Sunday, November 23, 2014

School Lunch Ideas

This year I have two in school and they both take their lunch every day.  My youngest daughter is my picky eater so I have had to get a little creative when it comes to packing lunches.  I do not like to spend my evenings on this task so I came up with a list of things my girls will eat and have it on the side of our fridge so I can get some quick ideas.  Here's some things we pack...

Homemade lunchables:
1.       Pizza-open up a whole grain English muffin, put sauce on both sides and put the two sides back together.  Pack shredded cheese and small turkey pepperonis for them to add to pizza at lunch time (at lunch take the English muffin apart and have two small pizzas, sprinkle cheese and pepperonis on each half)

2.       Crackers sandwiches-whole wheat round crackers, lunch meat torn into small pieces, and cheese slices torn into small pieces.  

I love using these silicon muffin cups for packing several things in one container.
 Bagels-My girls prefer the smaller bagels and they like cream cheese or butter on them.  Or you could make sandwiches using them instead of sliced bread.

-pizza (put pepperoni and melt cheese then wrap up. Can add a side of marinara                                      sauce for dipping)
-pretty much anything you would make a sandwich out of you can make into a wrap                                    (pb&j, turkey, ham & cheese, etc)

Greek yogurt-add honey or fruit or granola

Greek yogurt with honey on top, granola on the side to mix in at lunch time.
Fruit kabobs-make a pattern of fruit on a skewer (grapes, blueberries, pineapple, clementine slice, strawberries, etc) You can add cheese cubes too.

Leftovers from dinner-if its something that needs to stay warm, use the containers that will keep food warm/cold for several hours 

Soup-use stay warm containers and pack with crackers or corn muffin

Tuna-mix some mayo, mustard, salt and pepper and send with crackers (put in stay warm/cold container)

Waffle Sandwich-heat up two whole grain waffles and put PB or Nutella if school is PB free, cream cheese, or almond butter, (my younger daughter loves pumpkin butter on hers) between the two waffles to make a sandwich

English Muffin-I like to get the seasonal flavors when they have them or whole wheat when they don't and add cream cheese (plain or flavored).  Sometimes, instead of cream cheese, I will do a pb&j or lunchmeat sandwich.
Whole wheat English muffin with pumpkin cream cheese

Roll-ups-Take a slice of lunch meat and a slice of cheese and roll them up together (might need to hold together with a toothpick)

Quesadilla Strips-Take a whole grain flour tortilla, sprinkle shredded cheese on it, heat in microwave (until cheese is melted-30ish seconds), fold tortilla in half then cut folded tortilla into smaller strips.  Send salsa or sour cream to dip strips in.

Italian Pasta-Take whole grain, cooked noodles and pour Italian dressing on, mix well.  Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.  Take in a stay warm/cold container.

Mac and Cheese-serve in a stay warm/cold container(my girls love a can of tuna mixed in)

Crackers-Whole wheat round crackers with a spoonful of pb in the middle.  Make sure you know if your child's cafeteria is peanut-free before sending these!

Favorite lunch side items/school snacks:
-granola bar
-small bagel
-Pirates Booty
-Babybel cheese, cheese sticks/bars/cubes
-cereal mix (1-2 cereals, maybe add in some raisins)
-fruit (apple, clementine, pear, container of grapes, strawberries, pineapple)
-squeezable applesauce
-pretzels (w/ or w/o hummus to dip)
-Go-gurt (stick in the freezer overnight & it will thaw by lunch time)
-homemade muffin (pumpkin is my kids' favorite, here's the recipe)
-Fig bars (we love these! Costco carries them.)

**My girls are not sandwich lovers so when I do pack a sandwich (and sometimes do this to waffle sandwiches, too) I cut them with a cookie cutter to make sandwich into a fun shape. My girls love it (and I don't hear "Mom why did you pack me a sandwich?" when they get home in the afternoons!)
**You don’t always have to pack a “Main Dish.”  Sometimes we just pack several “sides” (applesauce, homemade muffin, cheese stick, yogurt, apple, granola bar, veggies w/ ranch, pretzels, etc)

I hope some of these ideas help you and if you have any good ones, I'd love to hear...I'm always looking to add to my list!!

1 comment:

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