Please share! I'm lazy, so extra kudos if it's easy prep
grapefruit / 4466 posts
Today for LO's (1 yo) lunch (school provides morning and afternoon snack)
a bit of shredded chicken and veggies
olive / 64 posts
Today for 3 yo lunch in a bento box:
Cheese and crackers
persimmon / 1390 posts
Entree: 1/2 turkey or peanut butter sandwich, crackers with cheese and turkey, wrap with peanut butter or turkey, turkey pita, leftover pizza, Mac and cheese or pasta (in a thermos), 1/2 bagel with cream cheese. My DD is in K and no longer likes to take tuna or eggs because apparently they smell—but they were great options before that popped up. She also no longer likes to take pouches but yogurt pouches are a nice entree.
Fruit: any type of fruit your child likes. Fruit cups and apple sauce too. I also really like those mini apples.
Veg: any type of sliced veg your child likes; peas. Include dip if you want. Hummus could boost your veg to an entree, and maybe throw in crackers, a rice cake, or veggie sticks/puffs
My DD used to like taking string cheese too.
wonderful pea / 17279 posts
@Becky: does hummus need a cold pack?
cantaloupe / 6085 posts
Similar to @Becky: ‘s ideas my oldest has always loved hummus wraps for the entree! Just hummus or add veg if they will eat it. Our preschool is pb free so I made sure to mention it was hummus since they can look similar.
My kids also love “homemade lunchables” - crackers, meat of choice and cheese cut up. When your LO is older it’s fun to add the bento animal toothpicks also.
pear / 1648 posts
Just started having to pack a lunch for my 4yo when she switched to the public pre-k so this is timely for me.
So far we've done cold cut rollups (just ham or turkey rolled for easier eating), sweet potato fries, cut fruit, edamame, or just the frozen mixed vegetables (she loves these)... also I've sent leftovers from dinner - grilled chicken torn into pieces, salad or mac & cheese, corn muffin, etc
I will have to try the hummus wrap - bet she'd love that too
@Mrs. Lemon-Lime: Yes. I always put ice packs in unless I’m doing something warm in the thermos and then I’ll usually do something like a whole apple or fruit cup/apple sauce, and cherry tomatoes so I don’t need a cold pack. The milk boxes I get don’t need refrigeration. I’m super nervous about food poisoning so always err on the side of caution especially because our lunch is at 1:10pm.
pomelo / 5568 posts
We're pretty lazy. Lunch is usually one of the following: a ham and cheese sandwich cut into shapes, sunbutter and jam cut into tiny bite sized stars, a cream cheese and jam roll-up, cheese quesedillas, chicken nuggets and ketchup, or cheese/meat/crackers. We'll occasionally branch out - sometimes I get a cheese bun or a pizza bun from the grocery store, one day this week he had meatballs - but that's the bulk of it. And then with that there's always a vegetable (usually cucumbers or orange peppers), some kind of fruit, and a little treat like gummies or granola bites. We have a Yumbox so that fills all the compartments. For snacks I try to do a protein in the morning - yogurt or a cheese string usually, sometimes hard boiled eggs - with either fruit or a carb like goldfish crackers or these little apple cinnamon rounds I found, and then the afternoon is a little bit more of a treat - granola bar or mini muffins - with fruit.
nectarine / 2262 posts
3yo's lunch (he has this probably 2-3x a week!)
- half a turkey sandwich (turkey, whole wheat, a little earth balance butter)
- cheese stick
- baby carrots (he never eats these, but eh)
- small handful of whole grain goldfish/pretzels/crackers
- grapes or whatever fruit I have around
honeydew / 7463 posts
Today we did a turkey sandwich (just turkey and bread), mini sweet peppers (the red orange and yellow ones), strawberries, string cheese and some teddy grahams.
Other sandwiches we do are ham, sunbutter/jelly, or cream cheese and jelly. If I feel like snazzing it up, I might do a flour tortilla instead of bread. Or cut the bread into a shape. But...that hasn’t happened in a packed lunch more than once. I used to do it for home lunch a lot but it’s too hectic to do that on a weekday morning.
