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Archive for the ‘What’s In Your Lunch Box’ Category

I said that title like the Capital One vikings while typing that out and I bet you will now too!

Today’s “Back To School” topic is, you guessed it, lunches!  If you have picky eaters like I do, you will rarely be able to take advantage of the lunches your school has to offer so you will have to pack about 90% (or maybe even 100%) of your kids 180 lunches they will have at school this year.  The problem I often would run into with packing lunches for my kids is that they get bored having the same old thing every day.  Over the last 5 years I’ve had to come up with ways to fight off lunch time boredom but before I share those with you I thought I’d share a few rules we have about packing lunches.

Lunch Packing Rules:

1)  They have to help pack their lunches.  First of all this teaches them responsibility and helps them to learn how to make their own lunch so that you aren’t still doing it when they are seniors.  Second of all it avoids the “I didn’t want that for lunch” complaint.  If they are helping you, then you know that they will be happy with what’s in their lunch.

2)  Their lunch has to include a protein.  Wether its peanut butter on their sandwich or turkey bites in a baggy, there has to be some protein in their lunches.

3)  Their lunch has to include a fruit or vegetable.  I don’t care if they have both a fruit or vegetable, but it has to be at least one or the other.  I also don’t care if it’s fresh, dried or canned, as long as they are getting a serving from the fruit and vegetable group, I’m happy.

4)  If they are going to want soup or left overs that need to be heated they need to leave a note on the counter the night before school so that I can heat it up right away the next morning, put it in their thermos and pack it in their lunch boxes.

And now onto how I’ve learned to help…

Fight Off Lunch Time Boredom

Wrap It Up – Keep burrito shells on hand so that your kids can choose between a sandwich or a wrap.  My kids enjoy both and  like that they have the choice between the two.  Keep deli meats, lettuce, tomatoes, whatever it is your kids like on their wraps/sandwiches on hand and let them help build it the night before school.

 

Lunchable Style – My kids love Lunchables but I very rarely get them for them (Maybe 2 times a year, maybe.) because they are so expensive.  But they are always thrilled when we have summer sausage on hand and I let them exchange a sandwich or wrap for some crackers with cheese and meat!  It feels a little like a Lunchable and gives them another switch up on the sandwich.

Some Like It Hot –  On cool fall and winter days my kids occasionally like to bring warm soup to sip at lunch the next day or we might have had their favorite hot dish for dinner and they want to bring left overs.  It’s super easy to throw these things in the microwave in the morning, pour it in their thermos and place in their lunch boxes in the morning.  And it’s another way to fight off sandwich boredom!  Just remember to pack crackers if they are bringing soup.

Cut It Out – My kids love it when I cut their sandwich out with a cookie cutter.  LOVE IT!  When I saw the picture on the right on Pinterest I knew right away what their first day of school sandwich would be…isn’t that the cutest cut out sandwich ever?!   I know my kids will love the sprinkles!

Surprise Them – I love it when I pick my kids up from school and they say, “Thank you so much, Mom, for putting a cookie in my lunch today!”  Who wouldn’t like to open their lunch box and find a brownie, candy, chips or some other treat inside?  Yes, I know they aren’t the healthiest things to put in your child’s lunch but it’s okay to satisfy a sweet tooth now and then.  I think my kids favorite thing that I surprise them with is when they open their thermos expecting juice and it has hot chocolate instead!  Another surprise my kids love is when I leave a little note in their lunch box for them.  This little “Love You To Pieces” jar is such a cute little note and treat in one idea, though for at school it would probably be best in a baggy.

Make A Date – My kids love it when my husband or I join them at school to have lunch with them and their friends or take them out for lunch.  We only have lunch with one child at a time so that it’s special for them.  I prefer to take them out to eat but my kids love it when we stay at the school because they like to introduce me to their friends.  Either way it’s a fun little date!

I hope you gain some useful tips that you and your child will enjoy.  If you have any other ideas to spice up lunches that I haven’t shared feel free to share below in the comments section.  I always enjoy hearing from all of you!

* All pictures are courtesy of Google imaging and other sites.  Most of the images link to other great lunch time ideas like what to pack, healthy lunches, etc. and are worth checking out.

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