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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Kicking Lunches up a Notch

I have to admit for the first few years of school, I had it easy.  My oldest would eat anything and everything.  She was happiest with a cheese sandwich, a piece of fruit, a treat and some sort of granola bar for recess.  Easy kid to feed. Okay so it was boring but in my defense, I had two small toddlers wiping snot on my pant legs every time I stepped into the kitchen so easy and boring was my fastest option. 

Enter child number 2, who is slightly more difficult to feed.  At first she’d tolerate most things in her lunch but with loose teeth combined with same food everyday itis, she started to knock items she was willing to eat off the list one by one.

But lets get to child #3.  While a healthy eater, he will consume any amount of noodles, potatoes, and sausage, he hates all things sandwiches. This kid’s favourite meal type of food is supper. 

Let’s face it, sandwiches are about the easiest stock option a mom has.  Throw any fruit/veg/treat combo and we’ve got it made but with child #3 now added into the mix, I knew I was going to have to up my game and get serious about finding sandwich alternatives to keep them happy.

I spent some time and found a few great ideas that I figured would be easy to implement.  Well, I’m gonna be honest here… nothing is truly easy.  It did take some time one Sunday afternoon to pre-cook the pizza pops, meatballs and zucchini bread.

So here is my array of lunches, which hopefully might inspire you to greater lunch-ness  without going all super mom on you with the smiley faces and all that.   Cause really, who has time or the money to spend carving all the expensive cheeses etc into imitations of Mickey Mouse or Luna. 
2012-09-13 07.25.05Looks yummy right?  It was, in my opinion.  Want to guess what came home un eaten in this tidy little lunch box?  The hot dog bun and one and a half meatballs.  They ate the salad and grapes.  Who are you and what did you do with my children.   Seriously the meatballs were delicious and were made up ahead of time and frozen. On the morning in question, I merely nuked them for 30 seconds and voila they were good to go.  Recipe is courtesy of Maija Moments and you can get the recipe here.
2012-09-21 07.49.08 Okay so this one doesn’t look like much but not included in here is the yoghurt drink and granola bar or crackers I always include in for recess time.  Those two biscuit looking items actually are pizza muffins filled with pizza sauce, mozzarella and turkey slices.  Of all the new things I tried, this was the biggest hit and the kids loved them.  (so does hubs).  Recipe is courtesy of Maija Moments and you can get the recipe here.  She has much better photos than me. :)
2012-09-21 07.48.48 Now to keep my third child happy, I included one day of chicken chow mein.  That’s home made chow mein.  It was super easy to cook up the noodles in the a.m., it only takes like 3 minutes to cook and then I added some cooked chopped chicken on top.  He loved it.  Again, I supplement with yoghurt and some sort of snack for recess. 
2012-10-03 07.46.17This one, I discovered all by myself.  I found mini pita pockets at my grocery store.  It was $1.79 for 12 pockets.  I placed some ham in there with a little bit of lettuce, added some laughing cow cheese on the side and voila, something beyond your average sandwich.  The kids loved it.  Not a crumb came back from these little babies.  I would put two in for the oldest child and one for the younger two. 

A word about the containers I use.  They come from Easy Lunchboxes.  I had done a review on them awhile ago. See the review here. Everything I said in that review stands true today.  I am still using the same four containers and every one of my kids has no problems bringing the container and the lid home in their lunch kits everyday!!  I am hoping to buy another set soon so that I don’t have to worry about getting them cleaned up everyday for the next round of lunches.  

What do you pack in your child’s lunch?  Please share any links to any great ideas or recipes you have below!

In the Mommy Trenches

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