Thursday, August 14, 2014

Back To School - The Lunchbox

This is what I had in grade school.
Yep, it's that time again.  Can you believe it?!

Time to get geared up to start making those lunches again.  I won't pay $2.00 per child per day for the school's hot lunch program.  I've seen what they serve and it is highly processed, salty, breaded, fried nastiness that my children really don't need to be eating.  So this is what I do. 
Each one of my girls has an insulated lunchbox, a wide mouth thermos, two drink bottles, a set of Rubbermaid plastic containers in assorted sizes and an ice pack.  Their grandma fixed them up last year with new lunchboxes and the sets of containers. 
The drink bottles cost me 58¢ each and are the small 8 oz. bottles of Tru Moo you buy at the store.  They work great, don't leak and I can easily keep them clean with a baby bottle brush I purchased at the dollar store.

I also keep a plastic spoons and forks on hand so I don't have to worry about them losing my silverware.  I bought a box of 24 forks and a box of 24 spoons at the grocery store for 98¢ each.  They bring them home to be washed and reused so these have lasted us a long time.  I think it was a wise investment. 
Most of their lunches are reheated leftovers from our supper the night before.  When leftovers aren't available we like to make:

Sandwiches – ham, tuna, turkey, peanut butter & honey, peanut butter & banana, peanut butter & jelly, egg salad, turkey or ham tortilla wraps, etc.

Crackers with tuna, ham salad, chicken salad or egg salad.

Hard cooked eggs and sliced cheese

Granola or other cold cereal

Of course you have to have a few items on the side as well:

Chips & salsa, celery with peanut butter or cream cheese, veggies & ranch dressing, baby carrots, snow peas, tossed green salad & dressing, fresh or canned fruit and fruit cups, gelatin or gelatin with fruit, etc.

Zucchini, banana, pumpkin or applesauce bread

Bran, banana, pumpkin, cornbread or applesauce muffins

Crackers – cheese nips, wheat thins, wheatables, etc.

Biscuit or dinner roll

Cottage cheese, yogurt

Milk, chocolate milk, juice, water, flavored water, flavored teas, etc.

Desserts, although I don't always include one:

Cookie or a brownie
Cupcake (frosted or unfrosted)
Miniature candy bar
Peanut M&Ms
Trail mix - nuts, sunflower seeds, Cheerios or Kix, chocolate chips, gummy bears, etc.
Granola bars
Dum Dum sucker or a couple pieces of hard candy

I also like to tuck a little bottle of hand sanitizer and a napkin in their lunchbox.  Occasionally I'll stick in a love note too.  Just because.


  1. School lunches for my kids are $3-3.50/day! I can't afford that! They have been taking their lunches for many years now. Much cheaper and healthier, I think. And, btw, I had that exact lunch box when I was little!

    1. They go up quite a bit when the kids reach high school here. Too much!


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