Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Time Saving Tuesday--school lunches

It's getting to be that time of year again--when I start making all of my "Back to School lists." Baby #5 is due the first day of school so I'm really feeling the need to have everything ready.

My oldest will be in second grade and the second will be in Kindergarten this year. My oldest will eat any dinner you place in front of her happily, but is not really a fan of sandwiches, which makes packing school lunches a little trickier. And at $3 a lunch, buying all the time is not an option. (Each kid is allowed to pick 2 days each month that they want to buy lunch.)

To make lunch prep easier, I've created a list of lunch ideas so I know what I need to have on hand. Last year when I was feeling really ambitious I wrote out a lunch menu for each week just to take the mental energy out of the planning and prep in the morning. I'm hoping to be as ambitious this year.

My oldest also has "Oral Allergy Syndrome" and is allergic to apples, carrots, pears, kiwi, walnuts, and almonds. Knocking out apples, baby carrots and diced pear cups knocked out the core of our healthier lunch snacks. Add in the almonds and walnuts and it took out granola bars for her--which was our fall back healthier than chips or cookies snack. So I'm still looking for good substitutes for healthy snacks she'll eat if anyone has any ideas.

Here's my list of lunch and snack ideas. I'm always open to more ideas!

Chicken salad
PB&J with sprinkle crusts
Cream cheese on bagel
Turkey spinach wraps
Cut up meat, cheese and crackers (homemade lunchables)
Cold chicken pasta salad
Pita pocket sandwich—send filling in separate bag
Banana bread sandwich (PB or cream cheese) cut into long fingers
Sandwich on a stick—cheese, meat, veggie, cracker on Popsicle stick
Mexican Wrap- grilled chicken, black beans and grated cheese
Cookie cutter sandwiches
Pin Wheel Sandwiches—tortillas filled with cream cheese, pb&j, cheese sliced into spirals
PB spiral—remove crusts and flatten bread, spread with PB&J, roll up and slice like sushi rolls
Ramen noodles with chicken and veggies
salmon crackers
canned soup
ham and cheese roll up

Orange slices
Banana bread
Muffins—banana, pumpkin, strawberry, blueberry
Mini bagel w/ cream cheese
Fruit kabob
Cheese sticks
Trail mix
Cottage cheese
Baby carrots
Fruit cups
Pirate’s booty
Fruit leather
Write notes/draw pictures on banana peels
Fruit smoothie
Cheese and crackers
Vegetable sticks and dip
Graham crackers
Granola bar
Nutrigrain bar
Snack mix—pretzels, raisins, craisins, dried fruit, cereal, m&ms
Fruit snacks
Chex mix

For more ideas on packing school lunches, check out:
Laptop lunches
Family Fun
School Lunch Ideas
Amazing Moms