Back to School and the dreaded Lunch making process…

It that time…summer is over (sniff sniff) and the kids are headed back to school.  I am not ready.  I love summer and all things summer.  The start of the school year is hard for me for 2 main reasons.

Packing lunches.

Homework.

Bleh.

If you are on the struggle bus too, I am here for ya!  I know once the routine starts I will be ok and actually welcome it…but I am gonna complain for a few short minutes.  Because lets be real, 3rd grade and 5th grade are not easy.  Whew.  My brain hurts already.

 

In order to help my kids utilize their full brain power, I like to send them to school with good lunches.  Healthy eating is my jam, so I thought I would quit whining for a few minutes and share with you some of my favorite lunch resources and a list of things my kids take in their lunches.

I have these 2 cookbooks – and they have helped me ALOT in planning lunches.

The 2nd thing that has helped are these containers…

They are amazing!  They seal great & do not leak to the other compartment.  I love them!  I get mine at Target.  If you think you need 2…grab 3 or 4 cause you are gonna want more of them!

So, now for some yummy lunch items…

First lets talk SANDWICHES…

Just ask yourself this question, would you eat turkey on bread with a slice of cheese everyday?  If not, your kid is probably sick of it too.

Here’s how…

*Change the bread out – wheat is best, but switch it to croissant rolls, a whole wheat hamburger bun, sun dried tomato bread, rye bread, Hawaiin bread, bread from a local bakery or my kids favorites – use wraps!  The options are endless – try a different kind each week.

*Change out the cheese – try all types!  Dont just go with American slices everytime!  Variety is good! (and those are so gross 🙂

*Meat – I love to use rotisserie chicken (especially in wraps), chopped up chicken leftover from dinner, cook a ham & use that as lunch meat…when shopping for lunch meat I encourage you look for nitrate free meats.  Ham, turkey, roast beef, salami, pepperoni…endless options & guess what?!  You can combine these too!  You can also go meatless!  Do cheeses & skip the meat all together!  Make a nut butter sandwich (if allowed) with PBJ…but the key is to avoid sending the same thing everyday.  I know – late breaking news! Ha!  Excuse my sarcasm but I sometimes get in a rut too & do the same because its easy..but changing it up makes eating a lot more enjoyable and provides a variety of nutrients for your child.

*Add on’s – add toppings to it…bacon (yes bacon – sometimes I add this & my kids LOVE it), ranch, mayo, mustard, BBQ, avocado, hummus, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, spinach leaves, chopped up peppers and so on…

AND if you want to skip the old sandwich…

  • cheese & crackers
  • hummus & crackers
  • apple with peanut butter
  • veggies & dip
  • celery & peanut butter
  • popcorn instead of chips
  • fresh fruit of any kind
  • cottage cheese
  • yogurt with granola
  • hard boiled eggs
  • Corn Tortilla chips & salsa
  • salad
  • trail mix

The goal should be to send a variety and include a protein & carb of some type.  Let them help with it too – this will help them to be accountable too!  My kids help pack their lunches – they know they need a fruit, a vegetable and some type of protein.  It has been very cool to see how they make their selections and then how they recognize a balanced meal.

 

AND…I am not gonna lie, I keep these on hand for the days I just dont have it in me to make a lunch.

My kids love Lunchables.  They get them for special field trip days & things like that – no judging if you let your kid get em all the time…We are in this together & I get it…like I said before, food-healthy eating is my jam, so yes I am that mom…and we all got our thing right?!  So keeping real, keep easy things like this on hand on those busy crazy weeks.  I throw in a yogurt & and apple and thats a lunch.

Good luck mammas!  Its back to school and we will survive another year of the daily grind of lunches and homework.  I sure am glad I dont have to do it alone!  Glad you are here with me!

Stay tuned as I provide some insight later in the week to preparing YOUR lunch!

Peace, Love & Prayers,

Melanie