Lunch box ideas

Nicole - posted on 02/04/2009 ( 42 moms have responded )

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Hi all,



I would like some suggestions for my 5 year old sons school lunch box. I would rather not buy the snack foods from the shop and do, most of the time, make my own muesli bars, biscuits etc. So some recipes would be lovely as well for the "lunchbox winner". I do need to limit cocoa and chocolate as this seems to make a bit hyper and moody. He is desperate for nutella on his sandwiches but I just cannot give it to him anymore. Any ideas, suggestions and recipes will be most welcome.

Have a blessed day!

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Shaista - posted on 09/04/2009

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My son loves home made chicken fingers. I buy chicken breasts, one should make lunch for 2-3 days. I cut the breast into stripes, marinade in lemon juice, pinch of paprika, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Beat an egg, pour on the chicken marinade, take piece by piece out of the egg mixture, roll in italian breadcrums or regular and deep fry. I usually make a whole breast at a time, deep fry and freeze. I toast 3-4 pieces a day in the morning and put in his vaccum container for lunch. I usually add half a bagel with cream cheese or half a tortilla with cream cheese.



He also likes whole grain tortillas with cream cheese and smoked salmon. I roll the tortilla into a cigar and cut it slantwise into 2 inch pieces. I stick a toothpick in and he enjoys a "cool" lunch as he puts it. I also make my own pizza with spinach/tomatoes or home-made pizza pockets, filled with a medley of vegetables/minced meat/chicken or fish and cheese. He loves it. All these can be frozen. I make sure I have a variety of things so that he rarely has the same thing twice in a row.



For snack, I give him a fruit a day and a vegetable a day. He likes strawberries, diced mango, cantaloupe or pineapple, baby carrots, peppers, zuchini sticks. He also enjoys organic whole grain crackers with organic cheddar on top of the fruits and vegetables.



No juice for his beverage. Just plain water.....



I hope this helps.

Liza - posted on 02/15/2009

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We freeze the go-gurt so it is still cold at lunch time. My kids also love to get creative with salads. Just put the dressing and meat in a different container so they can put it on when ready to eat. We make our own dressings too. Some things they like in their salads are: pine nuts, cheese, almonds, walnuts, hard boiled eggs, grill chicken, tuna, baby spinach, sprouts, red cabbage, carrots, cucmbers, whole wheat croutons, goldfish crackers, bacon bits. They make they're own the night before and they have fun with it. Funny, neither one will touch tomatoes though!

Katy - posted on 02/07/2009

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Have a taste testing contest. I bought 3-4 different types of organic apples, and we sit and 'test' each one. Some are more tart, sweet, softer, harder.. etc. It keeps him in charge. I also be sure to ask his opinion at the dinner table. Do you like the vegetables cooked this way or this way?

I like the cut out ideas for the sandwiches, unfortunately, my 9 yr old would be mortified! lol However, I'm sure I'll use that in a few years with the baby.

Katy - posted on 02/04/2009

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My son always takes fresh fruit, balanced with something he loves- Peanut Butter. Celery or apples.. Also Carrots and Dip. He loves his finger food, even at 9. :)

I make my own specialty breads- banana or zucchini breads to hide some more nutrients in. I make him a meat and cheese sandwich always on a whole grain bread. I let him pick out his nutritious bread, as well as which meat he wants. (ham, turkey, etc..) He also like to take golden raisins. ( he picks this over regular raisins) Ultimately, it works because he helps make the healthy choices.

Good Luck!

Katy

Michelle - posted on 12/06/2009

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my meatless boy likes to bring hummus and crackers..hummus and fresh cut up veggies.. hummus pitas *see a theme here LOL* fresh baked muffins ,endame, baked pumpkin or banana nut bread, fruit salad, fresh veggies and ranch, it's starting to get cold so he'll start bringing veggie soup lentil soup etc

his school isn't peanut free but he doesn't like peanuts so it's not an issue .. he likes almond butter though...

his school doesn't allow the kids to bring 'junk' foods which is fine by me as he doesn't like much of those things anyway.

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Cheryl - posted on 01/04/2014

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Nicky Reilly, you are the mother so either give her one or the other, don't let your child dictate to you. if you don't feel like making lunch (which she should be doing anyway) then give her lunch money. Children are allowed to be upset because they don't get their own way, this doesn't mean she doesn't love you.

Nicky - posted on 09/19/2013

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my 13 yr old daughter wants to bring a lunch from home everyday,to school,with the option to buy if she wants to!! I think this is ridiculous!! She says if she does not eat the packed lunch,just send it next day!! HELP!! This is causing a lot of tension,I think she is being unreasonable,she says I need to be open minded!! Should I relax and let this flow or tell her pack or buy one or the other??Thank You& GOD BLESS

Joan - posted on 02/28/2013

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please, help, anything would help. my son has to speak oral is his classroom about his lunch box, but everything he has in his lunch box is healthy en tastes good or that is what he is saying, but i cant let him go and say for each item he takes out of his lunch box that it is good and healthy, i need him to say more, so i dont know. i know it sounds stupid, but i am afrikaans and he is my first child. so sometimes i dont know how to help my child.

