Sandwiches. The very bane of my existence.
True story - one of my kids packed a lunch once, and it contained drinkable Stonyfield Farms yogurt, mini homemade pumpkin muffins, 2 light babybel cheeses, carrot sticks and grapes. The monitor told her to, next time, tell her mom that she needed to pack a sandwich - what she had wasn't a real lunch.
You know, like those Uncrustables and the Lunchables - and all those other "able" things that are just gross.
For some kids, it isn't lunch without a sandwich, and for others, there is no way that a sandwich will ever cross their lips. For some kids, a peanut butter sandwich is the only acceptable lunch box choice, and for others: a peanut butter sandwich can be life threatening.
So let's talk sandwiches and their alternatives. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the choices I've listed below, and share with me some that I may have forgotten.
Here are some things I've found lunch box successful:
- Cheese and Crackers - String cheese. Cubed Cheese. Spreadable cheese.Whole wheat crackers, Triscuits, etc. This is a pretty self explanatory section.
- Soup - A couple of my kids really, really love soup. If they have access to a microwave, the soup at hands are great lunch box material. If not, try this tip - fill a thermos with boiling water and cap it. Allow it to sit on the counter for ten or fifteen minutes, and then empty the water and fill it with hot food. Cap the thermos and pack it, and that food should stay warm until lunchtime.
- Leftovers - We've done spaghetti or a similar favorite dinner for lunch the next day, using the above "heat up the thermos" tips.
- Cold Cheese Ravioli or Tortellini - This is a terrific finger food for little kids, and if you pack a tiny container of parmesan cheese it's exceptionally fun.
- Tortilla Roll Ups - Spread a tortilla with cream cheese or a smal bit of mayo and then add your choice of meat and cheese. Roll the tortilla and then slice it into circles.
- Salad - Topped with meat or cheese, sunflower seeds and fruit, salad is good for high schoolers who might slack on veggie choices, but at the same time could also be weight conscious.
- Hard Boiled Eggs - Part of the fun of hard boiled eggs is cracking them, right? Well, that, and the little bit of salt my mom gave us. Put the eggs in a saucepan and cover with water. Allow to come to a boil, cover and turn off the heat. Let eggs sit for fourteen minutes, drain the water off and fill the pan with ice. Cover the pan and shake briskly - the ice helps the egg to shrink from the shell and makes peeling a snap.
- Yogurt and Mini Muffins - Yogurt tubes and drinkable yogurt can be frozen and help to keep the lunchbox cold. Muffins can be sweet or savory. Even a cup of yogurt makes for a filling lunch - just don't forget the ice pack.
- Hummus and Pita Chips - It's protein that doesn't taste like protein.