Packing Lunch, Back-to-School Style

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I'm giving WWW the week off to rest from the madness that this Eat Well series has been and instead, thought I'd post a quickie re: Archer's school lunch as many of you have asked what I typically pack for him. School lunches are tough because portability is key. So is time prep, especially when scrambling around at 7:00 am (OMG, you guys.) Sandwiches are most convenient but my kid isn't big on sandwiches so we usually go with pasta of some kind, most recently, plain raviolis topped with invisible sauce.

Behold, his first day of school lunch:
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For snack:
Seaweed "Snack" + String Cheese (organic, Trader Joes brand)

I was first introduced to the dried seaweed at my parents' house care of their local Jimbos. And then at our local Whole Foods. Recently, Trader Joes started carrying them (way cheaper) and I buy tons of them for the kids to snack on during the week. They're like chips but... seaweed. A great way to get picky kids to eat green things. (ingredients = seaweed, canola oil, sesame oil + sea salt.)
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Lunch:
Raviolis (also from Trader Joes) are his favorite everever. Plain with no sauce. This has become a lunch standard in our house for Archer only. Fable hates them but she eats everything else pretty much so we're good to go.
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"ye olde standby"
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...and fresh strawberries from the farmer's market:
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I don't pack dessert. Archer gets to have a treat when he comes home from school. I keep a stockpile of ice-cream and sorbet in the freezer and/or we take a walk to the local bakery for fresh cookies after school. (By not packing a sweet Archer has something to look forward to when he gets home besides, you know, quinoa.)
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(lunch box was a gift from Uncle David. Water bottle and thermos Archer picked out at local shop.
All three items =

I've been known to slip in other things: nuts, (although Archer's new school has a no-nut policy as I hear most schools do these days. Sigh... how sad for the PB&J. One of my childhood faves.)
cucumber slices, tangerines and other such things but more often than not everything gets rejected except for what is listed above. And so it is. Raviolis for days and days and weeks and days.

What kinds of things do you pack in your kids' lunches?

GGC

58 comments:

Adriana | 8:35 PM

I am obsessed with packing healthy lunches for my step son (and someday my lil one as well...too soon for that now). I'm a big fan of the strawberry, cucumber, cream cheese sandwich and homemade chicken noodle soup in a thermos. Sweet potato fries are yummy when room temp and sometimes I bake homemade cereal bars. I love the vegan lunchbox blog. She has a cookbook out now as well but she is chock full of healthy and fun ideas.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 8:41 PM

Yum! Sounds amazing! And thanks for the rec! Will absolutely be checking that out! (I want your homemade cereal bar recipe, holy amazing!)

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 8:42 PM

Sorry about all the "amazing"s. I just got very excited there. Ha!

Anne | 8:46 PM

No peanut butter? How tragic! I would have starved...

My 11 month old is barely eating any table food, so I'm no help on the lunch suggestions front. But if ravioli makes him happy for days upon days, why rock the boat?

I second the vegan lunchbox blog - she has a "to go" oatmeal packet recipe that has been great for early AM breakfasts. Good luck!

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 8:48 PM

Yeah. No rocking this boat. We're good with raviolis but those cereal bars sound most excellent. And don't even get me started on the peanut butter. Not that my kids will eat it but DAMN. No prank calling and no peanut butter? Times have changed in the child hood.

Alexia | 8:52 PM

but i thought archer doesn't like quinoa?!

Krystal | 8:56 PM

My kindergardener will only eat pasta! Pasta with a smidge of EVOO for breakfast, same for lunch and then he slids home with a helping of pasta for dinner. He loves fruit and eats mounds of melons, but the veggies, forget it. So sad, as for I love anything steamed, I've tried mixing them in with said pasta and without fail he will not eat it. This is a battle I have chosen not to fight. One day he will come around! Right?
My 3 year old eats anything though, his favorite snack right now is quarter cut frozen grapes! I feel like I spend hours cutting grapes every weekend!