Yana - posted on 03/04/2012

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Something that my 2 and 3 year olds love is hummus! Sometimes I make my own and other times I buy organic and they gobble it up! My youngest one will also eat it with cucumbers and some cheese crackers. They like fried chicken with organic white bread.

Callinda - posted on 12/09/2009

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I have the following list hanging up inside my pantry to give me ideas each day (my kids eat pretty much anything & love variety!):

Small Tin of Tuna & side salad

Mini Pizzas on English Muffins (or bagels)

Fried Rice

Chicken Salad – breast in sweet soy, lemon juice, honey, garlic, ginger, on salad of cucumber, tomatoes, parsley & spring onions

Creamy Ham Salad – bowtie pasta, ham, yellow capsicum, celery, cucumber with moyaniasse, light sour cream and wholegrain mustard

Couscous with pumpkin, snowpeas and chilli jam

Skki yoghurt and muesli

Meatball skewers – cherry tomatoes and meatballs on skewers (and even add tasty cheese squares)

Tuna, 3 bean mix, corn, onion and a bit of mayo

Vegetable fritters (carrot, potato, peas, cabbage)

Cheese & vegie muffins

Carrot sticks, celery sticks, cheese sticks, hard boiled egg, dip

Boiled rice with steamed vegies, hard boiled eggs on side

Grilled marinated beef on salad

Frittata or quiche slices

[deleted account]

Hello,

For those mom's whos children cannot take peanut butter to school there is a nut free peanut butter called Pea Butter. Might be worth a try. I had a hard time sending lunchs for my daughter at times because she does not like sandwiches. I found if I send her raw veggies and cut up meats, cheese and whole wheat crackers she will eat that instead. She usually has a choice between 2-3 kinds of fruit, a granola bar and a water or milk. Sometimes she will also take cheese and crackers. It seems sometimes kids like snack foods better. I really like the idea of pepperoni and cheese. I just might try that as well. It seems that I am lucky my daughter prefers her fruits and veggies. She did go to school with a child at one point whos peanut allergies were sooo bad that even peanut smell in the air could bring on anaphylactic shock. At the time it was hard because my daughter loved peanut butter sandwiches. Luckily now no one has such severe allergies and they can bring nuts but not share food. Good luck with trying new things.

Hayleigh - posted on 10/06/2009

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most schools don not allow chocolate or nuts now because of the new healthy living scheme they are doing in schools and allergy's i find home made flapjacks/muesli bars, fruit salads and pasta or couscous salads go down really well. we also make a lot of chicken salads or chicken pasta and chicken legs and home made sausages go down a treat as well.

[deleted account]

Hummus & goat cheese with crackers or pita, soup & crackers (my son loves soup on cold days, and to keep it hot until lunch fill the thermos with hot water first so it warms before putting the soup in), cold home made pizza (that way they can eat pizza when their classmates do), peanut butter balls and apple slices (spritzed with lemon juice so they don't brown).
I totally agree with giving one or two choices that way the kids think they are in charge and you win because they eat healthy.

Alicia - posted on 09/26/2009

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We buy whole grain pita pockets, and stuff it with anything they can think up.

Kelly - posted on 09/24/2009

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Our school here too is peanut free, nuts have never been allowed. It takes some getting used to.

I like the taste testing idea....what about using it with peppers? I just discovered that my 9 year old likes orange peppers. A nice change from cucumbers and carrots.

They really like to have boiled eggs in their lunches. I sprinkle some herbamare (salt seasoning) in the container with it.

They love light rye bread with butter. I don't have to fight about crusts being eaten. I laugh that my kids are the only ones that cheer bread and butter in their lunch box. Hmmm pickles too is something to spice things up :)

Just thought of something else....homemade baked beans in a thermos. We had them for dinner and will probably throw it into my sons lunch for tomorrow.

[deleted account]

Tortilla Wraps!!! It could not be easier to roll just about anything in these! My kids are given choices as to what to put in them (usually deli meats). Always a fresh fruit and water /watered-down apple juice. Good luck!

[deleted account]

This discussion sparked my interest in creating a blog called Healthy Foods for Healthy Kids - Recipe Swap. Come join the discussion and swap recipes. Let's make our children get excited about and enjoy eating healthy foods www.healthyfoodsforhealthykids.blogspot.com

Fiona - posted on 09/11/2009

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I remember hearing somewhere that when you feel like something sweet to eat, but can't have it, try some cheese .. is supposed to help?

