Thursday, October 31, 2013

School lunches: What are you packing?

It's Thursday morning, time to pack school lunches. On Mondays, I start out fresh, excited, ready for another week. By Thursday, I am losing steam and running out of ideas.
 
Our littlest guy goes to pre-school 2 days a week, so on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have to pack double the lunches. Since those mornings tend to be a bit more hectic, I designate one of them PB&J Day.
 
PB&J is a treat around here, so limiting it to only one day a week keeps me from coping out on lunches. I tend to get stuck in the "lunch falls between two slices of bread" rut, and figure I'm not the only one.
 
I've compiled a Pinterest board full of Easy Lunchbox Ideas, but find that I don't end up using very many any of them. Here are a few of the lunches that have made the cut so far this school year.
  
Ham on wheat with apples, cheese-its, carrots and light-Ranch dip. PB granola bar and more apples for snack recess.
 
I am still a HUGE fan of these Easy Lunchbox containers I bought at the beginning of the last school year. They go right into the dishwasher and I'm only using pesky zip-lock bags for snack recess. Their website also has lots of lunch packing suggestions.   
The night before was pizza night, so left-over 5 Meat Stuffed Papa Murphy's it was! Along with the carrot sticks, apples and cheese-its.
 
One of Clayton's favorites, and another once a week lunch item, are mini-pizzas that I make on an English muffin.
 
Toast the muffin lightly in the toaster, and spread with marinara sauce.
 
Top with pepperoni, sliced olives and cheese - or other topping of your choosing. Cheese on top is best, it "glues" everything else together. Then pop it under the broiler until the cheese is all melted.
 
Wrap it in foil and you're good to go. Sides this day included carrot sticks and cherry tomatoes with light-Ranch dip, apples and animal crackers.
 
 
This day was another mini-pizza day, with carrot sticks, salad with sunflower seeds and bacon bits, and one of Grammy's chocolate chip cookies. The granola bar was for snack recess.
 
Another day with dinner left-overs - Pesto Shrimp Fettuccine, carrot sticks and raspberry-peach fruit salad.
 
The boys could not wait for cooler weather and Soup! These thermoses were about $14 each, but were well worth the money! They claim to keep hot food hot for 5 hours and cold food cold for 7 hours. I fill them with hot water and let them stand for 5-10 minutes in the morning, before putting soup into them.
 
I heat the soup in a pot on the stove and when it's hot, pour the water out of the thermoses and pour the soup in. This day was Beef & Barley Soup with Wheat Thins and carrot sticks. Little brother was excited to have his own soup lunch, too! Both of them said their soup was "Steamin' Hot" when lunchtime came 'round. Score! 
 
Maybe we've given you some lunch ideas.... and maybe not. Either way, we'd love to hear what you're packing! We are only 2 months into the school year, and inspiration is always welcome!
 
This is not a paid endorsement of Easy Lunchboxes, they don't even know how much we love them. However, if they'd like to send us a set of new containers, or a cooler bag, in exchange for suggesting everyone who reads this post runs out and purchases their very own set, well, we would definitely love that! :)
 

2 comments:

ellie k said...

My grandchildren pack there own lunch, my daughter keeps sandwich supplies, veggies and fruit on hand. If there is leftovers from dinner they usually take what ever that is.

Ellen Durrer said...

I can't wait for the day our boys can pack their own lunches! I have a feeling that day is still a few years off. Thank you for visiting, Ellie!