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 8:58 PM

He hates quinoa, Alexia. And it breaks my heart. (I still serve it to him all the time. Hoping. Praying. Sigh.)

Felicia | 9:04 PM

You might really like this blog. I read it all the time for lunch ideas and muffin tin Mondays!

http://www.anotherlunch.com

I use her ideas as my menu for the week and they are fun to make and pretty easy.

seekingclarav | 9:34 PM

What is it about those darn mini ravs? My toddler lurves them. I can't help but feel a teeny bit guilty giving them to her cause they have animal rennet in them and we are veggies. But the food battle sucks and I usually loose so animal rennet it is. Sigh.

Anonymous | 9:53 PM

Hi Rebecca!

I thought you might also like weelicious.com. The author isn't vegetarian, but she has lots of veg and vegan recipes. All very easy and healthy. I don't have any kids, but so far all the recipes I've tried from her site have been a hit with me!

Jessica | 9:57 PM

No nuts? Tragic.

Helen | 10:05 PM

My kids school has no nuts and no packets, meaning no packet food. This would be okay except that the little containers don't come home. They presently have strawberries, a sandwich, raisins, a cookie, yogurt and carrot sticks.

This website has printable charts for lunchboxes.

http://www.kiwifamilies.co.nz/Topics/Food+Nutrition/School+Lunches.html

Jennifer | 10:38 PM

No nut policy here too. We eat sunflower seed butter and jam. Kicks butt-- so tasty, and allowed at school.
Other ideas: snap pea crisps, cooked beets with plain yogurt, this... http://www.pacificfoods.com/our-foods/creamy-soups/organic-roasted-red-pepper-and-tomato - cooked with tiny pasta. Yum!

Laura | 10:46 PM

I'm so glad my child's school doesn't have a no nut rule. I don't pack lunch every day. If my daughter wants to eat the hot lunch at school, I'm fine with that. But when I pack lunch for her it's always pb&j, a fruit or vegetable and a small treat. Once in a while I throw in some string cheese or yogurt.

I'm not sure why I've never thought of sending a thermos of soup with her. Especially in the winter when nearly every day is in the negative temperatures. I will definitely be getting a thermos this week.

Anonymous | 11:04 PM

i have to pack 3 lunches and it can be a chore packing things that are healthy and they will bother to eat. lol hunter is almost always pbj circle sandwich(love pampered chef)a banana in cool tupperware holder, juice or water and frozen yogurt tube(thaws by lunch). logan is all about turkey pastrami and provolone, bubble wrapped pear(to avoid bruises), water and froz yogurt tube. now the girl is not so in to sandwiches so it's stick cheese and some crackers with yogurt, juice and an apple. i agree-love the lunchbox blog. too bad she doesn't update as often. loved the daily ones.

Kila Bell | 11:09 PM

I do a "layer dip"... beans sourcream guacamole shredded cheese with baked tortilla chips!

Amanda | 3:58 AM

Does your TJs carry the other flavors of the mini ravioli's too? Maybe you can sneak him some of the squash ones...

Rhea (Greek Feaster) | 5:01 AM

I don't pack lunch for a child, but I pack lunch for myself! Some of my faves:
-veggies with hummus for dipping
-LARABARS!
-homemade trail mix (might be fun to make with Archer, although I don't know how you'd get around the no-nut thing. The horror!)
-easy-to-eat fruits like apples, bananas and orange wedges
-yogurt (sometimes I go crazy and add jam or granola)
-pita bread with a veggie burger and veggies (you can pack the veggie burger frozen and it will keep the rest of the food cold)
-leftovers, leftovers, leftovers
-cheese (Babybel is fun, love that red wax! Yes, I have no life.)

