Well, I wasn't about to go to all the trouble Biggie does. I mean, I'd hate to lose my status as a total slacker. But I did want to make the kids' lunches a little more interesting than your basic pb&j sandwich and chips.
Here are a couple of my very simple ideas.
I made a quadruple batch of pumpkin muffins and froze a few dozen of them. Now I can just pull out a muffin and put it in a container in my child's lunchbox. It keeps their lunch nice and cold and thaws so it's ready to eat by lunchtime. Plus, it's a sweet, yet healthy snack. They're also great for kiddos (a-hem, Savannah) who don't like to eat a big breakfast. Just pop one in the microwave for a few seconds on defrost and you're good to go!
I send snacks to school in reusable containers like this one I found at The Container Store. These are organic Snikiddy Snacks in mac-n-cheese flavor.
Instead of a plain ole sandwich, I sometimes put fillings (in this case, it's ham, cheese and Romaine lettuce) in a tortilla, roll it up, and then slice it into bite-sized pieces.
I sometimes send yogurt with granola or other cereal than can be sprinkled on it. It's fun, tasty and nutritious. In my container is Kashi Go Lean Crunch.
I usually buy large containers of Stonyfield Farms organic vanilla yogurt and scoop out a portion into a Tupperware snack cup. I send fresh fruit along with it and the kids can mix it in.
Here's another cool container I found at The Container Store. I fill it with fresh veggies and Marie's ranch dressing or fruit and yogurt mixed with cinnamon and sugar for dipping. The kids love these!
I got tired of the kids accidentally tossing or losing my silverware so I started sending them with plastic spoons and forks a couple years ago. This year, trying to be green, I got each of them a set of these stackable utensils for school lunches only. I've drilled in their heads that they are to bring them home under penalty of death. But if aliens swoop down and steal their utensils, at least it won't be breaking up my set of silverware at home. I have a few of these cute ice thingys in different shapes, to keep their lunches chilled too.
Instead of a sandwich, try giving your child some tuna, chicken or egg salad with crackers to spread it on.
I found these Crayons in the organic aisle at my grocery store. Jackson loves these and unlike most juices, these are pear based instead of apple based. For those who are sensitive to the salicylates in apples, these are an awesome find!
I found these cute little Rubbermaid juice boxes at The Container Store too. I can buy large containers of juice and just pour some into this container for lunchtime. It's much cheaper and more environmentally friendly.
Another way to make your sandwiches fun is by using a cookie cutter to make different shapes. You could even put a face on them with ketchup (too bad we're out of it thanks to Brooklyn), mustard, cream cheese, yogurt, olives, or other veggies. Cut out pumpkin shapes or leaves in the fall, snowmen or Christmas trees in the winter, hearts, shamrocks, or Easter bunnies for other holidays.
Here's an absolute favorite lunch of both Jackson & Lexi - Annie's Homegrown mac & cheese . I just cook it up in the morning and spoon it into these thermal containers from Lands' End. The kids tell me that the mac-n-cheese stays warm until lunchtime. This is a great way to send soup, pasta, or leftovers with your child for a delicious, hot alternative to sandwiches.
And one of my readers will get a Lands' End lunchbox of their choice for FREE! Choose from half a dozen styles in a whole rainbow of colors! <---- check them out here. And, of course, like everything else from Lands' End, they're well-made and durable as well as stylish and functional. You can't go wrong.
So, leave me a comment here with your favorite school lunch idea and I'll choose a random winner on Wednesday, September 23.