With regards to "nut-free" schools and kindergartens etc ... I think it's a great idea.
My child doesn't have any nut allergies, but I would be totally devastated if any child suffered or died, because of food I've sent my child to school with.

[deleted account]

Packing lunches can be quite a challenge especially when peanut butter or nuts for that matter are not allowed in the school. My children get a lot of sandwiches on whole grain bread of course....they get all excited when they go somewhere and have white bread lol it's like a treat too them. I have started giving them a boiled egg with just a little bit of salt on it in their lunches for a snack. My son, who is 6, asked me if he could have another one the next day for snack. :)

[deleted account]

my 7 yr old son loves to take grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. i will make it in the morning and pack in a plastic container and also a small container of ketchup he just heats it in the mircowave and eats with some fresh veggies and his milk. i usually use block cheese not processed cheese. wonderful lunch.

Melissa - posted on 08/31/2009

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Tahini and jelly sandwiches might be an option. Veggie sandwiches are good. I put cucumbers, peppers, lettuce & tomatoes on them. I've also done veggie wraps, salads (w/ a little cup of dressing), fruit slices, trail mix, homemade pudding, dried fruit, whole small fruits like a plum or an apple, carrot sticks, cucumber slices, grapes.



Leftovers work too. Just heat the food up before packing it...if you have time in the mornings. My son had potatoes, black beans, homemade bread & a plum today. He loved it!

Nicole - posted on 08/30/2009

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Hi Tonya and everyone else :) It is a bit of a challenge to have to limit things from their diet especially when your own kids don't have allergies. It also makes you appreciate how lucky you are that you have allergy free children. I so admire allergy Mums for the great job they do and the challenges they face. Matthew (after a year at school) has come to accept that there are no nut products in his lunch box. I now do all my own baking (super Mom hehehe) which is easier to monitor what he eats. I have found, only by running out of white sugar, that his behaviour has improved by now only using brown/raw sugar. So we now have a muffin (either choco chip or corn and cheese), a sandwich with either marmite or luncheon meat, sometimes even cheese, a fruit of sorts. I really appreciated the tip on putting lemon juice on the apple slices - it has saved a lot of apple being "ignored". I have found that grapes in a jelly pot are always enjoyed., popcorn is always a winner as are pretzels. Thanks for all your input and support. Blessings, Nicole

Tonya - posted on 08/30/2009

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My nephew is attending a peanut free school in Tennessee, because his allergies to it were bad enough to kill him. It was the only peanut free school in their area. I have been trying to think of different things for my seven year old to take to school and have appreciated the ideas.

Melissa - posted on 08/29/2009

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I have never heard of not allowing peanutbutter in schools. They serve it in my son's school. I think he would starve without it. Yogurt is also a wonderful option just remember to keep it cool. You can freeze it and by the time lunch is there it will be perfect. It looses the bacteria by doing it that way. My children will not eat kids yogurt so we go with the adult version.

Karey - posted on 08/26/2009

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My 5 yr. old loves Edamame (soy beans) and olives! Not your usual kid fare, I know. How about sending apple or pear slices with p-nut butter or hummus. Also, laughing cow cheese on crackers or with fruit is good. she also likes roll-ups instead of sandwiches. i put ham or turkey with shredded cheese and a little shredded lettuce in a whole wheat tortilla and roll it up like a burrito. Her friends are always intrigued by what she has in her lunch bow and I think it's even gotten some of the kids to try things they wouldn't have normally tried. Good luck to you. just keep offering healthy stuff and he will eventually eat it. If all we ever do is give in to junk, they will expect it and refuse the good stuff!

Lye Ee - posted on 08/15/2009

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A banana is a must for my son's lunchbox - with a protective skin, it's also packed with starch, roughage & lots of vitamins (esp potassium which can prevent muscle cramps & reduce stress). Other easy-to-pack fruits include cherries, strawberries & grapes. Tho' a bit troublesome to prepare, my son finds omelette sandwiches with cheese slices (eggs fried with onion and ham/bacon) to be very yummy. I try to add other variety on different days eg. donuts, Japanese sweet cakes with nice packaging, muffins, different types of biscuits, etc. Sometimes when i go to the supermarket, my son will also give me ideas by pointing out the types of food or drinks that his friends bring to school. If i find them suitable, i will buy a small amount to try it out!

Karen - posted on 08/14/2009

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Hey ladies, these are all great ideas HOWEVER what to do when the bubs wont touch anything besides cucumber...... and lunches are brought home!! no peanut anything,chocklate or crisps allowed at school, any ideas?

Ginette - posted on 08/11/2009

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My girls love dried fruit! I give them small goldfish crackers or organic bite-size crackers with some dried cranberries and raisins! They love them with Cheerios too. An easy snack for the lunch box or on the go!
I also make a lot of different kinds of mini-muffins. Their favorites are oatmeal banana, and blueberry!

