September 9, 2016

School Lunches Ideas.

A few weeks into the school year and we are finally getting into the swing of things. Again. I'm still trying to grasp the fact that we have a second grader. SECOND GRADER. Where did the time go?! I'm so proud of the little man he's becoming. We done good.

I always set goals for myself at the beginning of the school year. 
1. Make lunch
2. Set out clothes for the week
3. Don't be late
4. Join PTA
5. Volunteer when possible

Lunches are my number one priority. Last year M ate a ton at school and it was just not sitting well for me...or my pocket. Granted I am impressed with how far the school lunches have come. I'm not saying absolutely NO school lunches either-M likes pizza, which they serve on Fridays, so he'll eat school lunch every other Friday. I also realize that many parents don't have the time to pack lunches and that's okay too. However, I want to be in control of what my little guy eats. Lunches from home, in my opinion, are the way to go. 

A balanced lunch is key. If a lunch is prepared with a sandwich, chips and cookies...well that's not exactly a 'balanced' lunch. Don't forget to include veggies and fruit! 

When M was younger I would go at great lengths to make his lunch interesting and fun for him to eat...cutting his sandwiches with cool cookie cutters, fun picks to grab fruit or cheese with...he's now informed me that he's not little anymore so no more need for that stuff. [sigh]

I still try. I'm going to continue making his lunches as fun as I can...until he catches on and says otherwise. 

I mentioned above that M likes pizza. He's asked me on several occasions to buy the pizza lunchables, you know, the ones you assemble. I don't normally buy lunchables. At all. But monkey see, monkey want. I opted to make my own version instead.

Sandwich thin bread slices, turkey pepperoni, organic shredded cheese and organic pizza sauce. Easy peasy.  The little dino reusable bag holds baby carrots. I purchased the bag years ago on Etsy when M started going to pre-k. I can't seem to find the exact shop, however, you can purchase a similar one here or here or here [velcro closure].

M is a huge Lego fan and these containers are awesome!

You can purchase in different colors too. You can find them here and here

Hot Dogs.
I always opt for the turkey or chicken option if offered, including hot dogs. Turkey dogs are so yummy! I cook the turkey dog right before we head out the door and immediately wrap in aluminum foil so it keeps warm until lunchtime.

This Sistema lunch cube is one of my favorites to use for lunches! Everything packs neatly in one container. For condiments, like ketchup, I use the Sistema squeeze bottle containers. They pack nicely and keep thicker liquids from spilling with the snap on cover.

I don't like sending M off with chips in his lunch, simply because he'll eat them first and not eat the rest of his food. The rice cake snacks are a good alternative. Ranch flavor is always a favorite. 

To divide small loose snacks I use cupcake tins. You can use reusable silicone ones or paper ones the kiddos can toss after each use. I alternate between the two. There's a bunch of cute and silly ones to make lunches fun. These jack-o-lantern and tie-dye ones are perfect for the upcoming festivities! 

Turkey Spinach Wrap.
A lighter option to bread. I use the Flatout Flatbread as the wrap. I use this Earth Balance mayo and then add my fillings. Turkey, cheese, spinach and avocado are M's favorites for sandwiches. They're perfect for wraps too!

 Another alternative to chips that M loves is Pirate Booty! I usually get the family size bag...I can't resist them myself :)

I make M's with turkey, spinach and mixed cheeses.
To keep warm I don't prepare this until about 5 minutes before we head out the door. I take if off the stovetop, wrap it in a paper towel then cover with aluminum foil. According to M, it's still warm when it's time for lunch. Yay!

I like to use sectioned containers for lunches. It's easier to portion while still being able to have a little bit of everything. This container I found a couple of years ago at Target [yaaass! for the dollar section]. You can find it in a set here or pretty much the same ones here. I use something similar for the Mr. and myself.

As you can see we're big fans of yogurt. I prefer to purchase the tube style for M. They don't take up a lot of space and you can fold them if necessary.

 So far my goal for packing lunches is being met. We'll see how I'm holding up mid year. If you have easy, kid-friendly lunch ideas to share please do so below! 



  1. If I was in Michael grade I would be jealous of his lunches.

  2. Just saw that you scratched off Join PTA from your to do list.....please do join. Since I am in your neighborhood I am going to assume we have kids at the same school. I am on the PTA board, and we can use all the help we can get. Especially, from someone as creative as you! :)

    1. haha Thank you! I'd love to join...however not sure if I have time... :( with working full-time and soccer practices I'm not sure how much I could dedicate to PTA. I will definitely look into though! :)