Sarah | 5:09 AM

I'm up there on the healthy lunches to, the only sweet type of thing my son will get is a homemade cereal bar (I used this one http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chewy-Granola-Bars/Detail.aspx but don't add the sugar or choc. chips, and instead add a scoop of protien powder, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, ground flax).
My son is 9 so I have a few yrs to experiment with lunches - he also hates sandwiches so this is what we finally come up with that will rotate on a weekly basis: bagel and cream cheese, cheese omelette, cucumber sandwich, spaghetti, homemade pizza. Each of this "main meals" are complimented with either milk or juice, fruit (strawberries/blackberries or grapes), cheese string and a bar on occasion. We also have a no-nut policy but I have on occasion snuck in a almond butter sandwich. Sesame seeds/pumpkin seeds/raisin etc are also a mix I will give in a separate container.
Ever thought of the Bento-box idea? Maybe Archer would like a few different choices and then you've added variety for him that is healthy? Rice crisps are another snack idea.
good luck! Apparently I ate canned corn as the only vegetable when I was young - there is not a vegetable I won't eat now so hey, if he's into ravioli and he's getting nutrition .. go for it!!

Anonymous | 5:24 AM

I have two middle schoolers and they ate nothing but turkey sandwiches last year per their request. This year, we're mixing it up a little because I don't want to make another turkey sandwich ever. I've been sending them with whole wheat crackers, a babybel cheese, and lots of fruit and veg and they're loving it. They tell me it's easy to eat in the short amount of time they have but that it's plenty of food and they aren't ravenous by the end of the day. Sometimes I'll throw in some turkey pepperoni or some leftover grilled chicken for additional protein. (It all also holds up well sitting in their locker).

Kerry | 5:30 AM

A most awesome post about lunch and snacks. My 5-year-old just started school and is a PICKY, PICKY eater.

These suggestions rock!

K. Maguire | 5:35 AM

I only pack my own lunches now, but I am crazy about this curry lentil dip at Trader Joe's. So good with carrot or celery sticks and crackers. I'm also big fan of packing small containers of olives, smoked almonds, and cheese.

Also, the rec for a strawberry, cucumber and cream cheese sandwich is now stuck in my brain. Must. Try. Soon.

Lynne | 6:00 AM

Hi,
I have 2 super picky boys and have recently bought laptop lunch's bento boxes which are SUPER cool! problem is they can't open them, so I can only use them when I'm around (bummer).
My just-started-kindergarten-er has eaten this lunch since he started preschool as a 3 year old:
1/2 muffin (choc chip or french toast or corn)
1/2 apple, sliced
6 slices cucumber
crunchy snack - cheese its, booty etc
box of chocolate milk.

any variation comes home untouched. I'm going out of my mind.

My 9yr old 4th grader who had been a vegetarian till recently (will now eat PORK products only - wtf) is so unpredictable.
He'll buy pasta or a hot dog at school or have me make him a salad for lunch. which can't be made in advance. He won't take pasta from home. He won't eat a sandwich. Or eggs (ever), or cheese sticks. He loves fruit, though, so I can give him an apple, strawberries and a pear in the same lunch. I can also give him pea pods and cucumbers. But not a peanut butter sandwich cause the kid won't eat a sandwich.

Our school is peanut free in the classroom but not in the lunchroom, where there's a peanut-free table. I used to send mixed nuts as a snack but no more. We do a lot of granola bars but now not in the classrooms because they're all "processed in a facility..."

My boys load up on food once they get home, but it's more of the same. Totally frustrating to feed these guys :( I need help too.

controllingaspicyuniverse | 6:47 AM

Mine picked a "pattern" (his words - Kindergarten math is fun!) of buy, buy, pack. So he gets the school hot lunch for two days then he packs. One funny thing I've noticed is he gets more vegetables at school and eats them (allegedly), and will only nibble at the baby carrots that are his favorite at home. I think it's the novelty of getting a meal by himself - but I'll take it! When I pack for him he usually requests a peanut butter and jelly or peanut butter and honey sandwich (which gets gobbled up), some grapes or strawberries or a banana or sometimes both, a little Horizon vanilla milk, some carrots or cucumbers, and those tiny Annie's bunny cookies.

