For some reason in January I noticed there were a lot of searches on the blog for snack ideas and school lunch ideas. Usually I see those searches at the beginning of the school year but since people seemed to be looking for inspiration, I decided to put together a post with all sorts of lunch and snack ideas for the kiddos.
I do put some effort into lunchboxes. I usually spend 15-20 minutes per night making them for my girls and then I make something very similar for my husband and myself. I want my girls eating good food so they have energy to get through the day and so they can concentrate and focus on schoolwork in the afternoon. It is also important that they are excited to eat lunch- those of you with little ones know what a big deal lunch and snacks can be for children. Mine get extremely excited to open up lunchboxes and see what waits inside.
I usually pick my battles with food for the kiddos- dinnertime is when we arm wrestle over what they will eat- for lunch I prefer to stick to things I know they like. That eliminates waste and also they haven’t reached the stage yet where they just throw things away and pretend to have eaten it I can see exactly what they eat and for the most part these lunchboxes come home completely empty. Sadly my girls don’t like so many things– lunch meat (with the exception of salami or roast beef), avocados, most vegetables… the list goes on and on.
Oh and this school year the kids have been really excited for lunch– they actually open it in the car on the way to school and it is so fun to hear them chatter. “Oh look Addy we got watermelon today!” or whatever and I can hear them already sneaking a few bites of this or that. So I do feel the small amount of time at night really pays off.
Some things I take into consideration- I don’t pack things that will potentially get soggy like quesadillas or things that really are better hot like English Muffin pizzas. I also try not to pack things that will take too long to eat. The kids like to hurry through lunch to get to recess time so nothing fussy or they miss recess.
Anyhoo– these aren’t perfect lunches (we eat cookies and crackers and chips in moderation) but they are examples of things I have packed over the last month or so. I do wish I could have lunchboxes filled with broccoli and avocado and beets and tell you my little ones ate every bite- but sadly I tend to stick to cucumbers and carrots as I know they will for sure eat those. One of my kids is allowed peanut butter and one is allowed peanut butter but she has to sit in a specific section of the cafeteria so I try not to use it in her lunchbox. Otherwise, we don’t have any food allergies or other dietary concerns.