sliced meats and cheeses with crakers instead of a normal sandwich.

Missy said...

Using the thermos is a great idea for this winter! So many different things you can put in it.

Thanks


Missy

lauraking@gmail.com said...

I love the sandwich rolls, I think I'll do that myself! I actually buy the yogurts at the store with the granola on top but I think your way must be better.

valkyrie-lisa said...

Oh my goodness, I want one of those! I've had the same lunch bag for a dozen years now (seriously!), and it's starting to fall apart.
Here's my school lunch idea: instead of buying those horribly expensive Lunchables, buy a package of lunch meat, a block of cheddar, and a box of club crackers. Cut the cheddar and lunch meat yourself and save a lot of money.
Lisa

Elaine F. said...

My daughter likes to take cherry tomatoes in ranch dressing. I use containers from rubbermaid alot instead of sandwich baggies. They keep everything from getting smashed. Her lunches look alot like what you pack. She is autistic and goes to a school for autistic children. The teachers/aides told me they are always looking to see what she has in her lunch box. OF course, with them exclaiming over it helps my daughter to eat.LOL!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to get rid of my Wal-Mart bags for lunch!!!!

Deb

Samantha said...

I've been trying out bento for my 3 year old and myself. I love it!

Elissa said...

I freeze juice boxes as the "cold pack". By lunch time, juice is thawed and ready to drink. Sometimes I send cereal in a plastic bowl with milk money. Easy and different.

Izababy and KJ's Mom said...

Well... I guess it helps if I actually type my comment prior to clicking the "Publish Your Comment" button! Ooops! My bad. I just got so excited about the lunch totes... not for my kids but for myself! *hoping I win!*

HisWifeTheirMom said...

I do "homemade lunchables" that consist of whole wheat crackers, preservative free deli meat, and cheese. My kids love it when I use cookie cutters on the meat and cheese too.

Wednesday the 23rd? You mean Tues the 23rd, or Wed the 24th?

I wanna win!

leaner said...

Coolio. I needed some new lunch ideas. My 2nd grader is sick of pb&j.

Donna said...

Okay so I'm going to have to research what Bento style lunches are. But when we brown bag (sometimes there's hot lunch at school) I do try to make it healthy and interesting for my son. I do use the cookie cutters for the different sandwich shapes, or even just cut it up freestyle in a design and mix up the pieces in the sandwich container - then he has a puzzle to put together! I've got to get a small thermos container for him - he loves Mac & Cheese.

Allison S. in NC said...

ohhh cool lunchbox! my favorite lunch treat is a salad...i seperate all of my yummy toppings into their own reusable container and then assemble at work.

T. S. Timmons said...

I pack green apple slices and cream cheese carmel dip along with a tuna salad sandwich with BBQ chips that have to go on the sandwich! Can you tell my kiddos are very particular?

Colleen said...

Holy Crap! That's a lot of comments. :)

Well, you sort of already covered it, but my mom used to send us to school with cheese slices and crackers and we thought that was the best lunch ever. It was certainly more fun than the usual PB&J or budding-beef sandwich.

Sunny said...

What a good mommy you are!

Candi said...

My boys love peanut butter and honey sandwiches, yogurt with fruit, and string cheese.

Ashlee and Bill said...

Yeah for bento boxes. We're moving to Japan and I need some bento idea's so they won't get made fun of for their weird american lunches...

Amanda E said...

I don't have kids old enough to pack school lunches for, but when I do pack a lunch I usually pack up leftovers in reuseable containers. I have packed lunches for my husband and that has consisted of sanwiches, fruit and veggie slices and some sort of snacky item. It would certainly help out to have new lunch boxes and containers to pack the food in.

ChiefFamilyOfficer said...

I love Lunch in a Box and read it every day - but you have some great ideas too, Dawn!

My best tip is to keep some stand-by items in the freezer. I have frozen cooked meatballs and chicken nuggets, which I pack for preschool (the teachers heat up the food at lunch time). If my kids could take nut butters (their school is nut-free), I would also have a stash of pre-made PB&J sandwiches in the freezer.

trousseau4 said...

Hello Dawn,
I also cut cute shapes with cookie cutters. I also add little notes telling them I love them. I have even replaced the little paper in Hershey Kisses with a message of my own. I would love the new luch box. My kindergartener hates the school lunch and is a picky eater so I could really use this!!!

Jessica S said...

Oh how fun I would love this for my 3rd grader.

funny pics said...

waoooooooooooooooo i like this

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