Martha | 6:50 AM

Kids are so interesting, that's for sure! Can't wait to see what my 10 month old will eat when he's in kindergarten. As someone who never liked peanut butter and jelly, I had to be creative with my lunches as a teen. I loved packing an apple cut in half with cinnamon sprinkled on the cut pieces, and roasted salted soybeans that I sometimes threw in my yogurt for some crunch.

I have been LOVING WWW's Eat Well series, I've cooked a couple of recipes already and I tried quinoa for the first time! I hope she continues it for awhile. Keep encouraging her, your readers love it.

Sarah Buttenwieser | 7:17 AM

You need (really, you do) these for your lunches:
http://www.snacktaxi.com/

no more plastic bags. better for the environment & as I've begun reading your awesome blog (hope you'll check mine out, too) i am confident you'll love these because they are so much more stylish than plastic bags, too.

Kate | 7:37 AM

I love you, Rebecca, and all that you write, so this will be my first negative comment ever.

My heart is racing at the thought of responsible parents ignoring no-nuts policies.

I could go on for paragraphs but won't. I guess I'll just be nice and say that I get where you're coming from -- I grew up on PB&J's too and would probably lament the loss if it weren't for my luck in having given birth to a nut allergic kid. Please count your blessings that your loss of nuts and pb&j (for 1 meal a day, only on school days) is just an inconvenience and not a life threatening situation.

Thank you for understanding and for remembering that your words are influencing other parents out there in other schools, too.

www.diningwithgoldilocks.blogspot.com (My lovely little bloggity blog about life with food allergies.)

Anonymous | 7:39 AM

Talk about inspirational lunchboxes, have you ever seen what this woman does with her son's daily bento box?
http://lunchinabox.net/

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 7:44 AM

Thanks for all the amazing recs, all! And for the snacktaxi rec! Hate plastic bags but there's no other way to pack seaweed so thank you! They're so cute too!

As for the nuts, Kate, totally. I don't ignore the policy! I doubt any parent would. These rules are strictly enforced for a reason. Growing up, there weren't the nut allergies there are today. Very different story now. I was merely saying that it was a bummer, that's all - a bummer for those parents out there who depend on nuts for their kid's protein requirements.

My kids don't even like PB&J but I LOVED it as a kid is all I'm saying. :)

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 7:47 AM

Oh and thanks for the Bento Box link! AMAZING! Great comments, all! So helpful and insightful!

Anonymous | 7:47 AM

Nice! I don't have kids but this reminded me of her : http://maandagdaandag.blogspot.com/2010/09/schoollunch-2.html

Kate | 7:53 AM

Oh, shwew!

Yeah, I re-read your post and realized maybe you were talking about previously slipping in nuts, you know, before he was in a no-nuts school.

My mistake.

You would be surprised, though, of the stories I've heard of parents sending their kids off with a PB&J and then telling their kid, "Shhh. Don't tell anyone." Which is a shame, not just from an allergy perspective, but also because it's sending the child a bad message, me thinks.

dawn | 8:36 AM

My son's school is a bring your lunch school. They do have local lunch Tuesday (which is always a homemade soup and bread) and pizza fridays (what kid doesn't love pizza friday). Most days he'll get a cheese sandwich (100% organic wheat bread), strawberries or grapes, string cheese and a kefir drink. He also gets milk at school. We are lucky that his school doesn't have a no nut policy--he does have two kids in class this year with severe nut allergies but they make sure that the kids with nut lunches sit at a different table and was their hands well. We also doe rice, chicken, cheese and salsa or other combos. But my kids isn't all that interested in food. I am going to try those seaweed chips.

babypickel | 8:50 AM

Yumyumyum! :)

