Sandwiches. By the time I’d graduated from high school, I never wanted to see one again.
We have a great hot lunch program at Michael’s school, but when he first started, he was such a picky eater, I knew there wasn’t much point signing him up, because he’d only eat half what was presented to him. Still, today, he can’t handle anything even remotely spicy, so we’ll probably continue to pack lunches for him every day.
Here are some ideas for back to school lunches for both yourself and the kidlets, that go beyond boring sandwiches.
Leftovers: whatever you make for dinner the night before, make extra, and send it in for lunch the next day. I do this with pasta, or I’ll make a big soup on the weekends, and I do it with pizza night, as well.
Wraps & rolls: I’ll often take a tortilla, and spread a little mayo and mustard on. Then, I’ll lay down some sliced meat, grate some cheese, add some lettuce, olives, salt and pepper. I roll it up, and slice it in half. You may need a toothpick to hold it together… Michael also likes peanut butter and banana sushi.
Salad in a Jar: I now make these for my lunches, and Michael likes them too!
Bentos: kids like finger food. Bentos are great for that, because they keep all the foods separate. You can literally build them a four-food-group lunch with bentos, but putting something from each food group in each of the little containers. Michael likes cucumbers and ranch dressing, so bentos are also perfect for that. You could make your own version of Lunchables with crackers and cheese and a little meat and some fruit and/or veg. You may find bento boxes at your local dollar store, or check out Raspberry Kids. Check out this post for some ideas about what to pack in your bento.
Food safety: Michael has a dual-compartment lunchbox: one for cold and one for regular. I also have a wide-mouth thermos for him for hot foods. You can buy little cold packs at the dollar store to keep cold things cold, or freeze juice boxes or small bottles of water for dual purposes.
Next up: Dinner!