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School Lunches – Here Goes!

Tomorrow my daughter starts kindergarten. Yes, the big day is just about here.

As you may have noticed, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how to pack her lunch. It’s one of the few things that I have control about how green it is when it comes to school (yes, we walk there). And I’ve been wanting the Laptop Lunches from ReusableBags.com because it just makes so much sense to me. But a bit pricey on my current budget. Tough being a stay at home mom, and all that.

I finally found an adequate alternative at my local Target. It’s called a Lock & Lock with removeable trays. I had wanted the Fit & Fresh Lunch on the Go, but that wouldn’t fit in the lunch box my daughter already has, and I am NOT buying a new lunch box when the old one is just fine. I’ll admit the Laptop Lunches probably would have replaced it, but in the $20 range so I figured I could take a look locally and see if I could get something similar cheaper. At about $3-4 each, my Lock & Lock trays will certainly do the job.

These are much smaller than the Laptop Lunches, but then we are talking about a kindergartener’s appetite. For that it should hold enough.

Filling it will be the trick. I got a great deal on kiwis the other day, so I bought a bunch of those, knowing my daughter loves them. Chop up some carrots maybe. Tomatoes from my garden of course! Grapes, frozen or not. Cucumbers, bell peppers, whatever veggies I know my daughter loves that I can get at a good price.

Sandwiches are a bit tricky, and I am so grateful for reusable ice packs. My daughter hates that old standby, peanut butter. Cashew butter didn’t go down any better, and she loves cashews. I’m thinking cheese sandwiches, or decent quality lunch meats. My husband keeps campaigning for bologna, and all I can say is eww! I may try varying bread with tortillas. She does love tortillas.
I’m also really thinking on pasta salads. I think I can make a batch of pasta, then vary what I add to it each day. Might be fun for her.

And of course, juice in a reusable cup. I can’t stand buying juice boxes. Wasteful and expensive per serving. I’d do milk or water, but milk’s a bit hard to keep fresh enough with a small ice pack, and I don’t want her to feel deprived when all her classmates have something a bit more fun than water. We just have a “once a day” rule for juice, so at school qualifies.

This being kindergarten, we have to pack both a snack and a lunch. Fortunately, most lunch items will qualify for either, and I’ll just have to make sure she can cope with balancing it all. I think I’ll have her pick which part is the snack each morning, and package it separately. Or maybe just declare the apple, peach, nectarine or whatever her snack.

It’s going to be quite a switch to my morning routine to have to get a lunch ready first thing in the morning. Really not used to that. But I figure a lot of the work can be done the night before, and that will help.

Technorati Tags: school lunch, packing lunch, lunch boxes, back to school

One reply

  1. Deb says:

    My kids pack lunches maybe 1 day a week and then the eat at school cafeteria rest of the week. NO JUNK can be bought according to cafeteria staff, except Friday… 1 treat day. No soda only juices and milk. My son eats more veggies at school , then at home, cause he sees his peers doing it! I like that peer pressure!

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