Honestly I have spent hours searching online for school lunch ideas. I used to have 4 kids eating lunches 5 days a week, but thankfully we are only down to 2 now. Two with very different likes and dislikes.
I am also trying to not to use so much packaged crap. The amount of waste from prepackaged lunch food is amazing! I worked for 2 years as a public school custodian for all grades and believe me I have seen so much garbage that just gets tossed, it would make you sick. Unless your school is heavily into recycling, the packaging creates too much waste.
So on my quest to find realistic lunches my ten year old twins would eat, I found a lot of web sites with food that would never pass my kids palate! FFS! Honey Ricotta Fondue? Herbed (Liver) Pate with Parmesan crackers? Turkey, Brie and Apple Sandwiches on Raisin Walnut Bread? Oh my! If I gave these lunches to my kids, they couldn't even trade them!
Don't get me wrong, I am all for healthy. But Holy Crap, let's be realistic! What kid eats that stuff? And if they do eat it, imagine the smell of the liver pate in the lunch room? Yummmmeh! lol My kids are not too picky, they like veggies and fruit and most sandwich meat - except bologna (yucky! I agree).
So here we go again, It's the first week of August and Momma's on a mission to get the shelves stocked with school lunches in mind. I like to make things in August and test run them to see if they would be a good for lunches. I can usually tell when I am cooking or putting together a lunch how interested they will be in it in about 5 seconds. Twin #1 will stick his finger into any kind of food and try it, he's got a stomach of steel and the curiosity of a cat! Twin #2 is a picky little one, she usually goes by look and smell. If it looks good but smells crappy, there is a good chance she ain't gonna eat it lol!
First off, last year I bought a couple of divided plastic dishes with tight fitting lids. They were perfect for sending stuff with out packages. The only thing was any kind of wet food ran over the "tight" fitting lid (which wasn't very tight after all) and into the spot beside it. So this year I am on the look out for a better dish. I have seen a few that I really want to check out. Lap Top Lunches is my first choice. I am loving that some of them come with lids for wet or juicy food and some come with out for the other type of food. But it still doesn't help me by what to actually put in them!
Here is my list of lunches that I made and sent last year. I think they were pretty healthy and the kids ate them up, which is better than I could say for the liver pate hahahaha!
*Home made fruit salad always goes over well as I can put in the fruit that they will actually eat.
*I always send fruit and/or veggies in with the lunch. Carrot sticks, apple slices, oranges, cucumber etc.
*Deli meat or veggies in tortilla wraps. These can be cut up into bite sized pieces as well as stuffed full of what they like. You can even make a fake sushi roll with the tortillas.
*Pasta salads - add some pepperoni chopped up into bite sized pieces as a little treat mixed in with the pasta. Also don't forget to mix up the dressing. There are hundreds of different home made dressing ideas for pasta salad.
*Speaking of pepperoni. Add some along with cheddar chunks to a wooden skewer for some kabobs. Add french bread chunks or crackers.
*French toast and pancakes cut up with maple syrup dip
*Potato cakes, salmon cakes or tuna cakes with some cucumber dip
*Meatballs or meatloaf with sweet n sour to dip it in
*Perogies and cheese dip
*Home made chicken strips. Chicken breasts, cut into strips, dipped in egg and panko or crushed corn flakes and baked until crispy. Throw in some BBQ sauce or salsa for dipping
*Bisquick cheddar n weenies. Take bisquick and make the dough for buns, throw in some shredded cheese and chopped hot dogs. Put in muffin cups and shred some more cheese on top. Send some tomato sauce for dipping
*Another bisquick idea is to make it and roll it out, cut into circles and put a dob of tomato sauce on it, a pepperoni or salami slice and some cheese. Put another circle of bisquick on top and pinch together. Bake and send home made pizza pockets to school :)
There are many other ideas that we have but I think these are the best. I hope I have helped someone with ideas for school lunches. If you have any ideas yourself, please leave a comment :)