Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sack Lunches

With school starting again, my mind has been turning with ideas for lunches. I don't like the food choices that are offered through our school lunch so I send a sack lunch with my kids every day. Dave takes one to work, and Syd takes one to preschool. Because of so many lunches going out every day, I really try to think of something new to add. My SIL Emily and I were talking about this very topic last week, and I promised her an e-mail of my ideas for lunches. Thought there might be someone else out there that may be interested in some new sack lunch ideas. I always include an ice pack in the lunch every day as well as a water bottle that has ice in it. I try to use Tupperware as much as possible so we don’t go through a gazillion baggies during the school year. I really try hard NOT to include chips (we don’t really buy chips unless we’re going somewhere…beach, park, road trip) and real desserts.

Here are some things that I’ve done in the past that the kids/Dave enjoy out of the normal routine of sandwiches (PB&J/PB&Honey or Meat&Cheese):
Breadsticks (leftover)
Roll (leftover)
Naan (leftover)
Lunchables (Albertsons usually has them on sale for $1 every 2-3 months. I completely stock my fridge with them when that happens.)
Homemade lunchable (cut up cheese and meat with crackers)
Quesadilla (Pre-cooked)
Cheesy Chicken Strips
Tortilla Chips w/ a side of nacho cheese and/or salsa
Tortilla Roll-up (meat and cheese inside) Similar to this.
Sandwich on a bagel
Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Pasta (if your kid will eat cold pasta)
Mac-n-cheese (if your kid will eat cold pasta)
Pasta Salad
Pizza (if your kid will eat cold pizza)
Lunch meat wrapped around string cheese w/ or w/out a tortilla around that

I usually do one main thing and then choose 3-6 sides (JR eats way more than Sierra because he also takes a snack to recess as well):
Frozen Gogurt
Yogurt (w/ a spoon)
Applesauce cup/pouch (w/ a spoon)
String Cheese
Tortilla Chips
Pretzels w/ PB filling
Graham Crackers
Wheat Thins
Animal Crackers (although I can’t find the cinnamon flavored ones my kids prefer any more)
Trail Mix
Dried Fruit (Mango, Apples)
100 cal. Cracker/cookie pkgs (I don’t get these too often though)
Granola Bar/Fiber One Bar
Fruit Leather (LOVE, LOVE the brand Costco use to carry because it was affordable. Haven't had it for awhile so we've been going w/out for now. Although, JR loves it when I make my own fruit leather.)
Fruit Roll-up
Nutri-Grain Bar
Homemade cookie (this doesn’t happen often)
Fruit Snack (only if I have nothing else)
Fruit Cup
Banana Bread
Dry Cereal (Granola, Chex, Cherrios, Kix, etc.)
Homemade Granola
Homemade Trail Mix (Almonds, Cashews, White Choc. Chips, Craisins, Coconut)

Every day I include one fresh veggie and one fresh fruit (these are part of my 3-6 sides) Here’s ideas for that:
Sugar Snap Peas
Salad w/ dressing on the side (I just saw a small tupperware with a small little cup for salad dressing in the lid at WalMart when I was buying new Tupperware for the school year)
Red/Orange/Yellow Peppers

Fruits: Sometimes I’ll add a dipping sauce for the veggie or fruit...peanut butter, ranch, caramel sauce. Don’t forget a napkin if it’s a juicy fruit!
Orange slices (Although JR takes a whole orange and I send an orange peeler w/ his lunch)
Apples (all varieties)
Watermelon (cut up and w/ a fork)
Banana (although, these tend to get a little too warm so be sure to have a very firm banana)
Cantaloupe slice

A couple websites and other ideas
*A Well Rounded Life This website is by a friend of my from college. She’s very health conscious and doesn’t used packaged anything.
*Mel's Kitchen Cafe I visit this website for dinner ideas. She posted sack lunch ideas today as well.
*I know a couple moms who heat leftovers and put them in a thermos in their kids’ lunches. They are still warm by the time their kid eats it at lunch time.
*I’ve seen a couple kids at preschool w/ the French toast sticks in their lunches.

I would LOVE any of your innovative lunch ideas as well!!!!! :)