School Lunches 2014-2015: Weeks 18 & 19

We are not quite half way through the year and honestly I am starting to feel a little burnt out of ideas. The kids aren't tired of the food, it's just me.  I could easily just keeping rotating through the same dozen or so things until the end of time, and I think they would be ok. But when you're a stay at home mom, you don't have a whole lot of creative outlets, so making the lunches a little creative is sometimes just something I do to entertain myself.  I like to keep it interesting.  So over the next few weeks I'm going to try to come up with some new ideas, because I'm bored.

I'm sleepy too.  Due to a series of events (a flood, and then houseguests), we've had a boy sleeping on a blow-up in our room (squished right up against my side of the bed, because our room is so small that it didn't really fit) for the last 2 weeks.  I didn't really mind having him there, but he is my autistic child and he doesn't always sleep well.  He wakes up very early, and makes a bit of noise in the night, and I realize that I am suffering from some lack of sleep. He's back in his room now, and I am very much looking forward to catching up a bit on my sleep.  Well, as much as one can do with four kids. 

I'm sure the sleeplessness affects my creativity, and certainly affects my motivation to get creative.  So hopefully I'll perk up with more ideas once I've caught up a little. I also haven't managed to do a proper meal plan in a couple weeks.  But next week my husband is back to a full work schedule, which means I'm back to a full schedule of 100% of everything all day for the kids, so I need to get my game on again and get organized.  So watch for more updates on meal planning starting next week, more meals made ahead, and back to more organization.   I also have gotten a little lazy about making the lunches ahead of time.  Knowing that I had help in the morning let me ease off on my night before prep a little. But next week it's back to reality.  Oy.  I better go to bed. 

Anyway, back to the lunches.  We had two short weeks of school here, so I've got two short weeks of lunches in one post.  I did try a few new things, and a few new arrangements of old things.  And I've splurged a few times and bought berries, which I normally don't do in January but I'm just feeling the need for summer flavors.  My kids could send us to the poor house with their love of berries though, so I have to treat them as a special treat that I only buy occasionally.  Last week the store had pints of berries on sale for 2 for $5 (not organic, but I couldn't help myself), so I bought 2 of each kind they had - strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries.  They were all gone by the next day.  Otherwise, not a lot of reinventing the wheel here, there are several meals of leftovers, some quesadillas, some of our usual breakfast-for-lunch meals.  Ordinary stuff, by our standards.  This time of year when I don't splurge on berries our fruits are usually limited to apples, oranges, and bananas, and we're still getting some pears. 

Some of our favorite lunch products: 

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Mini taco cups: just corn tortillas, toasted in a muffin tin, filled with black beans and melted cheese, with sour cream for dipping, apples, and cheese. Honestly the taco cups weren't as big of a hit as I had hoped they would be.  They were a little bland. 

Mini taco cups: just corn tortillas, toasted in a muffin tin, filled with black beans and melted cheese, with sour cream for dipping, apples, and cheese. Honestly the taco cups weren't as big of a hit as I had hoped they would be.  They were a little bland. 

Pancake sandwiches, with homemade whole wheat pancakes, cream cheese (one has butter), and sliced apples.  On the side they have cheese, cheerios, banana, and apricots.  This was one of the most favorite meals I've made in a long time.  

Pancake sandwiches, with homemade whole wheat pancakes, cream cheese (one has butter), and sliced apples.  On the side they have cheese, cheerios, banana, and apricots.  This was one of the most favorite meals I've made in a long time.  

Pinwheels: tortillas rolled with cheese, two have ham, one has peppers, carrots and cabbage. They have carrots and oranges on the side, and one has sour cream, one has cottage cheese, one has yogurt with honey, one has sunbutter.  This meal was a hit with all but one - she didn't touch her cheese only pinwheels. 

Pinwheels: tortillas rolled with cheese, two have ham, one has peppers, carrots and cabbage. They have carrots and oranges on the side, and one has sour cream, one has cottage cheese, one has yogurt with honey, one has sunbutter.  This meal was a hit with all but one - she didn't touch her cheese only pinwheels. 

Leftovers for two: macaroni and cheese, tortilla and cheese rolls, with strawberries, blueberries, oranges, and carrots.  You can never, ever go wrong with Mac & Cheese. 

Leftovers for two: macaroni and cheese, tortilla and cheese rolls, with strawberries, blueberries, oranges, and carrots.  You can never, ever go wrong with Mac & Cheese. 

Leftovers again.  Two have a pork & rice soup, one has chicken ramen, one has udon noodles. One the side they have apples, almonds, raisins, and apricots.   I thought they would eat all of this, because they all devoured their soups when we had them for other meals.  But only one of the four  really ate much.  Oh well. 

Leftovers again.  Two have a pork & rice soup, one has chicken ramen, one has udon noodles. One the side they have apples, almonds, raisins, and apricots.   I thought they would eat all of this, because they all devoured their soups when we had them for other meals.  But only one of the four  really ate much.  Oh well. 

Quesadillas cut in strips.  On the side one has guacamole, one has cottage cheese, one has yogurt, one has sour cream.  On the side they have tomatoes, oranges, and letter cookies.  Quesadillas are always a favorite. 

Quesadillas cut in strips.  On the side one has guacamole, one has cottage cheese, one has yogurt, one has sour cream.  On the side they have tomatoes, oranges, and letter cookies.  Quesadillas are always a favorite. 

Breakfast for lunch day.  In the thermos containers they have my homemade muesli, one has homemade blackberry jam with it.  They also have some strips of leftover waffle, and banana.  My kids love breakfast for lunch, this was almost all devoured. 

Breakfast for lunch day.  In the thermos containers they have my homemade muesli, one has homemade blackberry jam with it.  They also have some strips of leftover waffle, and banana.  My kids love breakfast for lunch, this was almost all devoured. 

Two have fish tacos - just fish sticks, corn tortilla, shredded cheese, cabbage, one has guacamole and one has refried beans. They have carrots, oranges, and cheese on the side.  The other two have refried beans, cheese, carrots, banana, and pears.   This was a very popular lunch.  One child didn't eat her beans.  But I think she's on a hunger strike this week, unless I give her breakfast foods. 

Two have fish tacos - just fish sticks, corn tortilla, shredded cheese, cabbage, one has guacamole and one has refried beans. They have carrots, oranges, and cheese on the side.  The other two have refried beans, cheese, carrots, banana, and pears.   This was a very popular lunch.  One child didn't eat her beans.  But I think she's on a hunger strike this week, unless I give her breakfast foods. 

One has leftover macaroni and cheese, the other has my homemade instant oatmeal.  On the side they have grapes, tomatoes, cheese, and a few bites of hot dog.  They ate nearly every bite. 

One has leftover macaroni and cheese, the other has my homemade instant oatmeal.  On the side they have grapes, tomatoes, cheese, and a few bites of hot dog.  They ate nearly every bite. 

Saturday ski lunches for 6: PB&J.  Good white bread from a local bakery (no mystery ingredients!), Trader Joe's peanut butter (ingredients: peanuts, salt), and homemade jam (four have strawberry, two have blackberry).  Cheese cutouts on top, carrots in the middle, on the side there are grapes, strawberries, and chocolate.  

Saturday ski lunches for 6: PB&J.  Good white bread from a local bakery (no mystery ingredients!), Trader Joe's peanut butter (ingredients: peanuts, salt), and homemade jam (four have strawberry, two have blackberry).  Cheese cutouts on top, carrots in the middle, on the side there are grapes, strawberries, and chocolate.  

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Lisa Marsh

Mom to two sets of twins.

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