school lunches

Ashley - posted on 07/15/2010 ( 38 moms have responded )

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with school starting in about a month I was wondering what everybody would be putting in their kids lunch boxes. I have two picky eaters.

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Michelle - posted on 07/16/2010

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My son loves Fruitables juice boxes. They have both fruit and vegtetables in each box. Walmart sells them pretty cheap Less than $3 for a 8 pack.

Sharon - posted on 07/27/2010

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Instead of giving my kids normal sandwich for lunch, I give them wraps (Lavish bread or Burrito wraps), either put some cold meats with it, garnish with some shredded carrots or lettuce, cheese..etc, make it pretty & interesting for them to eat.

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For my boys we do a sandwich, a piece of fruit or a fruit cup, string cheese, a snack (either chips, pudding, snack cake, etc), and a bottle of water.



I buy small amounts of different kinds of meat at the deli each week, plus various kinds of cheeses, also I change the bread often... wraps, buns, subs, white bread, etc. Sometime's they'll reuse an empty water bottle and take kool aid or juice instead of water, but usually just water.



The good thing about the deli is you can ask for just a few slices of different kinds of meat and cheeses, rather than buying a lb at a time. For instance yesterday I purchased 1/4 lb of honey ham, 1/2 lb of smoked turkey, 1/2 lb of chicken, 3 slices of roast beef (enough for 1 sandwich), 1/4 lb of pepperoni and salami, and a few slices each of 3 different kinds of cheeses. It costs a little more than pre-packaged but we never throw any away anymore... and each of the kids can have something they choose rather than all having the exact same thing each day. My husband likes this too as he takes his lunch to work with him and sandwiches can be quite boring if it's not "mixed up" a little.



Tuna salad is a good one we use too... the pouches are great because the sandwiches wont get soggy... and they can either take bread or crackers.



We're also in a "no peanut butter, or peanuts ever" school... which is unfortunate... i grew up on PBJ!



The only time we do hot lunch is if they forget their lunch at home... we keep a small amount of $ in their "school account" just in case. The only exception is if they're having something they really like... which does NOT happen often.

Brenda - posted on 07/15/2010

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I let my daughter help make her lunch. I think she enjoys it more if she made it. Have your children help.

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I get the gogurts and freeze them, by lunch they are the perfect temperature to eat. My daughter loves it when I use cookie cutters to cut her sandwich into things like butterflys or hearts. She likes fruit cups, crackers, juicy juice boxes, she is a big fan of lunchables (I know they aren't the healthiest), but she doesn't get them every day. I will also cut up strawberries or watermelon, or put grapes in her lunch. She also loves it when I draw pictures on a napkin I put in her lunch. I will draw hearts or pictures of her and me, or I will write "I heart Savannah" etc. Oh, and she likes it best when I have her ham separate from her bread (she likes everything separate...even spaghetti!

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Samantha - posted on 08/05/2010

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My son gets a vegemite/cheese sandwich,an apple, a muesli bar and 2 biscuits. He is a fussy eater so I give him what he will eat.

Michelle - posted on 08/05/2010

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My daughter's dont allow peanuts or junk food!! Everything has to be a brain food. Turkey or ham sandwich whichever she wants, even tho i know i'll have to fight with her to tell her she can't have peanut butter and honey sandwiches. she's not really picky! But my other thank god she doesnt go to school yet, she's sooo picky she'll only eat cheese!

Jennifer - posted on 08/03/2010

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We always pack lunch due to it being 3.25 a day and I have 2 kids goign to school now.

Here is what I try to do with their lunches. I pack main part of meal could be a sandwich a wrap leftovers of their favorite food from dinner. I go metal termos contaniers Heat the food up really hot and then it is cooled to the right temp by lunch time. A friut or veggie, a drink Calcuim yogurt, cheese, pudding, A grain pretzels, popcorn and crackers granola bar. i do only water based fruit drinks in their lunch or fill their thermos will 100% fruit juice. Then I add in a treat it could be 1 piece of candy, a honey stick, chocolate covered dried fruit only 2 peices. I like for them to have that treat but to not make it too big.
I dont buy any pre packed foods for my guys such as gummies fruit rollups chips any of that stuff. I even make the granola bars my self. They more homemade it is the better you know it is for them.

If you would like the recipe for the granola bars let me know I am always glad to share!

Heather - posted on 07/29/2010

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For those of you at the no nut schools.... have your children try Sunbutter. It's an excellent alternative. Most kids can't tell the difference. It tastes great. Nut free (made from sunflower seeds) and is processed in a nut free facility. A great protein alternative for picky eaters!

