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Lunch Box Ideas

Updated on August 28, 2012

Chicken Strip Wrap

What can I have for lunch?????????

Are your kids sick of PB&J sandwiches already? Are they bored with their bologna and cheese???? Here are a few ideas to make lunch more interesing.

WRAPS

Chicken Nugget Wrap - One of my kids loves taking leftover nuggets or chicken strips for her lunch. But, just dipping them cold is no fun. Instead, she places them on a tortilla or flat-out bread, adds ranch dressing, some lettuce and tomato, and wraps it all up.

You can vary it up using popcorn chicken, popcorn shrimp, bacon, eggs, or other meat/protein fillers. Any salad dressing or condiment works as well as any vegetable. Just find that interesting combo that makes your kid happy.

Tortillas - Bread gets boring sometimes, so my kids like using tortillas every once in a while. They place their meat and cheese and condiment on the tortilla and wrap it all up.

Use leftover taco meat with some cheese and add a tupperware with salsa. They can dip as they go or unroll, add salsa right before they eat, and enjoy.

PB&J on a tortilla is not half bad.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

Using leftover meat from dinner the night before can make for a more appetizing lunch. We use leftover chicken breast or turkey to make sandwiches instead of lunchmeat sometimes. Nothing is better than a leftover turkey sandwich from Thanksgiving!!!

Get creative and make the sandwiches fun too - add cranberry sauce to the turkey sandwich. You can add pesto to a chicken breast sandwich. Use a fun bread roll instead of bread. Mix some of the meat with a gravy and then put it on the sandwich. Use roast beef from dinner, slice it thin, and add some cheese.

If you have a non-sandwich eater, like one of mine, you can send foods to dip in hummus or peanut butter - fruits or veggies work well. They get a protein and a vegetable and fruit, which is always healthy.

Even sending a smoothie in a thermos can get a kid through the day. There are a million recipes for those out there!

Throw some granola (or fruit, nuts, cereal) in a tupperware to add to their yogurt.

Don't forget cereal!!! Put it in a tupperware with a good lid (because you do not want the milk to leak on the way home), have them buy milk at school (or send it in a thermos), add a spoon, and they can have cereal for lunch.

PB&J VARIATIONS

Some of my kids do not like jelly, so here are some things they mix with peanut butter (not all are normal, but at least they eat!!):

Bananas

Pickles

Apples or Pears

Nutella (yes the nuts are redundant, but again, at least they are eating!!)

Sliced Grapes


LEFTOVERS

My kids are HUGE on leftovers, especially noodles. If there are leftovers in the house, they all line up to take them for lunch.

If they need to be heated up, I usually do that in the morning and put it in a thermos. If not, then we can pack them up the night before.

Some leftovers that are good (hot or cold):

noodles - I usually add a little butter and parmesan cheese after warming them up

soup - heat up in the morning

hot dogs - cold or hot - it depends on your kid

pizza - cold or hot - depends on your kid

chicken nuggets - great in wraps or cold dunked in a sauce

leftover Chinese food - one of my kids LOVES taking cold crab rangoon for lunch with some sweet and sour sauce. Any of the items from your take-out menu can be eaten warm or cold - Remember those college days when you ate Chinese for breakfast cold out of the container....ahh..memories.....

lasagna - heat up and put in a thermos

mac and cheese - heat up and put in a thermos

meatballs in a sauce - heat up and put in a thermos

rice - cold or warm - so many varieties

bean dishes - cold or hot

salads - keep dressing separate in another container until your child is ready to eat

pierogi, ravioli, etc... - warm up and put in thermos with a little butter or extra sauce so it does not dry out

WE HAVE NO BREAD!!

Sometimes, the bread box is empty, or the kids look at you and decide that they are not eating bread this week. Either way, here are some substitutions for bread:

Leftover rolls from dinner

Biscuits

Saltines

Crackers

Graham Crackers

Lettuce Leaves

Kale Leaves

JUST PLAIN FUN!

Here are some of the more creative foods we have come up with over the years:

cream cheese and jelly on graham crackers, bread, crackers, etc..

cheese spread and pepper jelly on saltines

cheese spread and bacon on saltines

cold egg slices and bacon on biscuits

cold egg slices on Triscuit crackers

Nutella on digestive biscuits

roasted vegetables on a crusty roll with some spread cheese (like goat or brie)

adding fruit like apples or pears to their sandwich (ie: ham and apple, pear and cheese, grapes in chicken salad)

mozzarella and tomato salad with dressing

GOOD LUCK!

None of these are new ideas, but if they help you get through the lunch making process, that is awesome!

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      chloelozano 5 years ago

      Awesome ideas! And I guarantee these lunches are so much healthier than what is served in the cafeteria! My little man starts kindergarten next week and I was disgusted by the September lunch menu on the school website. We will be packing every day.