Last year, my daughter asked if I would be willing to buy her some Lunchables. We talked a little about the ingredients, and nutrition, and packaging, and I offered to make her a homemade lunchable instead, and it turned into one of her favorite lunches. This summer, I decided to buy the kids some lunchables as a treat for the beach...and they were fairly underwhelmed. For one thing, my 4th grader doesn't care for marinara, and you can't get pesto in a lunchable. "Yours is way better mom!" he said. Is there anything better to hear from your pickiest eater?
It's definitely a stretch to say that I "enjoy" packing lunches, but I love knowing that my kids are well-nourished with plenty of fresh food each day. I know parents are always looking for lunch ideas, so last year I snapped a few pictures of lunches to share.
PB sandwiches on homemade chia seed bread, cheddar cheese, grapes, carrot sticks
Turkey sandwich on homemade bread with salami, apples, lettuce/cucumber/pepper salad, homemade chocolate milk
Wraps (one turkey/pepperoni/cream cheese w/ lettuce on side, one turkey/cheese/lettuce), grapes, carrots, weird kid-made chocolate cookie
Leftover chicken drummie, triscuts, mozz/salami rollups, peppers, grapes
Mac&Chz with peas, tomatoes, apples, Trader Joe's gingersnaps
Leftover pasta w/chicken sausage+broccoli, peppers/cucumber, cheese stick, ~1tsp mini-m&m candies
Wraps (one with lettuce "on the side"), apples, orange slices
Salami/mozz rollups, PB/berry smoothies, lettuce/pepper/apple salad, cucumber
"Camping leftovers" lunch: storebought rolls w turkey/provolone, oreos (!), grapes, cucumber, boiled/deviled egg
Four years later, we still visit the Real Food blog for inspiration, and I still buy/pack more processed items than she does. Easy lunches revolve around staples: grapes, apples and cherry tomatoes all keep well, and can be packed for snacks in reusable fabric zipper bags. Spinach wraps are a weekly item here, crackers/pretzels are used often, boiled eggs are popular, and I do pack a dessert of some kind at least once a week (thought the day varies). The Trader Joe's gingersnaps are hands-down my favorite dessert -- few ingredients, low in sugar, they keep a long time, and are delicious!
Our daily goal is "half of what we eat is fruit/veggies" and we get pretty close. I believe in baby steps, and I know we all like some oreos once in a while! (Though I also have to recommend the Trader Joe's dark chocolate version.) This year promises to offer even more health and variety, with the kids expanding their "likes" to soups and herbs over the summer. Oh, the possibilities!
"Yours is way better mom!" I just had to type that one again.