We don't have a hot lunch program at our school, so we too have to pack everyday. I have 4 to pack for. The night before, I have the older kids pack their lunches, and help pack the younger ones. I supervise, to make sure they all have a complete lunch. One of mine hates sandwiches, but he'll eat wraps and salads, or homemade "lunchables". Another one of mine eats the exact same thing EVERY DAY.. .sometimes he switches up the fruit, or throws in a yogurt but he has Jelly 'n cheese sandwich, multi-grain chips, mandarin oranges, apple sauce. Another one of mine wants something different every single day. At least she's happy eating leftovers from the night b4's dinner! They all have microwaves in their rooms. They all have insulated lunch bags and I use flat skinny ice packs on both sides of them to keep stuff thoroughly cold. Sometimes they'll just grab a can of soup or ravioli's w/ the pull tab lid, and take a microwavable bowl and have that for lunch.

My oldest pulls this trick of forgetting his lunch, and calls half an hour b4 lunch time to tell me, and then knows I'm not at home (to get the forgotten lunch) then he reminds me that Subway is across the street and I can just pick him up that. It got old after about the 5th time.

Ryn - posted on 07/29/2010

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Omg- I didn't even ask the question, however I'm so thankful somebody did and everyone gave great response...I've printed this out and am using your suggestions this school year! Thank you everyone!

Nikki - posted on 07/28/2010

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Well here in Sunny Chandler Arizona school started on monday the 26th of JULY!!! Thankfully my kids go to Charter school due to lack of funtional education in public schools and they get thier lunches catered by catering for kids.... hot lunches are better than we ever got when i was going to school... however what my sons and i do is go thru lunch menu and pick days they want to eat at school then on all other days my boys are happy with a Uncrustable sandwich and bag of chips and some fruit or a veggie then they get chocolate milk at school.... they Uncrustables are really good cause i get big boxes at sams club and put them in freezer the boys make thier own lunches and by lunch sandwich is thawed out and really good i have even taken them for my lunch....

Lynn - posted on 07/28/2010

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We are not allowed nuts of any kind, eggs, fish, omega 3, or blueberries - all due to allergies in the school. No hot lunch program either. So lunch is jam sandwiches, cream cheese on a bagel or rolled in a tortilla, she also likes wraps with cream cheese, a slice of turkey or ham and a pickle in the middle, crackers and diced cheese or the individual packaged cheese, any fruit, yogurt, pepperoni sticks, pizza pops, pretzels, dried apricots, dried cranberries, juice boxes with the fruit and veggie juice, quesadillas, barbeque rice crisps, Special K bars, fruit cups, bananas if I draw a face on them, a large peeled carrot (not the little ones), leftover diced up meat with barbeque sauce. That's all I can think of. We start school September 9th in Manitoba.

Krystyna - posted on 07/28/2010

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you can also try on a stick items..i use tempure battered chicken or hot dogs...you can pre-cook them & freeze ...heat and wrap in foil they stay warm enough til lunch if you can find a thermos even better...try sandwiches on a stick too (google it) kids seem to eat anything if you put it on a stick

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I am running into this problem too. I am going with ham and cheese sandwiches for one of my boys, some fruit (apple, oranges, grapes, blueberries, and maybe a snack of cookies or pudding) and the other two love pb&j and the same side stuff..and a juice box/you can save the juice bottles and make a more healty drink if you prefer. hope that helps

Aimee - posted on 07/28/2010

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I agree with Kerry-buy a thermos so you have more options. Don't stress over lunch if it's not conventional. Pack them what they like so they'll eat-that's most important. Apples and cheese, pretzels dipped in peanut butter, whatever they like and will keep them satisfied until they get home.:-)

Kerry - posted on 07/28/2010

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I have a super picky eater also. He doesn't like peanut butter, string cheese or cut up fruit in his lunch. And until this year he wouldn't eat lunch meat either. It was a struggle everyday to try to pack him healthy lunches. He can buy hot lunch at school but our budget only allows for buying 2 times a week. Finally we found some things he would eat. Pepperoni and crackers, easy Mac and cheese and Hamburger Helper singles ( these are not the greatest but at least I could get him to eat). Also I started buying 100% natural fruit leathers in place of fruit in his lunch. He started eating more and this year decided that roast beef and turkey were good too. As long as his sandwich is on a hoagie roll he will now eat lunch meat. I now have a bigger lunch menu to choose from. I am also lucky that eating the same thing every day doesn't bug him. I try to add in a granola bar or something else to make sure he is getting enough. He does like yogurt but not in his lunch.
I have found that letting him pack his lunch the night before also helps. He picks out his own food and is pretty good about not packing junk.
Good luck!

