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Old 12-29-2007, 07:58 AM   #21
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Re: Packed Lunches

My kids like cheese sandwiches (whatever bread they like, sharp cheddar cheese, butter & Branston Pickle on bread). For anyone not of recent English heritage, Branston is a jarred tangy pickled veggie spread that is soooooo yummy on cold meats & cheeses. Also, we buy the large containers of yogurt (plain & vanilla) and then have a stash of 4 oz Tupperware containers that I fill w/ yogurt and then they pick what fruit they want added (strawbs, blueberries, raspberries, plain). Peanut butter, banana & honey sandwiches are also a great hit. My mom used to make her sandwiches on frozen bread and by lunchtime the bread was thawed and sandwich wasn't soggy.

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Old 01-03-2008, 08:47 PM   #22
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Re: Packed Lunches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calliope View Post
While we do eat meat, I try to keep meat meals to a minimum. I tried Morningstar Farms corn dogs the other day..they are little mini ones. I baked them in the morning and then sent them with my daughter after they had cooled. They were a huge hit! She doesn't normally comment on her lunch, unless she hates it of course, but I have heard about those corn dogs for over 3 days.
You have one of those too? I swear... it's everyday.
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:19 PM   #23
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Re: Packed Lunches

DJ's really picky so I'm always at a loss for what to send him. He loves it when I send a little cup of peanut butter and some crackers so that he can make his own "cracker sandwiches" at lunchtime. He also likes pepperoni and cheese on crackers. The school sends home a "hot lunch" menu/order form for the whole month so I try to look at what they're serving and send something similar for him. Seems like he eats better if he has the same thing as his friends, even if it did come from home. I also usually send whatever fresh fruit we have around or dried or canned fruit if we don't have any fresh. And he's on a carrot thing lately...has to have those baby carrots at every meal!

James is a little harder since he's just learning to feed himself and hasn't really mastered the fork and spoon yet (and he's exhausted by lunchtime and very temperamental about what he eats!) He usually gets yogurt or fruit and pretzels or crackers or peanut butter crackers or occasionally leftovers if it's something I think he'll eat.

When we make our own trail mix, I put out a bunch of things on the counter and let the boys pick what they want to dump in: Dry cereal (Chex or Cheerios or something remotely healthy), raisins, dried bananas, dried blueberries, pretzels, nuts (whatever kind I have handy), M&Ms (although DJ knows that if he picks all the candies out and leaves the rest, he won't get to put candy in next time!)

ETA: They both really like granola bars too and DJ likes jello but he thinks it's "cooler" to have the prepackaged kind in the little cups rather than what I send him in a tupperware bowl! I asked him the other day if he ate his lunch and he said, no, he threw his yogurt away. I asked him why he did that and he said because he wanted to eat Noah's yogurt. When I looked in his lunchbox, there was the empty packaging from some yogurt with Dora or something on it!
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:07 AM   #24
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Re: Packed Lunches

My dd started pre-k so in her lunch is grapes,almonds,a serving of cheese and milk.Sometimes she will take a peanut butter sandwich but she's not a bread eater.
dh packs his every day-or should I say I pack it...unsweet tea,yougurt,almonds,Kashi granola bar,handful of sun chips,apple,banana, and a sandwich on homemade wheat bread.Of coarse that's for his snacks as well since he is gone usually 12 hours a day
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:37 AM   #25
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Re: Packed Lunches

We love veggie wraps...they can be made and wrapped up tight in advance. We fill tortillas with hummus, feta or mozzarella, and plenty of chopped veggies: cukes, red pepper, avocado, carrots, romaine, gr onions...whatever you have around. If you eat meat, you could add leftover chicken or whatever. We also love tortillas filled with smashed beans (pinto or black) with cheese, avocado and tomato salsa. Yummy! Like PP, we also love PB or cashew butter and banana sandwiches...these are great for a quick breakfast as well!
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Old 03-03-2008, 12:06 PM   #26
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Re: Packed Lunches

Thanks for the ideas. i have two to add... Homemade granola (super easy to make) for a "snack" w/ my DH or DS lunch. Also, my DH works constructions, so he is not around a microwave. I bought a plastic thermos (I think it is a stanley, but all plastic - he has it today, lol) and you can put soup, chili, or anything like that in is, zap in the microwave for 5 minutes and quickly screw the lid on. It is always still hot for his lunch even when we are down in the single digits all day during winter!

Another trick...I make a "wrap: using a tortilla and slicing up whatever leftover meat we happen to have in the fridge. I smear mayo or cream cheese on the tortilla, add meat, veggies and cheese and stick in DH lunch box. Works great when I forget to thaw out bread or am out!

I've also sent chips and salsa to work w/ DH.
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:28 AM   #27
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Re: Packed Lunches

We have just started using laptop lunchboxes and it has really helped our lunch variations.

DD is very picky and won't eat sandwiches unless they are grilled cheeses.

She does like tortilla shells spread with peanut butter and fresh fruit (apples, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, etc). I fold one in half and cut it into triangles for her lunch.

I also use tiny cookie cutters A LOT for her. She might not eat a few chunks of cheese, but if I cut them into shapes, she eats them everytime. LOL

So I buy a variety of block cheeses on sale, then slice them with a cheese slicer and and then use the tiny cookie cutters to cut them into shapes. Sometimes I freeze them, sometimes I just cut them fresh each day. Her favorites are cheddar, swiss and mozzerella.

