School Lunches your Kids Won’t Throw Out
Skip the third straight day of PB&Js and make one of these easy variations in the same amount of time.
We’ve all been there. Sunday night and we’re planning our week. This week is going to be different, we say.
This is the week we’re going to make seven complete, wholesome dinners. We’re going to get everyone eating kale. And quinoa.
Also, we’re going to look up what quinoa is and how to cook it.
We’re going to hit the gym five days this week.
Okay, four days.
We’re not going to only make it to Tuesday before sending them to school with $5 wrapped in a passive aggressive note that says, “make good decisions!” for lunch.
Yep. This week is going to be different.
There are easy ways to make the struggle of figuring out what to pack for lunches a little easier while still sending them to school with items they won’t trade for pudding cups or end up throwing away.
Read on for our ideas and, hey, if you’ve found something that works, share your ideas in the comments section.
1. Second-day Meals
Take the pressure of having to create a lunch from scratch off of yourself and make use of leftovers from dinner last night.
- Chop up grilled chicken for a fun fajita wrap
- Leftover meatballs for a new take on the sub sandwich
- Half serving of ziti or another baked pasta dish
- Barbecue sandwiches (chop up chicken, pork or steak)
- You know what’s delicious? Cold pizza
No matter what you use, make sure the food can keep. Also keep in mind that some leftovers have to be properly contained (and cooled with ice or a freezer pack if they need refrigeration). Before packing any foods that need to be heated up, make sure your child has access to a microwave in the cafeteria. If not, it’s probably best to steer away from the dish altogether.
2. Make-ahead Lunches
Make lunches for the week ahead of time (or a few days, ‘cause let’s be honest). Consider:
- Combining ingredients for a salad in a Mason jar and shake it with dressing when you’re ready
- Even if you’re planning on assembling the main dish on the day of, spend a little time portioning out the sides into baggies so you’ll save time later.
Tip: Invest in a few plastic storage containers with compartments to separate out all the items. Label each with family members’ names so they can just grab and go.
Tip: Tired of the same old sandwich? Ditch it and sub in one of these alternatives instead.