August 2, 2011

Mom’s Tips Monday–Packing School Lunch

August 2, 2011

Welcome to the 2nd day of Mom’s Tips Monday Back to School Edition.  I hope you are finding these tips helpful – I know I sure am!

I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what to pack Colton for lunch.  Something healthy, but also something he will eat without any assistance or persuasion.  So I ask some fellow mommy bloggers for their suggestions:

  • Kris author of In the Kitchen with Audrey - My favorite tips are from I go there to get lunch ideas. That is not really a tip from me but a great place to start looking.
  • The Healthy Moms Magazine - Try to avoid anything that comes pre packaged no matter how healthy it says the product is. If it is in a package most likely it is full of sodium and preservatives - or what I say junk!  My kids get fresh fruit, veggies, cheese sticks, yogurt, and dried fruits for snacks. If you have older children (five and older) you can also give them unsalted nuts and seeds to snack on.
  • Paula - I found that small bites, lots of color & "dipping" go over best with younger kids. I know our preschooler (C) likes to be independent, so we shopped around for small containers that she can open on her own and "practiced" eating out of a lunch bag. On the older end, our 13, 12 & 10 year old sons prefer "hot" lunches and often use insulated containers with leftovers from dinner.  Some of C's favorite lunch foods are: cubes of cooked chicken & cheese, quesadilla triangles (they taste just as good cold and you can put anything in it),  "circle sandwich" (cut out using tool from Pampered Chef - they look like Uncrustables).
  • Judy author of Chronicles of an Overtired Mommy - My kids love it when I cut fun shapes into their sandwiches with cookie cutters.  :)  It's just a fun quick way to let them know that I love them during their day.
  • Holly author of Little Bit of Life - the biggest thing for our kids is packing something that I know they will eat!  It doesnt do any good to pack a lunch if the kids wont eat it.  We do try to make sure it is filled with healthy but yummy items and maybe a small treat!:)
  • RaD author of Dare to be… - I work at a school and I can't tell you how many times I've heard kids complain they don't like a certain food and try to throw it away. Make sure whatever you pack your child is accustomed to eating.  With our kids I go with "themes" for the day. Sounds dumb but it gives them options and keeps me from making two things that are entirely different.  For example: Peanut butter could be PB&J or PB& honey or PB and graham crackers, etc. Sandwich day could be any kind of sandwich. Cracker day could be crackers & cream cheese, crackers & PB, Crackers & Nutella, Crackers with lunch meat & cheese (like a lunchable only much, much cheaper), tortilla day could be quesadillas, deli rolls (cream cheese, lunch meat, & lettuce or spinach). I also do noodles, soup, mac & cheese, rice dishes in an insulated cup during the colder months.  We balance any of those things with a fruit/veggie and a cheese if they don't already have it. Also a drink.
  • Crystal author of The Thrifty Mama – Carrots, Organic Milk, Larabars or Clif zBars, Peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat.
  • The Menu Mom - Make a chart - brainstorm with your child foods he/she likes. Then make columns Main Dish, Fruit/Veggie, Chips/Crackers Etc, Treat, Drink.  Then when packing lunches you can look at the chart, grab something off each column and pack away!
  • Kris author of In the Kitchen with Audrey - Ask him to shop with you and spend some time in the produce section, bread aisle, and snack aisle to talk about what foods he would enjoy. Then go through some cookbooks with pictures when you get home to find things to make together. You can see about doing this once a month or so.

These tips have been super helpful for me and I hope they have been for you too!  Please check back tomorrow to find out how other moms do their back to school shopping without breaking the budget!  When you have time click on over to some of these ladies blogs – I’m sure you will find something interesting!

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