School Lunches 2014: week 6

I figured I'd better get last week's lunches up before this week is over!  It was not a typical week for us, we had rotating days of kids coming home sick, and one day when two stayed home.  It was also a short week, with no school on Friday, which ended up working out just fine, because I think they were all ready for a quiet day at home to catch up on some rest.  Everyone seems recovered and healthy this week, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that maybe we're past the back to school sick season. 

A new revelation this week: make a lunch that gets the kids involved in their meal!  I was just feeling a little lazy and didn't want to take the extra minute to actually make the sandwiches myself.  So I just cut up all the stuff and put it in their containers, and told them they get to make their own sandwiches.  It turned out to be one of my most popular lunches ever!  They all loved it, and they were all so proud to come home and tell me that they made their own sandwich. They all ate more of that lunch than just about any one I've ever packed. That idea will definitely be going in regular rotation!

A few other lunch tips and reminders for this week:

  • Lunches are a great way to use up leftovers and clean out your fridge! Lunch doesn't have to be typical lunch food, leftover bites of dinner items make great and super easy lunches.
  • Sometimes just cutting things a little different is all it takes to get kids to eat - if it looks fun, they're more likely to try it.  That's why I like using little shaped cutters - you can make the typical 'boring' sandwich look like something new.  It also helps the lunch packer - do you get tired of making the same stuff all the time?  Just make it look a little more fun, and suddenly even though it's actually the same food, you feel like you've made a better lunch!  This works for sandwiches, quesadillas, fruit, veggies.
  • Including fun little accessories or utensils helps too - I have colored spoons and forks that I just got at the $1 aisle at my local Target, and the kids love them. 
  • Lesson learned for me this week: my kids won't eat grapes with seeds. 
  • Using a divided lunch container really does make lunch packing easy.  I like having a fixed space to work in. 

The two most common questions I get about my lunches:

Q: How do you keep that food warm, or do your kids really eat that at room temperature? 

A: Everything you see here is eaten at room temp, and my kids don't mind it at all.  Maybe my kids are odd, or maybe they've just gotten used to it, but it's really never been a problem.  Occasionally I will send something that really wouldn't be good cold - like soup or oatmeal - and on those days I pack the lunch in a thermos food jar to keep it warm. 

Q: How do you keep your apples from turning brown? 

A: I don't do anything.  I think that some of the more tart & crisp varieties don't turn brown as fast.  I always buy either Fuji or Gala apples, and extreme browning is never a problem.  A little discoloration will always happen, but my kids don't mind it. 

 

Links at the end to the products seen in these lunches. 

Monday: A little bit of weekend leftover cleanout.  Two have quesadillas left from sunday lunch, with sour cream for dipping.  One has leftover roast chicken with mayo for dipping.  And the fourth has leftover homemade pizza, cut into bites.  They all have carrots, dried bananas and grapes.  

Monday: A little bit of weekend leftover cleanout.  Two have quesadillas left from sunday lunch, with sour cream for dipping.  One has leftover roast chicken with mayo for dipping.  And the fourth has leftover homemade pizza, cut into bites.  They all have carrots, dried bananas and grapes.  

Tuesday: Applegate hot dogs on whole wheat buns, with a side of ketchup for dipping, apples, cheese, and yogurt for dessert. 

Tuesday: Applegate hot dogs on whole wheat buns, with a side of ketchup for dipping, apples, cheese, and yogurt for dessert. 

Wednesday: two stayed home sick, so only two lunches.  Peanut butter & jam on whole wheat bread, with carrots, apple, and yogurt covered star cookies.

Wednesday: two stayed home sick, so only two lunches.  Peanut butter & jam on whole wheat bread, with carrots, apple, and yogurt covered star cookies.

Thursday: make your own sandwich kits!  Honey wheat bread, slices of cheese, mayo, two have ham, one has sweet red peppers, and one who doesn't like mayo has a side of yogurt instead.  Plus seaweed snacks, apple, and banana. 

Thursday: make your own sandwich kits!  Honey wheat bread, slices of cheese, mayo, two have ham, one has sweet red peppers, and one who doesn't like mayo has a side of yogurt instead.  Plus seaweed snacks, apple, and banana. 

Some of my favorite lunch packing products: 

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Lisa Marsh

Mom to two sets of twins.

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