Working Moms

packing lunch

My daycare stopped providing lunches a few weeks ago and I already feel like I'm out of ideas. I have a 3y/o and my younger guy is 20 mos.  We get fridge space and microwave use.  Pasta is their favorite but I can't do that all week.  I try to provide healthy options for them and they don't do deli meat.  What are your regulars?  TIA

Re: packing lunch

  • We do a fair amount of left overs in a thermos. (Like spaghetti and meatballs, stirfry, etc.)  He also loves sunflower seed butter and jelly sandwiches on whole wheat.  Wednesdays is pizza day at school (they order Dominos if you pay) so I send him mini pizzas on whole wheat english muffins. He also sometimes gets cream cheese sandwiches. Side ideas: cheese, yogurt, fruit, veggies, etc.
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  • I send lunch every day, some of our frequent choices are:

    pasta (tortellini or raviolis stuffed with cheese and spinach)

    baked chicken

    bean and cheese quesadillas

    ham and cheese roll up

    grilled cheese

    roast with potatoes and carrots

    black beans

    cheese cubes

    sliced fruit and vegetables (anything...steamed brocolli, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, diced squash, blueberries, apples, cantelope, peaches, pears and mangos)

    I send a grain, protein and fruit for breakfast and a grain, protein and vegetable for lunch, then she gets another fruit for snack.  I make sure they are all different and plan something different for dinner at home as well.

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  • We send lunch due to allergy/dairy issues, so my kid's lunches are weird, but I do recommend buying the gigantic bags of fresh frozen fruit.  You can dole it out at night into divided tupperwear and put it in the fridge and by lunch it's defrosted.  It's really saved money on and time on fresh fruit.

    We do a lot of crackers and dairy free dairy products (cheese, lactose free yogurt, etc.), lunch meat, mini pizzas made with english muffins, and a lot of leftovers.

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  • I make a large batch of cod chowder, pasta/veggies/cheese mix, and mac n cheese with pureed white beans in it too- freeze it up portioned out in bags. I'll make 'nuggets' and freeze them too, they thaw fine by lunch. I also keep avocado halves in the freezer, as well as frozen fruit, beans, mini waffles, and yogurt. I keep string cheese and apples in the fridge plus seasonal fruit.

    If i'm awake in enough time, LO will get a quesadilla or french toast in her lunch. When all else fails LO has left overs from the night before.

  • DD is younger than your two, so we are just starting with this packing lunches business. These are some of the things that I send (in appropriate size pieces/quantities for her age).

    Lasagna loaded with mushrooms and spinach
    Mac and Cheese with Squash and Peas
    Sunbutter and all-fruit preserves on whole wheat
    Banana
    Strawberries
    Mango
    Yogurt
    Apple sauce w/spinach puree mixed in
    Cheese w/whole wheat crackers
    Sunbutter between whole wheat crackers
    Hummus, avocado, and white bean puree sandwich on whole wheat
    (Cooked) carrots - will add hummus when she is coordinated enough to dip it herself
    Sweet potato cubes

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  • image pitterpatter129:

    We send lunch due to allergy/dairy issues, so my kid's lunches are weird, but I do recommend buying the gigantic bags of fresh frozen fruit.  You can dole it out at night into divided tupperwear and put it in the fridge and by lunch it's defrosted.  It's really saved money on and time on fresh fruit.

    We do a lot of crackers and dairy free dairy products (cheese, lactose free yogurt, etc.), lunch meat, mini pizzas made with english muffins, and a lot of leftovers.

     

    I do this for my own lunch too! It really guarantees I eat fruit since it's already pre-cut and everything. 

  • I also have to pack lunch for DS.  At first it was such a pain - and really think, how many years do we have ahead of us for packing lunch?  16 yrs?!?  =)

    I always cook enough for dinner to send food for all of our lunches the next day.  And sometimes I cook a huge meal & then make little freezer meals for DS if I don't have a lunch (ex. if we eat out, or have pizza & no leftovers, etc).  Ex:  a few weeks ago I made crockpot shredded beef - it was huge.  I froze a bunch of individual portions in little glass mason jars so when I need a quick lunch for DS I can take that out & just add some rice & cheese.

    Also - do your kids like rice & beans?  I do freezer meals with this too to have a bunch on hand - DS loves it.  I freeze the rice & beans together in a mason jar, it defrosts quick & add some cheese = instant lunch.

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  • image pitterpatter129:

     I do recommend buying the gigantic bags of fresh frozen fruit.  You can dole it out at night into divided tupperwear and put it in the fridge and by lunch it's defrosted.  It's really saved money on and time on fresh fruit.

    I tried this with a couple types of fruit and they were super mushy and LO wouldn't eat it. What do you have the most success with? 

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  • This week I've been bad about making lunches but I usually send a turkey and cheese wrap (I cut one in half and send 1/2 per day), a cheese stick, goldfish, and a fruit.

    This week its been cheese and cracker packages, cheese sticks, fruit snacks and a fruit cup.  I have also sent turkey wrapped around chream cheese and she really liked that.

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  • I totally forgot D2 - I send rice and beans, fruit, those squeeze pouches, cereal bars, deli meat, cubed cheese, avacado, left overs for her.   Whatever we have around the house that she'll eat.
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  • image mainerocks:
    image pitterpatter129:

     I do recommend buying the gigantic bags of fresh frozen fruit.  You can dole it out at night into divided tupperwear and put it in the fridge and by lunch it's defrosted.  It's really saved money on and time on fresh fruit.

    I tried this with a couple types of fruit and they were super mushy and LO wouldn't eat it. What do you have the most success with? 

     

    I do frozen fruit for Lo as well.  i have had the most success with the pineapple chunks and peaches.  the strawberries she just squished in her hands

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  • Jelly or lunch meat sandwiches You can do a lot with tortillas: quesidillas, cheese enchiladas,tacos,etc... soup left overs fruits and vegis for the sides of course Actually, on the PS there is a cute lunch check-in weekly thread you should check out. I believe Brightening is the poster.
    Mommy of two girls: DD1 4/14/9 DD2 4/15/11
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