Last week we began sharing our thoughts on ways to pack lunch for your child (or yourself) without turning to the ever so boring sandwich. So, we focused on salads, muffins, and a soup. The lovely thing about all of those lunches is that they can be made in a batch and served as lunch for the week.
This week we want to talk about even simpler lunch solutions. These require almost no cooking but are likely to please your kids. (They did for mine anyway.) Many of these lunch suggestions would work well in a bento box, that currently trendy style of packing lunches. Side note: my mom packed lunches like that for me in the dark ages, except it was put into baggies inside a brown bag.
Cheese and crackers– It’s such a simple meal, but it works well. Slices of cheese and crackers are much more fun than a sandwich and a good way to guarantee that more lunch is being eaten. If your child likes something heartier, add pepperoni slices or deli meat cut into cracker-sized pieces.
Tuna or chicken salad and celery– Sandwiches get soggy and smushed. Solve that problem by putting the desired salad into a container and eating it with celery. No need for utensils and a great way to get some veggies eaten.
Veggies, pita, and hummus– My kids loved hummus from an early age. Buy a package at the deli (or make your own with the recipe we’re sharing later this week) and portion into kid-sized servings. Popular dippers include pita bread, baby carrots, and celery sticks.
Mini bagels and cream cheese– Sometimes a whole bagel can seem overwhelming to an elementary student. A mini bagel is a whole different story. Depending on your child’s appetite, pack one or more. Send a container of cream cheese and maybe a topping or two. Toppings could include tomato slices, dried cranberries, or for a sweet treat, chocolate chips.
Thermos-based lunch ideas– Last week we shared a recipe for homemade soup, which make a fabulous Thermos lunch. There are even easier ways to pack lunch in a Thermos: dinner leftovers. Whether it’s beef stew, mac and cheese, or pulled pork, it can be sent in a Thermos. Get the food piping hot and preheat the Thermos before packing. (To preheat, rinse Thermos with hot water, then fill with hot water and close while food is warming. Empty Thermos, and immediately fill with leftovers.) You’ve completed two tasks in one- lunch is packed and the fridge is emptied.
Of course, there are so many other ideas for lunch packing. Please share your ideas in the comments below!