With school starting soon, today’s post is about the snacks and lunches that I pack for my children. However, before you read any further, this is my disclaimer: I am not a certified nutritionist. I’m a Mom that wants her kiddos to eat well balanced meals. Yes, we try to buy organic whenever possible. Yes, we eat ice cream and cookies. I’m sharing what works for my children in lieu of buying school lunches. That’s not to say that we never buy school lunches, but 99% of the time, I pack lunch for my children.
Over the years, I’ve tried a lot of different foods and through trial and error, I’ve come up with some snack and lunch standards that work really well for us. There are some foods that are more suited to be packed and others that just don’t hold up very well in a school lunch bag. My children eat a wide variety of food, but it is the same wide variety. I used to be worried that my son only wanted chicken nuggets for lunch until our pediatrician told me that he eats a tuna salad sandwich every day and that there is nothing wrong with eating the same thing over and over again as long as it’s healthy. With that assurance, I stopped worrying and never looked back. I make my children breakfast and dinner every night and I know that even if their snacks and lunches are consistently the same, they have a wider variety at other meal times.
A typical lunch includes chicken nuggets, yogurt or fruit, and veggies cut into sticks with ranch dressing to dip them in.I love the Trader Joe’s yogurt – delish!My son has this L.L.Bean lunch bag (they come in lots of fabric choices for boys and girls). It is large enough to fit everything and I like the mesh pouch on the inside of the top. It can be used for different things, but I insert a cold gel pack to keep things cool, such as the yogurt or fruit.
I bake the chicken nuggets in our toaster oven every morning and I also boil a cup of water and add it to the thermos and then immediately put the lid on. The hot water warms the thermos and keeps the chicken nuggets hot until lunch time. It may seem daunting at first, but once you get into a routine, it becomes second nature. This is a great solution for kids that want a hot lunch. Sometimes, I substitute the chicken nuggets for meat balls with a little marinara sauce.
Argh! The dreaded veggies. My son likes carrots and celery, a small container of ranch dressing is the key.
These are the types of snacks I pack, I put them in a brown paper bag and put that on top of his lunch bag so it is easy for him to grab it. Protein bars, cheese and crackers, Goldfish and I love the Sabra Hummus and pretzel packs!
Sweets are not a daily addition, but once a week or so I’ll add a treat. Have you tried the new Oreo thins? I’m addicted.
His favorite drinks are water, lemonade or ice tea. We get a low or zero calorie kind.
Here is his typical lunch bag: ranch dressing for his veggies (the veggies go in a separate container on top), a piece of fruit, a thermos filled with chicken nuggets (we like Bell and Evans) and a treat!