QUICK!! packing a lunch for a kindergartener........help! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 09-14-2009, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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we have no food restrictions. i am at a loss. healthy of course. how to take stuff that can not be refridgerated or warmed up? drinks? containers? easy stuff or make-ahead? ideas? tia mdc mamas!
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#2 of 9 Old 09-14-2009, 01:19 PM
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I don't mind stuff being un refrigerated for 2-3 hours, like cheese, yogurt, or hummus and carrots. She does have an "insulated" lunch bag too.
I also have many very small reusable containers for dried fruit, applesauce, crackers. I do small portions of 4-5 kinds of food.

Our school provides drinks and spoons, but it's worth checking if yours does.

good luck!

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#3 of 9 Old 09-14-2009, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
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they do provide drinks for a charge of course. does your dd carry her lunch box in her backpack or separate?
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#4 of 9 Old 09-14-2009, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by kellid View Post
we have no food restrictions. i am at a loss. healthy of course. how to take stuff that can not be refridgerated or warmed up? drinks? containers? easy stuff or make-ahead? ideas? tia mdc mamas!
You can freeze yogurt and it will keep the other things cool. The lunchtime at my dd's school was "attached" to recess, so she really only had 15mins to eat or she would miss the 15mins to play, so I had to make things that were easy to eat. We did lots of wraps like turkey and lettuce in a tortilla that I would roll and slice into bite size pieces. Fruit would be cut up already (though I'd never do that at home!). If there are no food restrictions (my dd is allergic to pb), then really, the sky's the limit! You can do all sorts of sandwiches that you can make the same day or even the night before. We also did lots of pasta in small, reusable containers with pesto sauce or red sauce. We would also do hard boiled eggs on occasion. There was always fruit like grapes, cut up apple, an already peeled and sectioned orange, a banana, slice mango. Then I'd throw in something like mini carrots.

My dd often liked to take leftover of whatever we had for dinner -- or some part of it -- for her lunch the next day so I let her pack some in a container and put it aside. I never bothered with more than half a sandwich because of time constraints.

They had snack time at school and it was almost always some sort of sugary junk food which is why I didn't pack dessert.
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#5 of 9 Old 09-14-2009, 11:33 PM
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I'm a big fan of trailmix, if there are no other kids at school with allergies. We have a kid with severe allergies in our class this year, so that has changed things considerably. Now we are sending her with things like kefir, salad with dressing, leftovers from dinner, ham sandwiches, etc... We have an insulated bag and sometimes throw a little icepack in there. In general, though, we just let things be unrefrigerated. I just don't pack things like sushi, seafood...
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#6 of 9 Old 09-14-2009, 11:43 PM
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The night before, I freeze about a third of a serving of raw milk in my daughter's Kleen Kanteen, then fill it up in the morning and put in her insulated lunch kit with her food. My dd loves icy milk and loves that it keeps the rest of her food cool. The temp makes a difference in her enjoyment of the food, for sure.

Used to use a thermos for the milk, but found the KK easier to clean, with a bottle brush.

She packs her own lunches now, but I used to stipulate a minimum of 5 items from at least 3 food groups, at least 2 of which had to be fruit/veggie.

I have been canning apples from our trees and pureeing them for applesauce, which is a staple snack for dd's lunches still. I also make a lot of muffins and quickbreads with fruit/pumpkins/zucchini/carrots and they are another staple.

I have a bunch of freezer jam containers which I now I use for lunches . The lids screw shut which makes them really easy for little hands to open and reseal. I had too many problems with tupperware type lids not being locked on and stuff spilling.

I tried pyrex containers but got complaints they made the lunch kit too heavy. Bought a laptop lunch kit and was disappointed in the poor seals/containers without lids. Too messy. Also, not big enough for an upper elementary school kid's lunch.
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#7 of 9 Old 09-23-2009, 12:22 PM
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I have two school age kids - making lunches is the bane of my existence! To simplify I made a chart that is posted on the bulletin board. We compiled the list based on what they will eat - I hate when food comes home! They pick:
1 item from fruit (grapes, plum, strawberries, pineapple)
1 item from veggies (peppers, carrots, edamame, cukes, bugs on a log, raw green beans)
2 from snacks bcs they bring own food for am snack so one is for am snack, 1 is to round out lunch (yogurt, applesauce, rice crackers, cheese & crackers, string cheese, granola bars, ricecakes, goldfish)
1 from entree (leftovers, soup, sandwich: pb and banana, cream ch & jelly, tuna, ham)

Added bonus is I'm more aware of when we're running low and I hve a shopping list in my brain of what to buy/what they will eat.

I also freeze a half bottle of water and fill rest with water in the am to help keep things chilled.
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#8 of 9 Old 09-23-2009, 12:23 PM
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I pack lunch for my first grade DD everyday & it's a rotating list of things that she likes. I include a freezer ice pack & I bought a good sized lunch box with shoulder straps from Target, I think it is a thermos brand. I find most boxes to be way to small. It usually contains a main sandwich type thing weather it is PB & banana or with strawberries or jam, tuna salad, egg salad, a bagel with cream cheese, pitas & hummus, curry chicken salad, a hummus veggie wrap. I also include a snack to be eaten in the classroom early in the day that is usually either a fruit salad, an apple, cut up veggies with hummus, yogurt sometimes with granola, sometimes not, applesauce, berries or cheese & crackers. I add her SS thermos of water. Then depending on what I've already packed I might add carrot sticks, more fruit, cheese, yogurt, coleslaw, a homemade date bar or granola bar, apple sauce, cheese & crackers. She eats another snack as soon as she gets home from school. Then dinner is her last meal.

My older dd gets lots of leftover soups, & bean burrito type things, & adores hummus veggie wraps as she is eating more towards vegetatrian these days. She loves nuts & veggie burgers & doesn't care for the mayo type sandwiches so much. Whereas my LO isn't into hot food at lunch time & adores anything with mayo! To keep food hot get a SS thermos fill it with boiling water in the am while you heat up the soup or whatever, then dump it out fill iwth soup & it stays hot for a long time!

Just go with what you know she likes. About containers we were nearly plastic free, but the schools do not allow glass containers where I am so I bought lock & lock containers instead of wasteing lots of zip bags.

Giving Love serves as a wonderful reminder that we already have an abundance of Love within, "it is in giving that we receive."
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#9 of 9 Old 09-26-2009, 07:20 PM
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we do mostly leftovers for my dd's school lunches. So if we had chicken the night before then she's going to have it in her lunch the next day. She also really likes cold pasta salads, so anytime I cook noodles I make sure to leave some out for her lunch. Her lunch consistently has a protein, 2 veggies (broccoli, carrot sticks, tomatoes, cucumber slices, lettuce, etc), a piece of fruit and water.
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