While back to school this year looks totally different for me, I was thinking about what used to make packing lunches easier. I hate packing lunches almost as much as I hate planning what’s for dinner. It’s such a pain. One day everyone loves bananas, and the next, everyone hates them. There’s just no winning. Plus I’m not the mom to cut out cucumbers in the shape of stars or any of that stuff. Kudos to you if you have the time, but I just couldn’t do it. Today’s post focuses on the food, and tomorrow I’ll give you ideas for containers to pack it in.
First up, tortillas. If you don’t stock these in your fridge, you need to start! They don’t get as soggy as bread, you can but basically anything in them, and for some reason I think kids think it’s just cooler to have food wrapped up. Top go to’s in my house: turkey, lettuce, mayo & mixed-up salt; cucumbers, tzatziki, & feta; nutella & bananas; or peanut butter & bananas. Super quick to put together & pack. If I was feeling something hot, I’d make a quick quesadilla in the microwave and stick it in the thermos. If you don’t want flour tortillas, you can always use whole wheat. My daughter loved the spinach ones for her turkey wraps. There are so many versions out there, it’s easy to mix it up.
I always had to pack something snacky too. Sometimes it was easier to pack chips or pretzels, but I’d also use some healthier alternatives. Veggie Straws are a huge hit. Everyone here likes all three flavors – sea salt, ranch and cheddar. You can either get a large bag and portion them out or pick up the pre-portioned bags as Costco or Sam’s. Other options were carrot chips with different dips. You can get the carrot chips in the same section you get baby carrots at the grocery store. For dips we’d use peanut butter, flavored hummus, or Greek yogurt dill dip. Cucumber slices with lemon pepper seasoning for dipping is another winner. Popcorn was always another winner. I’d sprinkle it with parmesan cheese or Salad Supreme Seasoning Mix.
My daughter always had to have something sweet too. Again, sometimes it was your typical junk food if we were running low on groceries. Oreos saved my butt more than once. Other times she’d get peanut butter mixed with chocolate chips with animal crackers for dipping. Maybe fresh fruit with nutella for dipping. Pretzels with marshmallow fluff was always fun on field trips. I’d also grab the mini versions of Reese’s Cups and Peppermint Patties. Two of those always worked as well.
I always doubled down on drinks in the lunch box. One was never enough for her. It was always important in the hotter weather that she had two, so she’d stay hydrated. A couple of sips at the water fountain was never enough. Typically, I’d pack some sort of juice box and a mini bottle of water. If you don’t want to pack two, just make sure their water bottle holds more than 10 oz.
And when all else failed, there was always leftovers from dinner the night before! Don’t feel guilty about packing those either! What are your go to lunch ideas? Any easy ideas for picky eaters? Can’t wait to hear from you! Love, TC