Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Return of the School Lunches

Wanna see some crazy awesome lunches? Jen brought up this link.

I know it's been forever since I was going to post about the lunch ideas everyone gave me and my experiments, so now I'm keeping my word.

Here's the comments from my lunch post.


said...I just sent tuna salad on wheat wraps yesterday that the kids all loved. I just made tuna salad with mayo and diced red onions, then mixed in sliced red seedless grapes and then wrapped that along with sprouts in a honey wheat wrap. I was certain the kids would complain, but instead they all loved it. Go figure!

imbeingheldhostage said...I have the BEST book for making creative lunches--and then my kids request peanut butter sandwiches :-( (I wanna read that book, gal! What's it called?-Shellie)

Darla said... I tried always to do a sandwich or something filling (usually pbj), something dairy (cheesestick, yostick or yogurt), something fruit (usually apple slices) and something veggie (about 99% of the time two baby carrots...that usually found their way back home!)

Anonymous said...Ours is typically pbj or ham, cheese, cucumber sandwich, and then a fruit or two, few chips if we have, carrot sticks ... or if the fruit, etc supply is low in the house, a granola bar, fruit snacks, etc.

Robyn said...For breakfast vans makes a blueberry mini waffle that doesn't have the bad junk in it. I like those.

Mandy said... I have child that hates sandwiches but LOVES soup so I have been making lots of soup, recipes from motherhood for dummies, cheeseburger soup and taco soup. It's a hit with him. He also loves cherry tomatoes, string cheese, and grapes.
The other loves sandwiches and wants a sandwich everyday. His favorite is tuna. He also loves yogurt, cheese, raisins, grapes, mandarin oranges, almonds, banana bread, well, he eats A LOT! A growing boy.
Oh, my middle child LOVES hard boiled eggs so I sent one with him one day and he said kids laughed at him and he was so embarrassed and not to ever send that again! Crazy, huh! Mandy

Amanda D said... My oldest is too picky to eat lunch at school. I send him with pb&j most of the time. Today he got a yogurt tube and a bag of grapes with it. Yesterday he took a little thing of Spaghetti o's. Those are pretty much it!

Laura@Storytellin' Mama said... the school called three weeks in and said my son was eating hot breakfast every day (after breakfast at home) and maybe I didn't know because i hadn't sent any money!!

Tiaras & Tantrums said... oh my son is so picky - there is no way he would eat hot lunch at school ($3.25 a day!!) he will ONLY eat a Fizzix yogurt, buttered wheat bread, no crusts and perhaps somedays he may eat the fruit snack I put in there. Most days, not!
Mandy said...Mine loves when I put pretzels mixed with something else like Yogos, etc. in a baggie.

Gerb said... First, I always include a joke on their paper lunchbag (or on a sticky note or index card inside). For the main course you can do tortilla wraps, stuffed pitas, bagels, sandwiches cut in strips or with cookie cutters... the possibilities are endless!! And for fillings, try cream cheese instead of mayo/mustard with lunch meat or strawberries or cucumbers... etc. I'll stop now. I have a million ideas for making home lunches AWESOME!! Maybe I should do a post on it. (?)Then look at the following days for 4 more great posts!

Sharon said...My kids' lunches usually consist of sandwiches and fruit and maybe a granola bar. They also like wraps of all kinds. Be creative with the ingredients or let them make their own - with supervision of course. :) Good luck. I'd love to see the blog with all the ideas.

tommie said...Mine are only in Preschool, so we don't do packed lumches this year. (Last year we did).
I rotate about eight or nine meals: quesadillas made with whatever protein we had, PBJ, the rollups you mentioned, sandwiches, mini pizzas made with mini bagels, mac and cheese, easy finger food type things mostly.

Now, don't feel guilty if you don't wanna do those crazy first lunches. We are all in a different place in life. Sometimes the best thing we can do is buy a big box of cheap burritos at Sam's and toss it in a brown bag. But, some days, we can do something special. My kids are supposed to make their own lunches, but the youngest two still need help. Here's how my teenager makes her lunch. Go to school. Hang out with friends. Eat their leftovers. Or starve till you get home. Or waste your money on something.
Here's some ideas we came up with. Gimmicky stuff your kids will be all over. I hate wasting crusts, but we had some cookie cutters handy, and cutting cheese slices, lunch meat, sandwiches or what have you with them thrills their little hearts out. So does the silly sandwich cutter that makes a round sandwich and leaves half a piece of bread in crusts. I forget what they call those pbj sandwiches that are sold like it, but I guess since my husband wasted money on the cutter, we might as well get mileage out of it instead of cluttering up our house with it. I need to come up with some more great recipes that use bread crumbs or cubes so my frugal little heart can stand to murder the bread. Another item, if you have an apple peeler/corer/slicer is to cut apples and any other firm fruit with it. My kids love eating fruit that way.
I tried to come up with portable versions of what the cafeteria makes. I figure the other thing drawing the kids to the hot lunch is the smell. So, we did lasagne rolls. This is where you cook the lasagne noodles and make (or buy) a meat/tomato sauce. You spread ricotta cheese on the noodle, then sauce over it, then roll it up and cook it. I was thinking of maybe some day making my own pasta again, (which I used to do back when I only thought I was busy) , and then I could make some big raviolis like that with the round sandwich cutter. I think it will cut down on the messiness.
Next, I made corndog muffins. This is where you either make your favorite recipe for cornbread batter or use a mix, and before cooking it, you stir in little smokies and cook the mixture in muffin tins. They liked that one.
Then, I had the stroke of genius to make something out of dinner. If you are making shepherd's pie, or pastel de papas if you're Chilean, or you have some leftover ground beef from something like tacos, and instant mashed potatoes, you can make this treat. I rolled the mashed potatoes in little balls, then I poked a hole in the middle and stuffed it with cooked ground beef (spices added and all) then I wrapped the potato back around it so the meat was in the middle. Then I fried the balls in an aebleskiver pan. They liked this so much, that I did some more, and this time I used the toaster oven.
I'm hoping to try a few other ideas, and I've gotta get some Chinese food in there. I also want to make some homemade chicken nuggets. I've been stewing over whether or not it would be worth it to try these new metal insulated containers I've seen around that have exorbitant price tags. They keep the food hot and you could just put leftovers of any hot dish they like, but I doubt I would get them all back home, so I gotta test them on disposable gladware first.
If you didn't check out Gerb's great ideas, go look at them now. They are here for bags
and here for main dishes and here for sides and here for desserts and here for recipes! Have a great lunch!


BoufMom9 said...

WOW! I LOVE all of your ideas! I will definitely be trying the Shepperd's Pie. How cool & yummy!
Hey! Were you saying my wrap sounded too had? LOL It was really quite easy actually :)

ps A great way to use the crust you cut off the bread... toast it up and make it into bread crumbs. Store in an air-tight container.

RAQ said...

Lots of ideas we have done but I need simple--my kids make their own lunches so I save the cutsey stuff for holidays! Good job with all the research though! I am too lazy to implement some of it now--maybe when Gwen goes to school!

Ditto on the bread crust idea or you can freeze after chopping them up--then toast after defrost.