What's for lunch?

How often are we asked that? Here it's daily times 4, as each child needs to ask me when no one else is around. With back to school happening, it's time to start thinking about school lunch preparation. Our mothers didn't have that issue as much as we were allowed to take peanut butter sandwiches to school. Since most schools are at least peanut free schools, if not nut free, it puts a whole new spin on what to pack in that lovely box.

Now that you have all of the supplies, you need ideas to put in them. Here is a list compiled from readers via comments on the blog, email, facebook, twitter, some magazine articles, and my personal compilation.

One other thing that I do, is print off the list of lunch ideas and then sit down with each child to go over the list. Each one that they like, their initial goes by it so I know that there will be a no fuss lunch sent to school. Nothing worse than having a lunch come back home and have nothing eaten from it.


luncheon meats

canned tuna, chicken or ham
leftover meat from chicken, turkey, roast beef or pork, or ham dinners
cheese and mayo
molasses (one of my favourites, on homemade bread. yum! yum!)
sliced cheddar with jam or mayo
cream cheese with chopped maraschino cherries or chopped olives
cheese slices with sliced apple, pickes, or crumbled bacon
pea butter *
almond butter*
*although with these choices, make sure to send a label with them so your child's teacher knows you aren't sending peanut butter

Instead of regular bread try:

whole wheat, oatmeal, rye or pumpernickel
pita pocketsins
hot dog buns
hamburger buns
soft tortilla shells
hard rolls
sub buns
rice cakes
english muffins

Ideas for wide mouth hot thermos

spanish rice and bbq chicken
chicken nuggets

chicken strips (send shredded lettuce, grated cheese, dressing and tortilla shells in seperate containers for them to make their own snack wraps)

Cold thermos ideas:

potato salad
pasta salad
chef salad
ceasar salad
blt salad
vegetable salad
fruit salad
cottage cheese
cubes of meat or cheese
*don't forget to put the salad dressing in another container so salad is still fresh at lunch time.

More ideas:

Cook up a homemade pizza the night before. Slice and send in a container with an ice pack for lunch. Freeze the rest of it for later lunch meals.
Cold cereal and in seperate container the milk
mini pizzas on english muffins
subs with real cheese and deli meats
wraps: chicken, mexican, fajitas, burritos, omelets, snack wraps
boiled eggs
canned soup
Leftover stew
bread and butter
leftover soup
chefboyardee or other canned pasta items
waffles with jam
pizza sub buns (split bun open, spread pizza sauce on top and bottom of bun, layer it with pepperoni, diced green epode and cover with cheese. Broil it to melt the cheese and then close and wrap it in tin foil)
Salsa and nachos
veggies and dip
graham crackers and sauce to dip in
muffins (oat, banana, cranberry, blueberry)
Home made cookies
Granola bars (homemade)

For more ideas, check out a podcast from CBC's Maritime Noon.  Go down to the podcast titled, " If you make it, will they eat it? Tips and suggestions for making healthy school lunches." You just might here a familar voice :)

Thanks to the health department and social services for a list of ideas they gave out to all students last year as I shared their ideas here.

 That should be a good list to start you off with. There are over 60 ideas here. And with all the different bread types, there are more than 200 ideas! That will get you through the school year!

Let me know what you think, your children think or if you have more ideas to share. Keep them coming! Thanks for reading!

Enjoy your day!

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