Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Back to School: Lunches

It's that time again.
Back to Chaos School. I know a lot of moms look forward to the kids going back, but I'll be honest with ya here; I love having my kids home. I love lazy mornings. I love the lack of committed schedule.
During the school year, my schedule is so rushed and so hectic. It fatigues me. And this year, I will have 3 kids at 3 schools, with three schedules. I'm kinda dreading it. What about you? Are you looking forward to the start of the school year? Or do you love summer vacation as much as I do?
Today I want to talk about lunch. To cut to the chase, most school cafeteria lunches are junk, plain and simple. They either taste bad, don't offer a nutritious selection, or are a waste of money. I prefer to pack my children's lunches. By packing their lunches I know exactly what they are getting, and for the most part, I know what they are consuming as well. Not to mention costs. My homemade lunches certainly cost less than three bucks a pop!
I think the Bento lunch trend is super cute, however, I can't see myself taking the time to cut out all those artsy shapes and molds and whatnot for the bento type lunches.
What I love to do, and what my kids love, is a fun, nutritious, kid-friendly lunch. My Little Boy calls them "homemade lunchables" (Lord knows, they are only a fraction of the cost of a real Lunchable!). They are kid-friendly, and usually get eaten because they are so fun!
Here are a few examples of lunches I have packed:
Kebabs. Kids love them. Bagel crisps. Sliced Veggies w/ Ranch. Homemade Trail Mix. Sliced berries. Yogurt and a drink.
Snack Break would be the pretzel/cheese dip. One drink.

Kebabs, again. It's a favorite. Homemade Trail Mix. Dried Bananas. Sliced Veggies. Bagel crisps. Pretzels. Probiotic Yogurt Drink.

Chicken Roll-Up (made from leftovers!) Wheat Thins, Shredded Carrots w/ Olives. Probiotic Yogurt drink. Trail Mix.

Olives (my kids love them!). Lunchmeat. Carrot sticks, sliced string cheese. Pretzels. Homemade banana bread bites. Raisins/yogurt covered raisins. Drink. Snack break= homemade trail mix & drink.

Homemade chicken nuggets w/ Ranch. Half banana. Oatmeal cookies. Carrot sticks. Drink.
Snack break= Quaker Stila Bits and drink.

Beef jerky. Ritz Crackers. Olives. Cheddar Cheese. Ranch Goldfish. Probitic Yogurt drink. Grapes. Trail mix. Drink.
Snack Break= Applesauce & drink.

My kids attend a Charter School, and the school gets out early (in exchange for short recess, and no lunch break). Kinder schedule is typical (release at 11:45am), but the upper grades get out about 1pm. So I don't have to pack lunches often, except for the days the kids have electives, field trips, etc.
Do you pack lunches for your children? Or do they get the cafeteria lunch? Does your cafeteria offer nutritious and yummy choices?
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