The Lunch Idea:
Ugh, back to school. Oh, did I say that out loud? Sorry, but I really enjoyed having a two week break from packing lunches. I know you all must think that I love doing this, but even I get tired of the daily grind.
But back at it we are. I resolved this week to keep it simple. Basics that are easy for me to make, and that I can be pretty sure the kids will want to eat. Sandwiches are sort of my secret weapon that I keep in my back pocket. If you haven't noticed, I don't actually make them very often. It would be easy to do so, but I like to keep the really easy one in reserve, so that it's new and fresh when I really have no other idea for energy.
So a simple sandwich it was for the first day back from the holiday break.
What's in the Lunch:
- Two have ham & cheddar cheese with mayo
- Two have peanut butter and homemade jam. Sadly, the very last little bit of the raspberry jam from the summer.
- In the middle they all have a carrot.
- Pretzels and fresh strawberries on the side.
Questions and tips:
I made these lunches the night before. And every time I do that I get several questions about how do the sandwiches keep, and what do I do to keep them from getting soggy or dry.
- I pack in EasyLunchboxes. And while they are not completely leak proof, they do seal well enough to keep the food very fresh. I never have a problem with soggy or dry sandwiches, or chips and crackers getting soft, or fruit going bad. I've packed lunches up to three days ahead of time in these containers and the food holds up great.
- I always make sure that there is nothing wet touching the bread. I don't put things like lettuce or tomato on sandwiches that I am making ahead. Putting a good layer of mayo or butter - something oily - on the bread, helps seal it from the little bit of moisture that might come off the meat or cheese.
- Using a more dense whole or multi grain bread seems to help. Softer white breads are going to soak up moisture much more easily.
- For the PB&J - the J is jam, not jelly. Jelly is basically just juice that has been made to thicken when cool with the addition of pectin and cooked sugar. When it comes up to room temperature it does get more runny. Jam is made from the whole fruit, so it has more texture and fiber, and doesn't soak in to the bread nearly as much. Some people have also suggested putting the nut butter on both slices of bread and the jam in between. I haven't felt a need to try that, but it sounds like a great idea.