Other days I’ll do a homemade lunchable type thing - turkey pepperoni, cheese, seed crackers, very occasionally a hummus cup but that’s hit or miss...a fruit (usually berries, grapes, or watermelon), a veg (usually cucumber, carrots or peppers) and a treat of some sort.
This morning he randomly asked for something in his warm thermos so next time I pack I’ll probably do meatballs or the Annie’s version of spaghetti-o’s. Plus a fruit and veg and treat.
apricot / 399 posts
In addition to many of the things mentioned here, we often put in an individual serving of guacamole with some black beans mixed with salsa (decontructed tacos!). Or half a Tasty Bite package poured into a little tupperware. (Although now I'm wondering if it would be more civilized to give her the Tasty Bite in a little thermos so it would stay warm. But she seems happy to eat them cold, so...) Then she always gets some frozen veggies and a piece of fruit.
These are all awesome ideas! LO is very sadly severely allergic to hummus but I'm trying the rest of these!
nectarine / 2180 posts
Thankfully daycare has a microwave E is 14 months and fairly easy to please
E today got egg muffins (I make scrambled eggs in a mini muffin tins and bake at 400 for 10ish min then freeze and pull out 2-3 per day) and red pepper slices for breakfast
lunch was shredded chicken sweet potato puffs (tator tots made with sweet potatoes) and green beans
snacks grapes and a cheese stick
Other hits quesadilla, mini meatballs and pasta, leftovers, chicken sausages, ham and cheese pinwheels made with puff pastry
snack usually includes fruit and veggies go with breakfast and lunch
I typically make batches of stuff and then freeze and daycare heats it up
apricot / 469 posts
Yesterday my son had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and a banana for lunch. Snack he had some animal crackers. He had watered down apple juice to drink. He doesnt like just water or just juice so I mix them. My son is 2 btw. We try to keep it simple cause he has texture issues and i know he'll eat a sandwich.
eggplant / 11716 posts
Today my kids have homemade fettuccine alfredo with shrimp for lunch in their thermoses (leftovers from dinner last night). For snacks, they have a banana and a granola bar.
Every single night, I make extra dinner and pack the kids' lunches for the next day at the same time I plate their dinner. Easy peasy. Tonight we are having crunchy baked fish with sweet potato fries and a brussell sprout saute, so that will be in their lunch tomorrow. If the foods work better if they are separated a bit, I use the silicone cupcake liners to separate the sides from the main.
nectarine / 2054 posts
We do bentos, which actually make it really easy - so we'll have whatever protein we have left over from dinner (chicken, turkey, salmon, etc), veggies in a couple compartments (tomato, avocado with lemon juice so it doesn't turn brown, those little snack peppers), cheese cubes, sliced pita bread (when we have it) or cucumber sticks in the long compartment, and a strawberry or a couple blackberries in the middle circle. Sometimes we'll put things like plain pasta with a little olive oil in one of the compartments. It's pretty quick to assemble (especially if you slice the cucumber and peppers on Monday).
persimmon / 1095 posts
Usually leftovers - spaghetti, lasagna, meatloaf. If I don't have good leftovers, then a sunbutter and jelly sandwich or a hot dog.
I give a side of fruit and a veg. We use silicone cupcake liners to separate if necessary.
Kids both handle the food cool as it was in the fridge until we leave and just sitting out at daycare. DH eats a lot of food cold as well.
Today was leftover enchilada for the 23 mo old and meatloaf for the 4 yr old.
persimmon / 1310 posts
I don't really plan lunches in advance, I just throw little bits of this and that into the divided lunchbots containers. My kids don't like sandwiches.
Usually one thing leftover from dinner, fruit, cheese, and veggies cut into shapes (this is the only hope my 3 year old will try any). Sometimes I will put yogurt or applesauce into a reusable Squeazie. That's it!
pomegranate / 3272 posts
@erinbaderin: How are you going to call yourself lazy when you cut your sandwiches into shapes!