Eilidh | 10:41 AM

My 5 year old takes lunch to school everyday and she has the same pretty much everyday (I think she likes knowing what she is having):
wholewheat pitta stuffed with houmous, grated carrot and cheese
apple juice
frozen organic yog tube
tub of baby tomatoes/pepper chunks
fruit
organic cheese stick
She isn't fussed on the school dinners and I figure this is a pretty nutritious lunch, and we do a hot meal in the evening. My 3 year old takes lunch to preschool 3 days a week and has exactly the same as her sister just slightly smaller pitta (she doesn't know I chop the middle bit out!!!) as she doesn't need as much fuel!
Wish my 2 would like quinoa too! But they do love peanut butter, cashew nut butter and cream cheese. We don't have a no nut policy here (in UK), but maybe that is because my girls are at 2 v small schools/preschools and there are no nut allergies that I know of, only 1 diabetic, so guess it isn't a concern in our situation. But I always tell my 2 not to share just for that reason, and they understand some food can make others ill etc.
Also I sometimes give home baked no sugar banana cakes as 'treats' - in fact made some today - yum!

Sass E-mum | 11:08 AM

Hurray. Another no sandwich child! Tho she comes close with her every day tuna in mini pitta. There's a no chocolate rule at her nursery - which I love. After all who needs a week's supply of temptation in the house.

But what is it with the quinoa everyone??

Eilidh | 11:15 AM

quinoa - it is so bloomin' good for you! a wholesome wholegrain!

Elysha | 11:26 AM

A quick word on the no-peanut rule...As an elementary school teacher, I've seen this rule evolve over the past few years from everything goes, to no nuts in the classroom, to no nuts period. I've never given it all that much thought beyond the fact that it makes things easier for the kids will allergies. Then, my daughter was diagnosed with a peanut allergy after suffering a reaction at 19 months. I can tell you it certainly opened my eyes to the dangers of being peanut allergic (it's the #1 death related allergy) and the worry of being a parent of a PA kid. Since it only takes the slightest exposure for a person to have an anaphylactic reaction, even trading something nut free with another kid who brought peanut butter in their lunch box is dangerous. There is also the risk of contaminating things around the building. I read about a kid who had a reaction after playing a harmonica previously used by a kid who had a PB&J. Until my daughter is really old enough to understand the risks and be an advocate for herself, (middle school, I'd think) I feel way more comfortable knowing that it won't be an issue for her during the school day.

LJB | 11:42 AM

I find having to pack lunch such a pain in the ..., but my son's school doesn't have a kitchen so most of the time I put leftovers (soup, casserole, pasta) into a thermos, along with cut apple or carrot, cheese stick, water, cereal bar or crackers. When no leftovers are to be found, he's quite happy with a tuna/pasta sauce sandwich... or just plain cucumber one...

Anonymous | 11:47 AM

My 5 year old daughter loves sandwiches with (ham, beef, chicken sorry not a veg family) ontop of butter and sliced dill pickles, especially on "fancy" bread (pitas, crossants etc) I will alternatively send a thermos with soup or pasta or hotdog . Put hotdog in thermos, pour boiling water over top, seal, send condiment-laden bun to put it on. You can get healthy-ish hotdogs! Besides the main dish, she likes crackers, cheese, grapes or any fruit or veggies cut up, and yogurt plus juice. They have 2 snack times as well as lunch.Her school has no nuts and no garbage policies so wrappers, packaged items etc are a no go.

Baby in Broad | 12:54 PM

With an almost-3-year-old, I don't have school lunches to pack, but I pack dozens of snacks for adventures out in the world.

Westley is crazy for pasta. It's one of the few things that he'll eat really reliably. I offer him different kinds - brown rice pasta, whole wheat pasta, and so on - so he's not always eating the exact same thing. I top it with just the tiniest bit of olive oil or Earth Balance and some nutritional yeast.

Other favorites: carrots, raw or steamed; Trader Joe's veggie gyoza; avocado slices; soy yogurt (a little hard to eat on the go); plain cooked chickpeas; baked tofu cubes; grapes. Thrilling, I know.

