Back To School: Lunchbox Inspiration
Today was the first day of school and I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for my kid. By the end of the year I will have made about 200-some odd peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
I know, it’s crazy our school still lets us eat peanut butter and don’t remind me of the possibility they’ll ban peanut products eventually. Because at that point I’ll be picking up my kid at school and bringing her home for lunch. Every Single Day.
My hope had always been that making interesting lunches for my picky eater would encourage her to eat a wider variety of things. What appears to happen is a lot of food ends up in the garbage. Still, our options have slowly grown over the years.
My favorite lunch to send with the kids are these (extremely) simplified bento box lunches. Just some fruit, cheese, crackers and peanut butter. Add a cookie for dessert and you’re done.
I wish I loved my kids enough to make these amazing lunches. But apparently I don’t love them like that. Okay, maybe I’ll take enough inspiration and enough love that I’ll try packing pancakes into their lunches once in a while. Biggie’s Flickr stream is a great place for lunch packing inspiration.
The Kid Eats Flickr group is another excellent source for school lunch inspiration. Some of the lunches are a little too involved for me to pull off so early in the morning (or ever) but a lot of the ideas these parents come up with would be great fun to surprise your kid with. Like this hilarious apple.
One suggestion I’ve read over and over while researching school lunch ideas is to get the kids involved. Now, this sounds lovely in practice and if I were a better mother I’d have the kids making their own lunches and I’d never yell in the morning or race them out the door with two minutes to spare. I made a magnetic lunch chart last year so the kids could pick and choose what things they’d like packed in their lunch…without letting the choices devolve into a bag full of pudding, cookies and a side of potato chips.
iLunchbox.com is a new website devoted to your kid’s lunchbox. With articles like “50 Things To Do With Leftover Chicken” and an incredible index of lunchbox recipes I may be able to make lunches without falling asleep for half the year out of sheer boredom.
Finally, as always, Family Fun has some great school lunch ideas, especially those they’ve collected from readers. My favorite tips: these peanut butter (again with Peanut Butter!) protein balls. They’re simple to make and quick to eat (this is important at school when the kids have about 20 minutes to eat and lots of chatting to do). I’m also loving these mini pizza ideas. I’ve hesitated to send anything like this because keeping it warm enough seems next to impossible. But then I remembered half our dinner is spent waiting for the food to “cool off”….by the time the kids open a pita pizza at school it should be just right for eating.
Do you have any fabulous lunch ideas that work for your kids? Do your kids get bored if they’ve got the same thing in their lunchbox week after week?