Thank you dear readers for all the inspirational cold lunch ideas last year! I’ve compiled them, along with a few others, in this post!
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As I prepare for my children to return to school, I have mixed emotions. In many ways, I love having them home during the summer. But I also long for the controlled chaos and hint of structure that comes with the fall. :) I registered two of my children last week. During registration, I heard a woman who works in the cafeteria tell someone else that hot lunch comes to about $50.00 per month per child. YIKES! For my family, that’d be $250 per month just for LUNCH! My little boys LOVE to have “hot lunch” at school. My girls and teenager son… not so much. :)
My goal this year is to do some better planning for school lunches! I plan on getting my kids involved AND need to make an effort to make cold lunch “cool” (for my little boys).
My plan of attack:
There’s no reason I can’t come up with a weekly lunch time menu! Make a list of 5-10 lunch ideas and then rotate through it every 1 or 2 weeks. Here are some ideas shared by our readers last year (share your own in the comments!):
- PB&J (I still LOVE PB&J!)
- Homemade Uncrustables (use a cut and seal tool like this)
- “Sandwich Sushi” – tortillas with a layer of cream cheese, ham, cheese, spinach leaves – rolled up and then sliced.
- Mac & Cheese
- Cubed Chicken/Ham/Cheese
- Lettuce Wraps
- Bagel Sandwiches
- Homemade lunchables
- Fresh fruit
- Triscuits with cream cheese & sliced cucumbers
- Veggie trays
When I asked our readers about this last year, they had a TON of great ideas for making cold lunch “cool” (and “hot”!). And it starts with the tools!
- Freeze low sugar jello/fruit/cottage cheese salad in muffin liners for individual portions (I like these silicone muffin cups!)
- Use reusable lunch bags that can be stored in the freezer (like this PackIt brand)
- Ice packs (like these skinny ice packs)
- rubbermaid containers (there are some for sandwiches, some with compartments, or a whole kit of different sized containers)
- A nice thermos (see our readers’ testimonial here), or a cheaper one. Use thermos for hot meals like chicken, spaghetti, stew, leftover dinners, and so on…
- Got picky eaters? Use these cute animal shape sandwich cutters!
- Or make your own “uncrustables” with this cool cut and seal tool!
- Reusable water bottles… keep em hydrated! The schools my kids go to allow them to keep a water bottle at their desk!