Amber Gregory | 1:10 PM

As usual, I am a huge fan of those mini ravs -- and as I have no children, perhaps I am unqualified to talk about the subject ... HOWEVER, I *did* just pack them for *my* lunch yesterday! I of course add my completely homemade marinara to it (and tons of cheese). <3

randi | 1:22 PM

My kid doesn't love traditional sandwiches but will eat anything if it's wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla. We call them roll ups. Typical lunch for him is a roll up, string cheese, cereal bar, yogurt and fresh fruit (usually banana or grapes). He won't voluntarily eat vegetables and also is on a sauce strike so our regular pasta is out for now. He says he's willing to try something in a thermos...when he's 5. Luckily, that's in less than 2 months.

My baby will eat anything. ANYTHING.

JB | 3:27 PM

Hey, since you're in Los Angeles - go to the Chinese markets for seaweed snacks, it's probably cheaper!

In particular, "Ranch 99" (in Van Nuys, Alhambra, Northridge...) sells a Costco-sized tub of seaweed snacks. I am not sure if it is organic per se, but I mean, how many methods of preserving seaweed can there be, really.... :)

Good for Archer that he likes those!

robin | 3:32 PM

I love the bento-style lunch. Maybe not legitimate bento, but we love a dip of some sort (like hummus, or if it was allowed, peanut butter...) with stuff to dip (veggies, fruit, pita bread, etc). We will often do leftovers if we had pasta or rice for dinner. Or quinoa :) Also cheese and crackers. Yogurt. I'm lucky, my kids will eat anything!

Christina D | 5:57 PM

As a mom of a 20 month old who has life-threatening food allergies to dairy and all nuts and Celiac's, I'm thankful for all the no-nut policies in place at daycares and primary schools. But I also see the bummer for kiddos who eat pb&j. I don't know if its been mentioned but Sunbutter sunflower seed spread is amazing and you can buy it in all the different versions organic, crunchy, no salt, creamy, ect. I serve it to Miles' little friends and they love it- it truly tastes very similar to peanut butter. Give it a try!

Jack's Mama | 8:32 PM

As a former third grade teacher, who had lunch duty once a week, I think you pack a great lunch.
If ravioli works then that is what is important.
It would kill me to see my kids not eat their lunch because they didn't like it.
Especially because I was pregnant and hungry (my lunch break was after theirs), it was painful to watch them throw the lunches their parents took the time to make them.
Also i think the amount of food is key, you pack what he can eat. Because if you pack more he will throw it away.
As a mom, I eat my son's table scraps all of the time. But as a (pregnant) teacher I had to refrain from pulling gourmet untouched sandwiches out of the trash.

I was guilty too as a kid, being a picky lunch eater. Eventually my mom just let me buy my lunch. It was better because I felt in control and didn't throw out the packed lunch because I didn't feel like eating it.
I was older then Archer but I learned the price of food and only bought what I really wanted to eat (peaches were my favorite, not a bad choice, right?). So one day if you run out of ravioli or time, don't feel bad making him buy lunch.

Except that the quality of cafeteria food these days has declined since the early 90's. But maybe Archer's school will sell good food!

Anonymous | 9:08 PM

Trader Joe's has a sunflower seed butter that is awesome with jam. I think the soybutter is ok but every child I know (including mine) thinks it's Y-U-C-K-Y.
I make banana "nut" burritos which are a wheat tortilla with a spread of sunflower seed butter and half a banana (sliced lengthwise), maybe add a drizzle of honey for those "monday blues". I also make tortilla "pizza" which travels really well: pizza sauce, + toppings with a sprinkling of parmesan or mozzarella (bake in toaster oven for 10 mins or till tortilla "bubbles" and gets crispy). Our go-to is always having a batch of hardboiled eggs, my son loves them plain with salt and pepper. They're really easy to make into egg salad too. Your son is very lucky to have a Mom who cares so much about what he eats!

