Sunday, January 8, 2012

Creative Kid Lunches

My boys are both in school full-time now. And that has meant packing lunches for them . . . I hate the pressure of this task! My philosophy is that lunches should be something healthy that they will actually eat. And I firmly believe that the lunches should include a variety of foods - not the same thing every day. My older son is the pickier eater of the two, however I still have it pretty good - he's not that picky. After a few months of lunchables pretty much every day, I finally found a fabulous blog called Another Lunch. Melissa uses Bento-style lunches and snacks with her kids and then blogs about them. I have been inspired . . . and my boys are finally happy with their lunches! And I no longer dread having to make lunches!!!

I have been using just some basic Ziplock style divided "boxes" which had been working very well. Then Melissa posted one day about these super cute Lego boxes that were food safe. I couldn't resist and went straight to the Container Store (online of course, since I'm not lucky enough to have a real Container Store near me) and ordered them in a couple of sizes. I have also picked up some egg molds (how cool are those things - seriously!!) and a wide variety of cute food picks.

I actually enjoy coming up with lunches now and I know my boys are enjoying their lunches more. My favorite treat idea from the blog has been the "deconstructed s'mores" - I've been known to make a little handful of that delightful treat just for me from time to time. But mini cookie cutters for cheese, bread shapes for sandwiches, and creative ways to present fruits and veggies have totally revolutionized lunchtime for us. Next up for me - homemade granola bites . . . I just have to find myself some mini silicone cups.

Here is a quick picture of our Lego lunches. These fit just perfectly inside my kid's lunch bags from Target. The smaller Lego boxes open up for a treat or whatever I needed to keep separate from the rest of the food.
Here is a close up - a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (made with my new pampered chef sandwich maker, silicone cups with whole grain fish crackers and grapes. And inside this particular small Lego box he will find some chocolate and graham cookies.
And this is my husband's lunch for tomorrow. He's out of the office tomorrow and working in a place where he will not have access to a frig or a microwave. This is one of my 3-compartment Ziplock containers that have also been great. You'll see some crackers and slices from a mozzarella/prosciutto/basil roll. Then I tossed in some baby carrots and peeled clementines. There's also a silicone cup with sunflower seeds ( I wrapped that cup in some good, sticky clear wrap before I was finished to keep it from spilling). We'll see if that worked.
Truly, this has changed my lunch-making routine. I almost, kind-of, sort-of look forward to making lunches.

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