Your child may be getting their lunch at school. And that would certainly be a lot easier than packing their lunches at home. But if you have a kid like mine, who won’t eat the school lunch because he thinks it’s disgusting, you’re going to have to pack lunches. And they might get bored if you pack peanut butter and jelly every day.
About a year ago I got really creative with lunches. But in order to get creative, you have to have a system. I decided to get all my lunches prepped on Sundays before the week ahead. I’d cut all the vegetables for my salads, boil the eggs, make the sandwiches, or prep the other ideas I’ll share with you below. That way every day after school, I’d just switch out old things with new things in their lunch bags. It took about 5-10 minutes each night if I spend about 30 minutes prepping on Sundays. It works pretty well and the kids get excited about what will be in their lunches each week.
I researched various lunch ideas and came up with several you can try. Here they are:
- Hummus and veggies or crackers
- Hard boiled eggs
- Bepo bars (1 ¾ cup quick cook oats, ¾ cup peanut butter, ¼ cup honey, chocolate chips…roll into balls)
- Bean and cheese burritos
- Tortilla, cream cheese, mozzarella and salami wheels with pizza sauce
- Cornbread muffins with hot dog slices cooked into them
- Cheese sticks, beef jerky
- Cheese, salami and crackers
- Cottage cheese with veggies or fruit
- Corn and black bean salsa with tortilla chips
- Rice and beans, shredded cheese, corn, cucumber, lemon juice and olive oil
- Cream cheese and pretzels
- Peanut butter and apple slices
- Tuna salad with crackers or tortillas
- Honey, peanut butter and banana on tortillas
- Tomato, mozzarella, pepperoni and bread cubes
- Guacamole and tortilla chips
- Summer sausage, cheese, and crackers
That’s enough ideas to get you through a school year. The kids will tell you which ones they like best and you’ll cycle through your favorites. I bought containers with multiple compartments for some of the ideas above. Or I’d make several servings and put them in baggies and in the fridge so I can just grab and put in their lunch bags each night. The kids loved the variety and ate healthy at the same time. I do occasionally buy frozen burritos, spaghetti o’s or crustables to throw in their lunches from time to time when I’m short on time over the weekends. But I found it a little fun to dress it up, add variety, and make lunches fun. It doesn’t take much time to prep and it makes the kids healthy. Certainly beats school lunch.