DS1 is in kinder so this is the first year I've had to pack a lunch for him. For the first half of the year, he always had a muffin (usually made with veggies), string cheese, a few crackers, 2 hard boiled egg whites, a fruit and a veg. Now that he just went back to school, he asked for a turkey and cheese sandwich, apple slices and frozen green beans that thaw by the time lunch happens. I have the bentgo boxes that worked for the snacky lunch he first had. Now I better use the sort of bento boxes that I got from Ikea.
@Mommy Finger: We have these: https://www.amazon.ca/Sandwich-Bread-Cutter-Shapes-kids/dp/B01LYEDBX1 (or at least, more or less those) - it's so easy! And increases the chance of the food getting eaten by at least 50%. Or else I use small cookie cutters, but that's more of a hassle.
pomegranate / 3438 posts
My first grader: cut up chicken and apple sausage (previously cooked, he will eat it cold) with ketchup, cucumbers and bell peppers.
2 year old: leftover chicken thigh from dinner, broccoli and an orange. I also pack yogurt and an apple for morning snack.
apricot / 334 posts
My DS won't eat sandwiches so it makes life very difficult. Usually it's leftover pasta or chicken nuggets in a thermos, diced avocado, string cheese, and a fruit (slice apples, grapes, blueberries).
wonderful cherry / 21504 posts
My 5 yo is still pretty picky, so lunches are incredibly not interesting. Luckily her school allows peanut butter. So most days she has either a peanut butter and honey sandwich, or apple slices with a single serve peanut butter container to dip. Or she will eat a bagel or english muffin with cream cheese. I usually add a fruit or apple sauce cup, and a cheese stick. Sometimes I add crackers or an individual pack of annies bunnies.
She also likes when I send cereal with milk. I put the cold milk in the thermos and the cereal in a ziploc. I never had luck warming things up in the morning and putting them in the thermos though.
@Mommy Finger: I have similar sandwich cutters as @erinbaderin: and they really are easy. Mine cut almost to the crust, so my kids actually eat MORE because they always leave a border near the crust and refuse to eat the actual crusts.
For my 3 yo, she doesn't eat at school, but I often end up feeding her in the car after school, on the way to pick up big sister. It has to be easy to hold, not too messy, and not a big choking hazard. So most days she gets a pbj sandwich (cut into dinosaurs, naturally) and a fruit, like a clementine I already peeled, or cut berries, or a pouch.
pear / 1703 posts
@periwinklebee: My daycare lady strongly suggested leftovers (its hearty and is warmed up) so thats what DS gets. Along with an applesauce or yogurt cup and some fruit or raw veg. Really low prep and it forces me to make a proper meal the night before so that theres good leftovers for his lunch.
All great ideas! Thanks everyone for sharing!
persimmon / 1082 posts
@Jellyfish: This sounds like my 18 month old. He won’t do sandwiches. I need to look into getting a thermal. Any suggestions? I’m thinking maybe it’s better than always using the microwave?
nectarine / 2987 posts
Today was salami and chicken slices with mustard to dip, cheese cubes, cucumber and bell pepper, pretzels, a rice cake with cream cheese, clementines, and a Hershey kiss.
@cake2017: we use the thermos food jar. similar to this one, but ours is many years old https://www.amazon.com/Thermos-Funtainer-Ounce-Food-Purple/dp/B00CBFAE5I
I just fill it with boiling water for 5-10 mins, pour out the water and then put the food in... it seems to stay warm till lunchtime!
olive / 59 posts
6yo gets similar morning tea/lunch/after school snack every day: I have a Tupperware lunchbox that has 1 big, 1 medium and 2 small compartments.
Medium: Baby carrots, baby cucumber,
Small: Boiled egg & either Small biscuit, apricot or small fruit cereal snack
Big: either Cheese sandwich/bread roll, cheese quesadilla or egg roll up (I think it was Mrs Blue that posted about it years ago and it’s been a staple here!!) thin omelette with cheese sprinkled on and rolled up like sushi - have added ham, little bits of bacon, baby spinach as well.
Squeezed in somewhere: Yoghurt pouch & Banana
(So this is from 8-4ish every day - but our after school care provider will give her fruit/Pb sandwich if she’s still hungry - sometimes the lunchbox comes home empty and she’s had an apple and a sandwich as well, other times it comes home nearly full) 🤷♀️
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