Health,  Kids,  Recipes

Back to School: Lunch Prep

BACK TO SCHOOL IS HERE! Some of us have already started but some of us are not starting until next week. Either way, it’s here and I don’t know about you but I am super excited and so are my littles. Our children are attending a new school here and every day they ask if today is “the” day they go to their new school. I don’t buy my children new backpacks every year, I’ve found that a high quality one will last them a few years. They do get a new lunchbox every year.

I read this article last year about how dirty lunchboxes get and of course after finding a few stuffed under the seats in my car with moldy food, I happily let them get new ones. Nolan and Harper get to pick out their new lunchboxes from Walmart, Target or TJMaxx. Nolan and Harper found their lunchboxes at Target this year and are really excited about using them.

We always pack lunches together the night before school and they get free range on what they get. I have always involved them in this process and they actually enjoy being in charge of what they are eating the next day at school. My main focus for them is a form of protein, two sides and a sweet treat to eat. I’ve found if I send any more than that they just throw it away. I try to encourage them to just bring it home and eat whatever they don’t finish at school for an after school snack.

At home, we store a lot of things in glass which is frowned upon by their school. I understand… if someone drops a glass in the cafeteria then it would be a mess to clean up before someone gets cut. For this reason, we’ve found safer options that are not glass or plastic. We don’t use much plastic because most plastic containers contain BPA. I found most of the following containers on Amazon.

stainless steel containersstainless steel lunch boxsandwich bagsstasher bagssnack containersstainless steel water bottles

I always get asked for lunch ideas to help stir up new ideas amongst us in the parent world and here are a few examples of what we use. Please feel free to share your own ideas so we can incorporate them into our lunches as well.

PROTEIN:
ham (ham and cheese roll up or sandwich)
turkey (turkey and cheese roll up or sandwich)
beans (black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans)
nuts/seeds (sunflower seeds, walnuts, shelled pistachios)
eggs (boiled and already shelled)

VEGETABLES:
broccoli (the kids love theirs raw and with ranch)
lettuce (a mini salad)
peas (good cold)
carrots (with hummus or ranch)
peapods (lightly salted)
edamame (lightly salted)
tomatoes (cherry ones are their favorites or cut and salt and peppered)
avocado (I take half and put it in a stasher bag to keep it from browning)
cucumbers (cut with ranch or hummus)

GRAINS:
quinoa (they will eat this cold or hot, sometimes I mix in parmesan cheese for more taste)
bread (for sandwiches)
pasta (a simple pasta salad is easy to meal prep on Sunday and throw in during the week)
pita bread (great for hummus or salsa)
pretzels (we also do turkey or ham roll ups with these)

FRUIT:
apples
berries
bananas
cherries
grapes
mango
peaches
watermelon
cantalope
oranges

DAIRY:
string cheese
sliced cheese
yogurt

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