Thursday, January 16, 2014

Getting back in the swing of things: School lunches

I'm back!  We survived an awesome Christmas season, and awesome vacation, and 3 weeks off from school.  This week, being the first week back to school has been exhausting.  Any one else out their pooped? (please don't let me be the only one!)

I thought that since this was our first back, I thought I would reacquaint myself with making lunches and maybe (don't worry if it doesn't) provide you with some inspiration for lunches.  
 First of all, for lunches in our house are bento style.  We use these lunch containers, and some square silicone baking cups from JoAnn's because I could use a coupon (I'm all about JoAnn's coupons!).  Here's the Amazon link, but it's cheaper to use your coupon.  These lunch containers sit nicely on top of the frozen ice thing inside his actual lunch box.

Before school started, I really wanted to find ways for my son to get a good lunch that he would actually eat (he can be a bit on the picky side, but he's a good eater!).  My research seemed to show that kids eat better when they see everything out in front of them.  I personally think that this looks fun.  I am not spending hours making it look to thematic, because my son told me he didn't want his sandwiches cut into the shapes of dinosaurs (I might have been a bit bummed. . . for about 10 minutes).
 I also heard to make a list of foods that your child actually enjoys eating, so when you go to the grocery store, just pick some of those things up.  Ethan's lists include veggies and ranch, laughing cow cheese and wheat thins, apples and caramel or peanut butter, PB crackers, pepperoni, chips and hummus, and deviled eggs.
I don't recommend buying prepackaged cut up apples. . . there are filled with all sorts of yucky chemicals.  I cut up and apple the night before, dipped it in Lemon Juice (oj works, too) and they are still crisp and pretty when my son eats them for lunch the next day.  The magic of citric acid.

 Another idea, is use different forms of bread, like tortillas or flatouts to make PBJ roll-ups.  It's a fun, different way make the same old thing new and exciting.

 Believe it or not, my son actually asked for salad.   It made me so proud!

Are you hungry yet?  I hope that this inspired you to think beyond a lunchable or PBJ for lunch.  
Do you have any lunch making tips?  What are your child's favorite lunch foods?

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