School Lunches 2014: week 11

Are you starting to struggle with figuring out what to pack?  My weekly lunch plan really helps me out on days when I'm out of ideas.  I stick to my usual formula of Monday leftovers, Tuesday tortilla, Wednesday breakfast, Thursday lunchable and Friday Sandwich.  It really helps me keep it fresh and not repeat a lunch twice in one week, and I still feel like I have a lot of room for creativity within that framework.  You should give it a try. 

Last week was just four days of school - we had Tuesday off for Veteran's Day.  The kids were all super excited leading up to it. They aren't quite old enough to really understand what the day means, but they were still very excited to wish their older brother, an Iraq and Afghanistan Vet, a happy Veteran's Day. The oldest of mine were just babies when he went on his first deployment, and they couldn't quite understand why there wasn't a cake to celebrate the day. I had to explain more than once that it wasn't a birthday, and in the years to come we will make sure that they learn and understand what his, and every veteran's, service means to us.

After 10 full weeks of packing lunches, it was nice to have one day off.  We stuck with our mean and still had quesadillas for lunch on Tuesday, we just had them at home.  

But I was super happy with the lunches I did make this week.  They honestly weren't anything that special, but they all looked so pretty and colorful.  It doesn't really take any extra effort to do that, it's just arranging ordinary things in a visually attractive way.  Wrapping a red napkin around some cookies to make it a bit of a surprise, putting a bright red tomato in the middle of some nicely arranged cheese or cucumbers, or sticking a simple little fun toothpick in something. They looked like lunches that I think anybody would want to eat.

I also wanted to point out that some of the accessories I use in the lunches aren't just to make it look pretty.  The fact that they look nice is sometimes just a bonus - the real purpose is to keep things together and tidy in the lunchbox, and keep the food where I put it.  Skewers are great for keeping foods together, silicon muffin cups help create extra sections and keep things from moving around, little lidded containers are great for sauce and dips and yogurts.

Here are the lunches.  And if you're looking for any of the items I use in my lunches - don't forget to check out my Amazon store - you can click on the links at the end of this post, or I've added a  "shop" link in the main navigation at the top of the page.  

Leftovers day!  Pizza bites, a turkey burger, meatballs, cheese sandwich on homemade buns - just enough of each thing left for one child.  They each have an orange and some cookies wrapped in a napkin.  One has ketchup for dipping her meatballs, and a side of pickles.  The one with the buger has ketchup and carrots.  Pizza boy got some pear slices.  And the little girl with the cheese sandwiches got almonds and pear. 

Leftovers day!  Pizza bites, a turkey burger, meatballs, cheese sandwich on homemade buns - just enough of each thing left for one child.  They each have an orange and some cookies wrapped in a napkin.  One has ketchup for dipping her meatballs, and a side of pickles.  The one with the buger has ketchup and carrots.  Pizza boy got some pear slices.  And the little girl with the cheese sandwiches got almonds and pear. 

Breakfast for lunch.  Whole wheat blueberry muffins from the freezer, banana, orange, yogurt, and one has some ham. 

Breakfast for lunch.  Whole wheat blueberry muffins from the freezer, banana, orange, yogurt, and one has some ham. 

Cheese & cracker box.  With hummus (one has sunbutter), carrots, tomatoes. Two have ham and two have cucumbers. 

Cheese & cracker box.  With hummus (one has sunbutter), carrots, tomatoes. Two have ham and two have cucumbers. 

I think this might have been one of my favorite lunches so far.  It was just so pretty. And this has quickly become one of my kid's favorite lunches: make your own sandwich.  Honey whole wheat bread, cheese, various combinations of ham, cucumber, carrot, peppers, apples, depending on what each child likes.  Mayo for three of them, a side of yogurt for the fourth.  And they all have some cherry tomatoes. 

I think this might have been one of my favorite lunches so far.  It was just so pretty. And this has quickly become one of my kid's favorite lunches: make your own sandwich.  Honey whole wheat bread, cheese, various combinations of ham, cucumber, carrot, peppers, apples, depending on what each child likes.  Mayo for three of them, a side of yogurt for the fourth.  And they all have some cherry tomatoes. 

Looking for any of the products I use in my lunches?  Check out my Amazon store

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Lisa Marsh

Mom to two sets of twins.

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