I have to make 2 packed lunches every morning. Most moms do. My circumstances are not too bad. Although there are children in both my kid’s classrooms that have nut allergies, we are allowed to send nut-based foods for our kids. The teachers monitor all the kids closely enough and keep those with allergies at their own table. So at my kid’s school they eat at small tables instead of a large lunchroom table where it is easier to swap lunches. Even though this makes things a little easier for me, I think every mom struggles to make a packed lunch interesting.
My packed lunch rules and challenges:
- Since I am competing with parents that send lots of junk food, I need to still give something that it considered to be a treat.
- It has to be at least 75% healthy and nutritious. This is difficult at times because you can not refrigerate.
- I want to give them diversity.
- Can it stay fresh for 5 hours with one freezer pack?
- I stick healthy things in, without getting too greedy. I’d love for them to eat a handful of raw vegetables, but my kids don’t love them enough. So I need to give very small amounts.
- You must have several different size mini Tupperware containers.
- Not too many items from packaged or overly processed foods.
My top 5 packed lunches (or at least my kids think so)
Lunch 1: Tofu, 2 baby carrots, 1 frozen yogurt tube (I freeze them and with a freezer pack they remain fresh and thaw in time for lunch), 10 teddy grams, 10 blueberries, soy or coconut milk in thermos
Lunch 2: ½ sandwich (part peanut and almond butter, with a little jam) on Brownberry oat bread, 15 whole wheat gold fish, 1 mushroom raw (super white and clean), watermelon cut small , milk at school.
Lunch 3 (My time saver, it’s not my best.): Z Bar, 1 frozen yogurt stick, 1 apple or Clementine, 1 mini pack of the fruit snacks, apple juice box (organic)
Lunch 4: ½ almond butter sandwich in whole bread toasted, 1 small apple, nature valley granola bar, frozen yogurt tube, 3 baby carrots, milk at school
Lunch 5: whole wheat tortilla with turkey or roast beef, baggie of popcorn, strawberries in Tupperware, Quaker chocolate rice cakes, apple juice box
Do you have some good options? I would love to get input and new ideas. Tell me about products I am overlooking at either grocery store. Or items you know that remain fresh for 5 hours.