Kate | 1:10 AM

Bliss Balls are fab - not sure if you get them in the States but they are essentially little balls of deliciousness made from organic ingredients. You can pretty much toss in anything you wish into the blender, but my staple is:
1. Cashew and Apricot
- 1 Tbsp organic Cocoa
- Large handful chopped apricots
- 1/2 cp sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cp seasame seeds
- 1/2 cp coconut
- 1 cp cashews
- 2 Tbsp honey (Easier if it's super runny)

> Blend and roll into tablespoon-sized balls. Freeze for 1-15 mins if not quite firm enough.

The perfect snack, with energy to burn! x
-

Anonymous | 9:24 AM

My kid is not a huge eater (he'd rather play than eat!). His class is also a peanut-free classroom. I can pack peanut butter in is lunch, however he has to wash his hands before he goes back into the classroom. Cooper is a 1st grader, so I pack a half a sandwich (minus the crust) and some carrots with ranch as well as a fruit (mostly strawberries and grapes). I shake things up with whole grain gold fish crackers, cheese sticks,etc.

I also don't pack a dessert - he always eats it instead of something else - and if it's someone's birthday and their parents bring in a treat, they get it at the end of lunch (has to be store bought goodies because of the allergies!)
Lisa B.

grandpa norm | 9:46 AM

As best as may aging memory allows, I packed a good deal of pb&j for Hal, but mac and cheese was up at the top of his list.

Elle Vee | 9:59 AM

Gwyneth Paltrow has some great ideas on her GOOP website (sure, she can be snooty and out of touch, but she has great food ideas): http://goop.com/newsletter/81/en/

Kristen | 11:13 AM

I pack a healthy lunch for my daughter every day. It varies, but usually has some type of melon, berry, veggie (carrot sticks, peas or something easy), hummus, sandwich, yogurt...and a gluten free graham cracker or two. :)

Allison the Meep | 11:47 AM

Kind of funny, but we've been sending our son to school with leftover quinoa from the night before.

And I agree that it's a bummer for the PB&J to get edged out of lunch options. I know a lot of people who use sunflower seed butter as a replacement though, and really love it.

Pearmama | 4:40 PM

Just last week my husband made california rolls for us. It seems time consuming but I can't bear the thought of what the bill might be to take 6 kids out for sushi. Sooooo the homemade is great. I packed them about six rolls each, complete with their own ginger and soy sauce packets. They were SO excited! When Maya got home she said her friends told her the "shushi" was nasty. She was like whatever!! hehheee

anika ame | 7:48 PM

I make my daughter wraps with the yummy chilli pepper tortillas at Whole Foods, stuffed with spinach, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, avacado, different veggies. Dried papaya and mango, Rasins and sunflower seeds, sometimes pasta salad.

Anonymous | 6:11 PM

I only let my kids take school lunch once a week so I pack quite a few lunches! They do enjoy sandwiches, they always get a fruit & veg. and I pack a container with milk so they don't have to stand in line for that, they need all time they can get to eat. They sometimes get a treat, usually it's something I have made. Sometimes they have cheese sticks & crackers, hard boiled egg, or mixed nuts. I also have a thermos for each child. I will save leftover dinners & pack that for lunch. I heat water to boiling, put it in the thermos for 20 min. & then put the warmed up food in the thermos. I figure if they loved at dinner, they'll love at lunch. My kids always want those lunchables, but I won't buy that stuff, so I make my own. I use a pita, that I warm up, cut into triangles & put in the thermos along with pizza sauce that is warmed up in a container small enough to fit in the thermos with the pita. I then pack some cheese separately & voila, make your own pizza. They also enjoy make your nachos. I send baked tortilla chips in a plastic bowl with a lid. Then warm up leftover taco meat & cheese and throw it in the thermos. The love it! Hope this gives someone some new ideas!