[deleted account]

we like or roll wheat tortillas with any kind of spread inside them from peanut butter, to cream cheese, to light hummus, tofu, or sometimes just honey. Mine hates all meat except for occasional turkey so we'll roll a slice of turkey, cheese and mustard sometimes. He loves mini carrots the best for a veggie, but he likes raw broccoli, or raw green beans, too. I let him pick his drink for the day, but I usually keep a stock of 100%apple juice, fruit juice, and milk. In the winter he goes grocery shopping with me and picks his own soups.. or if we make our own batch, he gets to pick a veggie to go in it (always carrots lol) Then lastly a few pieces of cut apple, or a banana.

Sarah - posted on 08/09/2009

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I, too, let my kids pick their lunches. More often than not they choose fruits and veggies. When they do ask for the "junky" food, I put it in, but it usually comes home. Their friends love to share grapes, carrots, celery, etc. How funny! I think they're smarter than we know, or more in tune with their bodies!

Janelle - posted on 08/07/2009

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Taste testing...what a GREAT idea!!! Thank you. I could benefit from this as well...

Carrie - posted on 08/06/2009

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I love all of these ideas as well, and 2 of my children are 9 and 10 so they dont want to have "kiddie" lunches anymore. I do find empowering the child and allowing them to help in making the choices in the store is a big help. I have gotten to the point where I will buy 1 "snack" food for every 4 healthy choices that my children choose. So this way they know 1 day a week they get something sweet or chips. But on the other 4 days they get lets of cut up fruits and veggies. Try differant dip recipies for the fruit and veggies, and let the kids try them to see what they like.

Nikki - posted on 02/16/2009

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Apple slices with cheese cubes are great, mine love to snack on them together. Lemon juice on the apple slices keep them from browning. We buy the probiotic cheese.



a snack box with carrots and tomatoes with some light ranch, or cucumbers.

Nikki - posted on 02/16/2009

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Apple slices with cheese cubes are great, mine love to snack on them together. Lemon juice on the apple slices keep them from browning. We buy the probiotic cheese.



a snack box with carrots and tomatoes with some light ranch, or cucumbers.

Laura - posted on 02/15/2009

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I have a 6 year old in Kindergarten, and I find that interesting packaging helps as well. Small little cups of dip to go with his celery or carrots. Little boxes of raisins. He was taking a juice box, but I found a Spiderman cup with a straw and now it's water everyday! We love go-gurt too!

Virginia - posted on 02/07/2009

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One trick I have tried with my 5 year old little girl is the way I present the food. She has hypothyriodism -- medicated since birth. We are under a doctor's and nutritionist's care. I had a hard time getting her to eat healthy... esp. at school where she sees all manner of foods in her friend's lunch. I started cutting foods into fun shapes - Whole wheat sandwiches into dinos. , hearts, any shape I have a large cutter for, arranging her lunch into funny food structures... ex- using a sandwich taker box and putting fresh fruits inside that are glued together with a tiny amount of peanut butter to look like a face, or a crazy shape. I also let her help me shop. We talk about good choices and what some options are for the entire family to have for lunch and other meals. She likes to help in the kitchen and I encourage her to do so ... as often as my nerves will allow it. I would love some new ideas and recipes as well. I hope this thread will have many posts that will shed some light on some nutritious recipes and choices as well. As for the nut issue. I teach five year old kindergarten. We check for nut allergies and then make sure our children are not given any thing with nuts in it if it is an issue. The other children are allowed to bring whatever they wish for lunch... We just never share. Chessnut terroists - that is a new one on me. School evac. for nuts... yep I would say that was over the top. But hey you will have a great story to tell Tay and on Tay for years to come! ;-)

Nicole - posted on 02/05/2009

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There are no nut policies at most of the kindergartens and early learning centres, but the school Matthew goes to is a nut happy zone, for now anyway. Chessnut terrorist lol.

Katy - posted on 02/05/2009

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I do remember PB being strongly urged out of the daycare he used to attend, but in elementary- anything goes.

Susan - posted on 02/05/2009

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wow where do you live that they allow peanut butter in school? if we send it here in Canada they call the swat team:)



True story : when my son was in preschool I recieved a call at work that Tay had a "chessnut" in his pocket and they had to EVACUATE the school....so happens I work in a hospital and one of our resperologists was close by he said .....what?  that is going way  way over the top!! needless to say,  years later once in a while I run into one of the girls from that floor who refer to me as the "chessnut terorists" mom!!!

Katy - posted on 02/04/2009

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Options.. I have to give Ethan a couple choices, he feels empowered and I WIN!

Nicole - posted on 02/04/2009

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Thanks Katy! I never thought of him helping me to make lunch, a bit stressful, but he may well surprise me and put in things that I think he won't llike. I will try that with next weeks lunches.

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