Friday, September 30, 2011

Bringing Our Lunch

This year, we moved from packing lunch 5 times to packing lunch 8 times during the week for the kids (3xM and 5xB).  I am one of those people who does not like to have the same thing for lunch every day and assume they also don't want to.  I also got a bit overwhelmed with the number of plastic bags we were using so I had to look for another solution for that problem.  Below is what we've learned so far this year, keeping in mind that it is only  just October.

Lunch options:

Honestly, they probably have a cheese sandwich or cheese quesadillas as two of their "main" lunch items each week.  Beyond that, we've been trying:

  • Baked Taquitos (with Sour Cream for dipping)
  • Leftover Homemade Pizza - cut into squares
  • Pizza Puffs - quarter refrigerated biscuits and wrap each quarter around 1/4 piece havarti and 1 piece turkey pepperoni -- bake at 375 or 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Faux lunchables - in a divided container stack pieces of cheese on one side and either turkey pepperoni or squares of lunch meat on the other.  (Yes, I am that mean mom that won't buy them lunchables-- sorry? )
  • Ham Roll-ups - using a round container, I have two layers around the edges and then circle cheese in the middle (close to a faux lunchable, but roll-ups are just cooler?)
  • Leftover tortellini or other pasta - we use the thermos for these to keep them warm -- not too popular for some reason
  • Leftover tuna "cookie" -- aka tuna patties - B recently decided he does like them afterall
  • Almond butter and jelly sandwiches - to get around the PB prohibition
  • Quesadillas - mostly just cheese, but sometimes more adventurous
  • Cheese and mayo sandwich -- the mainstay for them, no clue why they like it.  Sometimes I'm sneaky and add meat or vegetables, but they tend to rebel. Note, all sandwiches must be quartered into triangles, but you knew that, right?
Side items:
  • 2 Tb roasted sunflower seeds
  • Slices of green, yellow or red peppers (M only -- no go with B)
  • Yogurt - drinkable/squeezeable/regular -- mostly with B as M is pretty messy
  • Baby Carrots
  • Broccoli crowns (again, just M)
  • Applesauce- B has some variety of applesauce almost every day in varying flavors--- he loves it?
  • Packaged - diced peaches, pineapple or mixed fruit for days we're in a rush
  • Cheese sticks or baby bell (if main item isn't cheese)
  • Pretzels (if they are lucky)
  • Grapes
  • Strawberries
  • Bananas
  • Apples 
  • Celery (not too successfully)
  • Raisins (sometimes yogurt covered)
  • Craisins
  • Something like trail mix- but of course with no peanuts
  • Granola bar?
Lunch Containers:

Our collection now includes the following:
  • Reusies - we have snack and sandwich sizes for each, but lost the sandwich size of B's immediately.  They are a bit pricey, but I happened to find a  Groupon so finally took the plunge.  I am loving them.  Washable, easy, cute and they like delving in to see what is there (M sometimes invades her already made lunch for breakfast as she's curious and I end up re-packing it).  You can, actually fit a kid-size sandwich in the snack size usually, which is handy.  (We have: one with paper dolls on it that no longer is for sale, this one, this one and lost this one).

  • Foogo by Thermos Leak-Proof SS 10 oz Food Jar  - We have one of these for each kid.  They have not been as useful as I hoped as all the things that I have tried to send warm they are less "into" than quesadillas.  We'll keep trying as they both like them in concept and do it their pizza out of them, randomly. 

  • LunchBots Pico Stainless Steel Lunch Container - We bought this last spring when M was new to bringing her lunch.  It is really too small for a sandwich so it is usually for our faux lunchables or bringing a fruit and a veggie.

So, yes, I've seen the very cute bento lunches and cutting things into adorable shapes, but I'm just not sure that is realistic for us.  Beyond that, any awesome lunch ideas to share would be most welcome!

Ps. Yes, some of the above are affiliate links from which I get a teeny portion of items you buy using the links.  That said, this post is not sponsored by anyone and all reviews and ideas are purely my own.

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