Debra - posted on 07/28/2010

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Hey!!! We are actually starting school this Monday, 8/2!! So early and so hot for Georgia, so my daughter and I have been experimenting with recipes all summer! She loves Ever roast gold chicken by Boar's Head. Try some of the Hawaiin sweet bread and swiss cheese, and if your children will try it, a dab of the Boar's Head sweet and mild b-b-q sauce. (they did this as a sample at our local market this summer and it's delicious!) Pimento cheese is a great option for cheese lovers, and if your child likes cream cheese, soften some then add some crushed pineapple with a little of the juice (helps it spread easier) and make finger sandwiches. This is so good, especially with it being so hot here, and you can use the low-fat cream cheese and sneak in a fruit at the same time!

Heidi - posted on 07/28/2010

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My kids also like "sandwiches" made from other things besides bread. Toasted waffles spread with PBJ, english muffins with ham and cheese or pizza sauce; also crescent rolls, stuffed, and baked are a big hit. Try wrapping the dough around a hot dog, or a link sausage, These are easy to pack, and still taste good without being warm.

Sherri - posted on 07/27/2010

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Krystyna we don't have teacher's lounges. The teachers either bring lunch or get hot lunch and eat at there desks or leave the school for there lunch hour. So no there is no junk brought in by the teachers either.

Krystyna - posted on 07/27/2010

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stella do they actually allow them to only have a drink? im surprised cause most schools are big on feed the brain thing....@ sherri bet theres alot of junk food in the teachers lounge

Sherri - posted on 07/27/2010

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Make sure you check with your school too because we are a junk free school. So our kids are not allowed to bring in chips, snack cakes, candy, cookies etc. they confiscate them from the kids if they see them.

Angela - posted on 07/27/2010

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My FIL showed me something his mom used to make and my very picky daughter likes it he calls it pizza bread. He toasts some bread then spreads some pizza sauce on both slices then puts some pizza cheese on it. He eats it open but I put it together and sent it in one of those sandwhich keepers. Starting this year our schools dont allow PB so Im going to try almond butter. I get those sargento individally wrapped stick cheeses, fruit cups, but hosestly I dont know what Im going to send wit hher this year cause she only went 1/2 day then came home and ate last year. Hopefully mine will see other kids eating foods and start liking new foods. We start school Aug 20th so I need to figure it out soon.

Kanika - posted on 07/27/2010

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I am so thankful this question was asked because I too have a picky eater. She does not like peanut butter so PBJ is out of the question. She likes tuna but she gets tired of it everyday. Last year I gave her pizza rolls, beans and franks, or tuna for a lunch options. It's hard coming up with ideas because she doesn't like the things that I like. I would love a granola bar. She wouldn't. She does love yogurt though so I am definitely going to consider that this year. Wow you ladies gave me a lot to think about and consider. I am making my grocery list now!

Krystyna - posted on 07/27/2010

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get about 4 boxes...fill them with foods you know they like & are acceptable to eat during school....fill one with little debbie type cakes,one pretzels chips etc,maybe 3rd yogurt fruit snacks etc,4th sandwich items or lunchables....then the morning of or the night before let them pack there lunch....that gives them options but still gives you control over what there taking...1 item from each....plus a drink container (most schools have milk) ...then they cant blame you for putting "yucky food" in there lunch i have a 5 ,13 & an almost 18 yr old ...all of which would not eat lunchmeat or sandwiches... containers of soup & spagehttios where my sandwich box good luck

Heidi - posted on 07/26/2010

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Thankfully, my picky eater will eat leftovers. We do meatloaf sandwiches, cold fried chicken, or a thermos of warm noodles. Sometimes I just pack all "snacks", as long as it is healthy- graham crackers, peanuts, fruit slices, cheese. I let my kids pick one lunchable a week, as they are pricey.

Kim - posted on 07/21/2010

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I am getting some great ides from these posts! My daughter is in year round school so we just started this week. I let her have hot lunch 2 days a week and pack the other 3. She is also picky but we have found some favorites. I pack meat, cheese, and crackers and let her make her own lunchable. The yogurts are great. I found individual apples and dip packs. She also likes pb and banana wraps. Our school has a separate cafeteria section for peanut allergy kids.

Flo - posted on 07/20/2010

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I bought a thermos for both of my kids and the thermos brand is the best one. I put chicken nuggets in there, pizza rolls big hit with my kids, I do hot pockets, cottage cheese and soup. All good things to put in the thermos. I always try to make sure they are getting plenty of protein. Another favorite of my kids is Cheese cut in strips and ham cut in strips great protein and crackers and carrots with ranch. Good luck just take what they like and make a way to give it to them.

