Lunch Box

With Evan starting kindergarten in September, one of my bigger worries is what are we going to send for lunches? He’s been having a hot lunch for years at daycare*, and now all of a sudden it has to be cold, easy to open, and something he’ll actually eat…and it’s ALL ON US.

The easy fallback of peanut butter and jam/bananas/honey/etc. is GONE because of the whole NO PEANUTS thing.

What kinds of things do you send as the main part of lunch?

*If we were millionaires I would totally just keep him in daycare for life!

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Comments on: "Lunch Box" (10)

  1. Bug was totally fine with sunflower butter (also, easy to make in a food processor in under 5 minutes!) instead of peanut butter. He also eats yogurt (which doesn't go bad at room temp for four hours!) and sometimes, cheese sandwiches. There's always the hot-things-in-thermos option, which works pretty well, too, but packing lunch every day is a pain in the rear for sure. (Mine won't eat the hot lunch at school, especially if it has- shudder!- MEAT in it, which it almost always does b/c of USDA standards here.)

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  2. Depending on the rules we've also (in addition to the above suggestions) done almond butter and cookie butter. In daycare when we pack lunch we packed leftovers, but DC1 started wanting only sandwiches at some point.

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  3. My middle son can't eat peanuts and doesn't like school lunches. He's a big carnivore, though. I pack a butter and salami sandwich, a bottle of water, and a piece of fruit. In addition I sometimes pack a second fruit, beef sticks, or cheese curds, so he eats some of the food in afterschool. (Occasionally he will eat carrots but is not big on vegetables so usually throws them away.) if we have pizza for dinner I will pack him
    leftovers.

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  4. M is a picky eater and after three years we are still figuring it out. She doesn't do sandwiches. I pack her lunch in a couple of small containers in a pack. Search bento boxes. Here are some things that go in her lunch.

    Two drink boxes
    Refillable bottle with apple juice then she puts water in it for the afternoon
    Baby bells
    Carrots
    Celery
    Cucumber pieces
    Watermelon
    Pieces of left over steak
    Rolled up deli meat
    Handful of Cheerios
    Fruit bars (not junk roll ups)
    Aero root cookies
    Left over spaghetti
    Tuna salad
    Hard boiled eggs

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  5. Pumpkin has taken some for of cheese sandwich for two years now. (She doesn't like peanut butter, and has been even less impressed with any of the other spreads we've tried.)

    She also gets strawberries and Teddy Grahams.

    We're also supposed to send a snack, and for that she usually gets applesauce (we shell out for the pouches because they are soooo convenient).

    She's not big on variety, so the fact that her lunch is always the same doesn't bother her. Every now and then, she requests a slightly different combination of cheese and starch (we've done bagel thins, tortillas, and pita pockets).

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  6. Our daycare never offered food and is also peanut-free so we're old pros at this. We send 3 fruits every day, string cheese for the one that will eat it, and one container of crackers/pretzels (junk). The kids also get a vegetable each day (carrots, broccoli, lima beans or red pepper) and one of the following “main dish”—sandwich with peas hummus (equal parts peas and chickpeas+tahini, lemon, s&p). Green chicken salad sandwich (blend up the chicken/mayo/spice with cooked peas). Pasta with sauce and cubes of cooked chicken. My older son also likes turkey deli meat sandwiches.
    We pick one “main dish” and veggie for the week and both boys eat that every day. The fruits/snacks vary based on season/availability/preference. We make everything on Sunday and I package up 2 days at a time because we don't have enough containers (or room in the fridge) for more than that!

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  7. Thanks for all the ideas, everyone – this is great!

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  8. I was going to add the same about variety! Bug (he's 5.5 now) prefers to have pretty much the same lunch every day – sandwich, veggie, fruit, yogurt – so that does make it easier.

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  9. finger foods are a great idea but don't send anything your son doesn't LOVE because he will either trade it or toss it– no one at school is making sure you eat your lunch!

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  10. Anonymous said:

    I always include a piece of fruit and avoid putting other sugars into their meals. Pre-packing the basics as much as you can on Sunday night helps make it all less stressful during the week.

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