It never fails. At the start of the school year I’m all about balanced, homemade lunches, and I even take the time to make them cute.
By the end of the year, when everyone’s tired the same ‘ole thing, I’m throwing money at my kids begging them to buy lunch!
BUT, this year will be different. I’ve got a plan for the 2013/2014 school year that involves gathering the right tools for the job and YOU!
I’ve discovered a number of terrific online resources for healthy and creative lunch ideas including Momables, 100 Days of Real Food, Weelicious and Laptoplunches. But it’s not just the menu planning that can be a school lunch nightmare. The packing and transporting of lunch is a big part of the battle.
Our Thirty-One insulated lunch bags are great for snacks and lunches that don’t require refrigeration, but, in my experience, don’t stay cool enough through the school day. I have found PackIt brand lunch bags — with patented eco-gel liner — to be the best way to keep lunches cool throughout the day. Each night you freeze the entire lunch bag, which folds down nicely, and the gel packs that line the top, bottom and sides of the bag are usually still cool at 3 p.m.
This year I plan to send warm meals to school like mac and cheese and spaghetti with meatballs using Thermos Foogo stainless steal jars. I can’t believe we made it to second grade without having a way to keep lunches warm, especially since pastas are always high on our list of kid-friendly foods.
So whether the recipe needs to be kept warm or cool, it won’t be a problem this year for my family or yours because four mom’s guide readers will have the chance to win one of the following giveaways…
- Packit lunch bag for boys
- Packit lunch bag for girls
- Thermos Foogo container for boys
- Thermos Foogo container for girls
We start with a bottle of Trader Joe’s Yellow Curry Sauce
…but you can use just about any marinade.
Simply throw several boneless, skinless chicken breasts into a baggie with the sauce and refrigerate overnight. Grill or pan saute the chicken. Skewer the chicken pieces after they are cooked using small wood skewers. This makes them easy to eat at school without a fork. Serve with a fruit or veggie, bread or crackers or whatever your student enjoys!
When commenting with your lunchbox ideas, include a link to the recipe or just tell us what you normally send to school. Oh, and if you have any cute lunch box note ideas like these, please share!