Toni - posted on 07/18/2010

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Her we start school the first week of August. We don't pack a lunch everyday. I make sure my daughter has stuff that doesn't need to be refrigerated because they can't do it in the classroom. She gets half a pb sandwich with strawberries or grapes and usually a cheese stick. I have found if she helps in choosing what is packed she is more likely to eat it. Good luck.

Khalilah - posted on 07/18/2010

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well i have two picky eaters myself...so i give one ppj with his little pudding or a healthy snack with a water mix with pk of crystal delight......that how i get them to drink water...lol and my other child she likes sandwiches so shes easy....

Michelle - posted on 07/17/2010

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My sons school has microwaves in the classroom so normally we send leftovers from dinner the night before but if there isn't any then I send pizza pops, chunky soup, bagel bites, the odd time a sandwich but they aren't really fond of those. My kids are veggie eaters so we send salad a lot as well. As for snacks they get to chose one junk food item (eg. jello, pudding, cookies) and 2 healthy choices fruit, yogurt, vegetables. For the most part the kids help to decide what is in their lunches to ensure they will eat it.....My kids aren't big eaters so we struggle with getting them to eat lunch at all so our rule is you have to eat the main course and if the snacks come home so be it.

Tracey - posted on 07/16/2010

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i'v let my daughter pick her own lunch box to take to school when she starts in sept. and she has already told me that she wants to have an apple, carrot some cheese and a yogurt. and thats what she can have untill she changes her mind

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School starts here on Aug. 16! The lunches they serve at our school are not healthy at all, so I'm wondering the same thing. I've been taking him to the store and trying to help him pick out foods he can take. The thing is, most of the foods he likes have to be cooked.



Here is our sample menu--not sure if it will fly or not :/



Bagel w/ Cream Cheese & a Gogurt.

Pizza Lunchable

Cereal w/ Milk (I found this awesome little container that holds the milk in a cold thermos on the bottom and the cereal on top and it is actually big enough to hold a decent amount :)

PB&J (unless they jump on the no peanut band wagon) & a Gogurt

Banana, slice of cheese and whole grain crackers or bread



So far that's all I've got, but I'm keeping my eyes peeled for more options...



All he drinks is water & V8, so if I send V8's I can get a little fruit & veggie in there...but they are pricey--$1.79 each for the individual sized ones. Maybe I can find a leak proof cup of some sort to put it in & that he will actually drink out of ie-not a sippy cup.

Tiffany - posted on 07/15/2010

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Whatever i would feed them at home.U cant always give kids what they want...or it would be candy all the time.So,make the lunch shape it funny looking or,throw in a letter or,a extra something that will get them 2 eat it.Like i said shapes that r not normal got my picky eaters example:Heart shaped sandwiches and apples that have dunking sauce...u can get sauce in stores.I hope this helps.

Monica - posted on 07/15/2010

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My kids do not like the cafeteria food, so we pack lunches every day. I always have them pack atleast one or two vegetable or fruit each day such as carrot sticks, applesauce, fruit in a cup. I also like for them to pack one dairy such as yogurt or cheese stick. They choose a sandwhich or PB crackers/cheese or crackers. If they have a sandwich they will usually pick pretzels or crackers to go with it. If they choose a cracker, then I usually have them pick a granola or breakfast bar to go with it. Once a week they can take their thermos with soup or spaghettio's. I have also sent tortilla wraps once in a while.

Fridays we have treat day and they can choose chips and a cookie to pack. The other days these are off limits.

Sylvia - posted on 07/15/2010

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OMG where do you live that school starts in the middle of August?! That's insane!

I have an extremely picky eater, too, and sadly our school district has jumped on the no-peanut-butter-at-all-ever bandwagon, which limits the options even further :P. So basically I pack either cheese (she'll eat medium or old cheddar, or marble cheddar, or mozzarella -- that's it) and crackers, or else half a bagel with cream cheese; a fruit (because she won't eat veggies, sigh) -- an apple, a pear, grapes, whatever; a yoghurt; and a little container of Cheerios. They have a snack at morning recess, then lunch, then another snack at afternoon recess, and I find that amount of food is about what DD will eat on those three occasions.

Of course, then we have the problem that some other kid will have something more interesting (i.e., junk food :P) in their lunch and will share it, so DD eats that instead and half the lunch I packed her comes home again. But nothing I can do about that, really, except tell her that's what she's going to be eating if she's hungry before dinner.

Fortunately DD is willing to eat the same thing day after day after day as long as it's something within the very limited range of things she likes. (The day camp has succeeded in making her eat very small amounts of a variety of vegetables so far this month, but I'm not stupid enough to pack veggies in her lunch in hopes that she'll eat them without someone breathing down her neck about it.) So these very boring and repetitive choices work out OK. I don't know what you do if you have picky eaters who also don't like finding the same thing in their lunchbox every day...

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