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So bored of packing lunches

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
We have been packing school lunches for over five years now, and everyone in the family is getting so sick of the same old things.

I am especially out of side dish ideas. We don't do chips, because they are just of zero nutritional value, and only occasionally pretzels. There are only so many times you can have carrot sticks, however. We always send a fruit, but two pieces of fruit is too much, usually.

Any good ideas? No dietary restrictions except no pork, shellfish.
post #2 of 11
Small salad, pasta salad with lots of veggies, cucumber slices, green pepper slices with a dip, ants on a log, veggie/pirate/fruity booty, cheese.

Of course, playing around with presentation might help. Cut the cucumber slices into hearts/stars/flowers/etc. There are a few websites/blogs I've been loving lately for inspiration. Or google "bento lunch" or "laptop lunchbox" and you'll probably get lots of ideas!
post #3 of 11
I have lots of ideas on this post of my blog:

Hope that helps!
post #4 of 11
I pack my DH's lunch every day, and have for almost 6 years now. I keep it interesting by mainly packing leftovers in it. His lunch today was the last of the golubtsi from last week, and tomorrow his lunch will be the leftover curry from last night. If his main has veg in it, then I don't worry about packing another veg in his box (I might still if I have it on hand, though).

As for side dishes, they'll vary depending on the season, the weather, prices and my mood. Generally speaking he'll have at least 1 piece of fruit, 1 veg, nuts and cheese. Sometimes he'll get yogurt (homemade), dried fruit, a cookie, pickles, carrots, celery, endive, etc. It all depends. Today his sides were a cut up apple, banana chips, wasabi peas with raisins and string cheese along with his cabbage rolls. Tomorrow he might have rice with his curry, along with an apple, peas/raisins, cheese and possibly a mandarin.
post #5 of 11
I am ten years in to packing lunchboxes and still a few more to go.

For the last year I have been doing lunches a bit more bento style and it has really helped. We have lock and lock boxes with tree little containers inside and I put something different in each one: mini slices of home made pizza, mini pasties (stuff wrapped in pastry), sliced raw veggies, crackers with soft cheeses, boiled eggs squashed flat when hot so the yolk isn't a big ball of dryness, bagels, pasta salads, fruit muffins, flapjack or fresh or tinned fruit.
post #6 of 11
i wrote this up as snack ideas, but a lot of them work well for lunch boxes too.

Switch these around to match your tastes and food needs.

Hummus with carrot sticks
Hummus with pita bread
Hummus "tostados:" layer small pitas with hummus, grated carrot, sprouts,
sunflower seeds, chopped cucumber and tomatoes
Flavored cream cheese on whole wheat mini pita, top with sunflower seeds
Plain cream cheese, goat cheese or marscapone cheese on WW mini pita,
top with raisins or favorite dried fruit and chopped nuts
Spread bagels with cream cheese and top with grated carrots, cucumber,
sprouts, raisins and sunflower seeds
Spread WW tortillas with 2 tbsp. favorite nut butter, cut a banana
lengthwise and lay on one end of tortilla, roll up and cut in thick slices
Stuff celery with nut butter and dot with raisins
Stuff celery with cream cheese or goat cheese and dot with sunflower
seeds or chopped nuts
Apple slices spread with peanut butter
Apple slices topped with natural cheddar cheese
Apple slices topped with cream cheese and sprinkled with chopped walnuts
Banana slices rolled in chocolate powered sugar with natural vanilla yogurt
Any flavor natural (Stonyfield Farms, Brown Cow, etc.) yogurt topped with
homemade granola and chopped nuts
Broil slices of fresh or canned pineapple (peaches and plums work well
too) with a small amount of cinnamon and brown sugar sprinkled on top. Serve warm with natural vanilla yogurt or homemade ice cream
Brown rice cakes with nut butter and happy faces made with raisins or other
dried fruit
Brown rice cakes with a slice of natural cheese melted on top (slice of ripe
tomato underneath is good too)
Brown rice cakes topped with goat cheese, ripe organic berries, drizzled
with a small amount of honey
Cottage cheese mixed with chopped veggies or fruit
Cottage cheese with a small amount of natural yogurt
post #7 of 11
one word for you, Rivkah: bento

it makes lunch packing fun and gives you a little shot of creativity in an otherwise pretty mundane task
post #8 of 11

Bentos Rule

I agree Bento boxes are the way to go. There a so many fun things you can do to make it exciting to pack and to eat. You can use fun cupcake liners, food picks, they have fun food cutters and egg/rice molds. There is a ton of stuff on ebay and a ton of picture ideas on line.
post #9 of 11
I also think that Bento lunches would be a great thing for you. That's what I thought when I first saw your thread title.

Here are some websites that I love:

post #10 of 11
I'm also a bento fan! My littlest sister makes the coolest! She gave me one with hotdogs she cut up into squids! It was too cute!
post #11 of 11
*subbing* I need HEEELLLP with lunch. Its not that we're bored of it (tho the lunches ive managed to pack were on the boring side lol), its just that i have no clue what to pack for lunch that we'll actually EAT! lol

I have dinner and breakfast down pat, but if i could JUUUSSST get lunch down, we would be saving SOO much money and getting SO much more nutrition into our diets. ACK! This is like the food holy grail for me, after i learn how to do lunch, ima go to heaven satisfied, lol.

*goes to visit the websites suggested*
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