School lunches. I hate even thinking about them. It’s so annoying to pack school lunches, and I always struggle with ideas of what to put in them. I hate making them so much, my husband used to make mine for me when I was teaching LOL! So, while I’m no longer working and we don’t have any school aged children, we do send Caroline to a Mother’s Day Out program once a week. This is something we need to send lunch along for. I’m counting my blessings that I only have to do this once a week for now! Although I struggle with lunch ideas at home sometimes too! haha
Last year, Caroline was eating solid foods, but everything had to be cut up into bite sized pieces since she was so young. This made packing lunch even worse! This year, she’ll start the school year when she’s 21 months old, and she can handle biting into her half sandwich, thank goodness!
Ok, so this post is almost for me to just get all of my ideas out on paper. I always figure other moms can benefit from be brainstorming out loud, as well!
Main lunch ideas:
- Peanut butter and jelly – we unfortunately have to cross this one off of our list. Most people do since schools are taking the peanut free route. I have mixed feelings on the topic, but that’s for another post! LOL
- Other nut butters– While we can’t have peanut butter, we can use almond butter, hazelnut butter, chocolate hazelnut butter, etc. Add jelly and your sandwich might just be better than the original pb&j! I have a new found love: chocolate hazelnut butter from Justin’s. It’s similar to Nutella, but waaaay better in my opinion. It’s a whipped airy texture and so good! I’m hoping I always have some of this in our house!
- Tuna sandwich
- Egg salad sandwich
- Cheese, meat and crackers
- Cheese quesadilla
- Wraps (simple roll up with meat and cheese)
- Dinner leftovers
- Chicken nuggets
- Hot dog
- Breakfast muffins (make ahead of time and freeze)- there are tons of options muffins to make ahead of time. On this pinterest board, I have several of them saved!
Lunch Side Ideas:
- Fruit (cut grapes, blueberries, strawberries, apple slices, raspberries, kiwi, banana, etc)
- Cheese (we used to do string cheese but Caroline really prefers just regular cheese slices which are healthier anyways)
- Club/ritz crackers
- Applesauce pouches
- Squeezable yogurts (we love the Stonyfield ones)
- Pretzel packs with chocolate hazelnut spread (Justin’s brand again….if Mama doesn’t eat them all)
- Steamed veggies
- Frozen peas
- Avocado (cut up)
- Dried fruit crisps
- Animal Crackers
- Graham Crackers
For lunch we always try to include a protein, dairy, carb, veggie and a fruit. We simply give water with meals, so that will continue, and we may include a cookie on occasion as a surprise!
As for our lunch box of choice…. we originally went with the adorable Skip Hop animal lunch box. These are awesome and we’ll still use it, however, we also found an amazing lunch box that stays cold. This PackIt freezable lunch bag stays cold all day after you freeze it overnight. I really was impressed. We’ll send this to school with Caroline to keep her food cold, and we’ll probably be using it for family outings as well. On a hot day when we do something where we are outside all day, this will still keep our food nice and chilled! It also has a nice buckle on the handle that allows you to connect it to a backpack! It’s super convenient and really does work well.
Disclaimer: I am a Stonyfield YoGetter blogger, and this sponsored post is written by me in partnership with Stonyfield and Justin’s. All opinions are always my own.