We are just over a month into the school year and lunches have already turned into a major chore.
It seems that every morning, a few minutes before we are supposed to be leaving for the bus, I am frantically trying to throw together a nutritious lunch for my daughter- racking my brain as to what I should include. All the while, she is standing beside me telling me that she is bored with what I am packing for her.
Does this sound familiar? If so, don’t despair, I have a few tips for you to make packing lunches simple and easy.
Our LunchBox Formula
- Start with 1 sandwich or 1 sandwich alternative. (More details on easy sandwich alternatives later in this post)
- Add 1 serving of fruit.
- Add 1 serving of vegetables.
- Add 1 super fun snack.
And voila! You have the perfect school lunch for happy, well-fed kids.
Once you’ve got the formula down, the next thing to master is the perfect snack. (Your kids may argue, in fact, that this is the most important thing.)
If you’ve ever found yourself digging through the cupboards looking for that ever-elusive nutritious, but still enticing, snack, only to end up in the old box of graham cracker crumbles leftover from last weekend’s s’mores- we’ve got just the thing for you.
Our newest sponsor, NatureBox is such a mom-friendly solution to this very dilemma.
You receive wholesome, varied, and delicious snacks right to your doorstep, making it super easy to keep the kids from getting bored with the same old thing.
Sidenote: These are also great to have on hand after school when the kids’ energy reserves are low and cranky-town is looming on the horizon!
There are a ton of snacks to choose from. (Over 100!) So even if your child is the pickiest of picky eaters, they are sure to find something that they love. And if they don’t love it, you simply email NatureBox and they will replace it in your next box.
The snacks are all nutritious, made from high quality, real ingredients. That means no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup. They even have snacks that are vegan, dairy free, gluten free, organic, non-GMO, nut free and soy free.
So whatever your child’s diet does or doesn’t include, there are snacks that they will love, and that you will love giving them.
Each week (or two) you have new snacks delivered to your door. Gone are the days of frantically trying to pull a well-rounded lunch out of thin air. I am all about making things easier on myself, and NatureBox definitely helps out with that.
Lunchbox Sandwich Alternatives
Sometimes it isn’t what you are serving, it’s how you’re serving it. Here are 6 easy ways to make a sandwich not look like a sandwich.
- Roll Ups – For a quick change up on the famous standby PB&J (or PB and Nutella in our neck of the woods), flatten the sandwich bread using a rolling pin. Then spread on the peanut butter and jelly or whatever else your child likes. Finally roll the bread up, and slice it into bite size pieces. My daughter calls this peanut butter sushi rolls, and loves them.
- Pinwheels – Similar to roll ups, but instead of flattening the sandwich bread, you start with a tortilla. Spread out your fillings (try sliced meats, spreadable cheeses, and thinly sliced veggies) on the tortilla, then roll it up and secure with a toothpick. Slice in 1/2 inch thick slices.
- Wraps – Use a tortilla, rice paper wrapper, or lettuce leaf to roll up your sandwich fillings like a burrito, and wrap with foil or parchment paper to keep it all together. Try stuffing with chopped greens, rice, matchstick sliced veggies, and rotisserie chicken.
- Pita Pockets – Use a regular sized pita pocket, or a few mini pita pockets, to hold all the goods. Line the pita with a lettuce leaf to keep the bread from getting soggy. Tuna or chicken salad are classic, but anything works in a pita!
- Bowls – Skip the bread, cut everything up, and toss it in a container. Shake it up and serve with a fork. Lately we have been hanging onto the last bits of summer by using sweet cherry tomatoes and bocconcini with fresh basil for a little caprese bowl. To up the fun factor, include pita chips on the side to use as scoops.
- Skewers – Like with the bowls, skip the bread. But instead of mixing it all together, put it all on a wooden skewer or toothpick. Cubes of cheese, rolled deli meats, and small veggies like cherry tomatoes work well on the skewer.