She also loves green peppers cut into shapes.

Cucumber slices and celery w/ peanut butter (on the side for dipping) are favorites too.

I make homemade bread about once a week and I slice it and use the cutters to make little shapes of bread. She eats this with her cheese shapes. If I see our bread isn't going to be eaten in a day or two, then I slice it and cut it into shapes and put it in the freezer and just toss some in her lunch each day. It thaws before she eats lunch.

Nuts are another favorite for her...pistachios especially. I shell them the night before and put them in her lunchbox for morning.

Fresh fruits are a favorite...cantaloupe, mango, grapes, berries, etc.

Dry cereal mix (kix, cheerios, crispix, etc) is a good filler too.

Pickles and olives are a staple for her too. She also loves Doritos, so I put those in a tiny compartment each day. She gets about 5 Doritos each day. She is happy though and never asks to buy them at the snack counter at school for 50 cents. LOL

Oh, we do buy fruit snacks and she takes them occasionally too.

I make pudding homemade and put that in her lunch sometimes, but they have a very limited time to eat and that takes a little longer than the finger foods, so I don't send it often.

I usually send one sweet treat each day. Usually a cookie or a piece of candy. We bake treats once or twice a week and she takes those usually, or we'll buy a bag of candy at the store once a month or so and she just takes one of those each day instead. We rarely buy the candy though, we usually use her leftover holiday candy.

The laptop lunchbox (bento box) is a great system. The compartments are small and she's not overwhelmed buy the big sandwich bowl and missing things in the closed Tupperware snack bowls. The laptop box opens up to show all her food and there is only a lid or two (usually just over the peanut butter)...the rest is open (fits tight to the box when closed). She opens it up and is excited about all the food she sees. She actually told me that. LOL

Anyway, not trying to sell you one, just wanted to say that it really helped my picky dd with her eating habits.
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:06 AM   #28
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Re: Packed Lunches

My DS loves egg salad sandwiches. Also guacamole & chips, mmm.
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Old 03-28-2008, 07:42 AM   #29
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Re: Packed Lunches

This is a great topic! I’m always looking for ideas. I bring my lunch to work just about every singe day. It always amazes my coworkers that I can do that. Most people here just buy lunch. On the contrary, I couldn’t imagine spending $7+ dollars a day just on lunch!
I don’t have kids in school yet, but I also leave lunches at home for my sahd because he won’t cook so if there isn’t a healthy, ready-made meal, him and the kids are eating processed crap for lunch.

The first and foremost easiest thing to do is to always cook a double batch of whatever! I like to keep little microwaveable bowls with leftovers (pasta, couscous, rice, beans, stirfry, whatever was for dinner) ready. If you need these to go, you can just pre-warm them in the microwave and put them in a thermos. You can also make stuff that freezes well on weekends and build a nice freezer stash that you can just thaw and microwave. Pastas, lasagnas, soups, and casseroles usually freeze well.

My new favorite lunchtime tool: Tortillas! I get a couple of different flavor ones when I shop—tomato, spinach, wheat and flour (for the man who won’t eat wheat). Then whatever leftovers we had from dinner get packaged in a tortilla with any combo of the following: rice, shredded cheese, sour cream, dressing of any sort, cranberry sauce, steamed veggies, beans (I usually soak and cook them and have store them in the fridge or freezer for on-the-need basis, but canned ones will work as well). It never really gets dull because there are so many combos to make. Sometimes the strangest ingredients go so well together. I can give ideas of stuff we’ve had if anyone is interested in specifics, but you can easily just make them to include whatever you like. I package them up in saran wrap, keep them in the fridge or freezer, and warm in the microwave as needed. For a packed lunch, just warm them in the microwave (2 minutes on mid-power level or 4-5 minutes on mid-pwr if frozen), wrap in aluminum foil, then put in thermos.

As mentioned, I like to separate things as soon as I buy them for quick grabs, chopped veggies, fruits, cookies. I usually make yogurt, then slice up some strawberries or add some blueberries to it and separate into little bowls. This goes great with little bags of granola.

That stuff and the usual string cheese or bags of cubed cheese, crackers with pb (homemade, not the nasty pre-packaged ones), and pb/banana or grilled cheese/tomato sammys (you can make these in the morning and wrap them in aluminum). Potato salad, make extra for dinner then separate into lunchtime bowls…roasted broccoli wrapped in aluminum foil. And of course, fresh fruit is the easiest.

Oh, I’ll do tuna salad, but I usually like to have it in a little bowl, pack sliced bread in a separate ziplock then put it together at lunch time so it doesn’t get soggy. This might be harder for kids to do though.
You can make salads also by packing washed, dried, and chilled greens in a plastic bag with small holes. Pack dressing, tomatoes, croutons, etc in a separate container/baggie. But again, this is more for adults…I love freshly tossed salads at lunchtime!

We don’t eat meat btw, so I had to come up with creative stuff since the typical deli sandwiches were ruled out.
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Old 03-28-2008, 07:52 AM   #30
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Re: Packed Lunches

Oops, sorry, I realized I double posted a lot of ideas because when I sent this topic to print the first time it only printed out the first page of respones.
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