FrugalGetting OrganizedRecipes

School Lunches

Is it to early to be thinking about back to school? Considering the flyers in my area are full of backpacks and pencil crayons, and Costco has Halloween costumes out now, I think it’s safe to start planning! Also, I’m going to have this baby any day/week, possibly not until the first week of school, so I if I can plan out some things now while I’m not nearly as sleep deprived, I’m going to.

This year my son will be going to school all day, and even though we live around the corner from the school, he will be staying for lunch (most kids do, and I don’t want him to feel like the only kid that has to leave, unless of course he wants to come home for lunch…). Last year all I had to pack was a morning snack (usually consisting of a granola bar, some fruit and some cheesy fish crackers), this year he will need a morning and afternoon snack plus his lunch. He isn’t much of a sandwich eater, unless you count Nutella (which he can’t take due to nut allergies), so I’ve been a little worried about what this sometimes picky eater will take.

For months, I have had in my head that August will be the month. To try new lunch ideas. To gradually drop his nap. To make sure we are practicing our writing. Well, today is August 1st! I’m 37 weeks pregnant and very tired, but I knew this was coming. It’s time to suck it up and get this stuff done! Thankfully Pinterest has pretty much done the job for me, as there are a MILLION pins filled with awesome lunch ideas for little kids. So this post is more about making a list of ideas for myself as to what I think my son will eat. He does enjoy a “plate of things” as we call it, for lunch and dinner sometimes too. Which is just a divided plate filled with random things: fruit, cheese, crackers, etc. Think the trendy bento style kids lunch without the over priced bento box. I plan on buying some divided containers for him, but they aren’t going to be the $50 stainless steel ones that’s for sure!

school lunches

So here is my list of foods that will be going into my son’s school lunch:

meat  (he’s getting better at eating more meat, and lean turkey and salami slices rolled up seem to be ok with him)

cheese (strings when they are on sale, otherwise just cubes of cheddar and mozzarella)

fruit (the kid LOVES fruit: grapes, apples, apple sauce, berries of any kind)

crackers (cheesy fish, triscuits with red pepper dip, pretzel sticks)

veggies (normally saved for dinner, but I might be able to sneak in some carrot sticks or cucumber slices once and a while)

bread (the kid loves just bread and butter, perhaps a nice homemade whole wheat slice would be good)

leftovers (sometimes he might want a hot lunch, especially in the winter: leftover spaghetti, or canned pasta in a preheated thermos)

granola bars/ fig bags

muffins (he loves just about every kind, and loves to help make them even more, during the school year I bake them every single week)

In addition to the divided lunch container, he’s going to need a bigger lunch bag as well…hopefully bought at the same time so I know everything fits. I also love the little silicone muffin liners, they are a great way to divide things up in the larger section of the container, plus they are fun and colourful, and reusable! And with the addition of these new items to our kitchen, that means I’ll have to reorganize our cabinets, which I am sadly excited about!

I’ve seen an idea on Pinterst about making your own ice pack using a sponge in a baggie, that way as it thaws it doesn’t leave a mess, and that saves me from buying those little ice packs that are kinda pricey!

Am I missing anything? I would love to hear from any experienced parents who have been packing lunches for years. Any tips and tricks?

  1. I'm in sort of the same boat. My daughter starts full-day kindergarten and the end of this month, so I need to get into the swing of the lunch box business. I do have a couple of compartment boxes, but now I need to figure out what goes in them!

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