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Topic: 2013 Back to School Lunch-along  (Read 1151 times)
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sweets4ever
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« on: August 13, 2013 01:04:08 PM »

baby.sweets4ever is off to his first year of school in a couple of weeks (HOW did this happen so soon? Shocked).  Anyone interested in sharing children's pack lunch ideas, recipes and photos?

I found this great old thread for some ideas.  Let's think up new ideas and share some photos for this school year!

So... what ya packin'? Smiley

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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2013 01:55:29 PM »

I use nori sheets to make my own roasted seaweed snacks.  They kiddos love them.  I make sunbutter from roasted sunflower seed kernels (we're a nut-free classroom) and I'll pack it with apple slices or on celery sticks.

Another fun food takes a bit of time but hardly any work.  I'll pickle beets or make sauerkraut with red cabbage.  Once the beets or sauerkraut is gone I'll plop peeled hard boiled eggs into the remaining liquid.  The beet juice tuns the eggs hot pink while the red cabbage sauerkraut turns them deep blue.  The kids think they're very fun, and it's nice to dye food without all the nasty fake stuff.   Tongue

Making homemade "Lara Bars" is easy and tasty.  My usual recipe:  1/2 C + 1 T nuts (almonds, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, shelled pumpkin seeds, etc.), 1/2 C dried fruit (dates, apple rings, figs, dehydrated bananas (not the chips), dried blueberries, etc.), cinnamon or cocoa powder, and a small carrot.

Grind the nuts in a food processor until a coarse powder.  Add fruit, cinnamon or cocoa powder, and the carrot, chopped.  Process until it starts clumping.  Form into balls.  Roll in chia seeds or hemp hearts if desired.

Of course:  cherry tomatoes, berries, plums, fresh green beans, avocado halves, bananas, grapes, orange segments, cucumber slices, olives, etc.
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2013 07:11:00 AM »

*sigh* My oldest is going into Junior High this year and wants to pack her own lunches.  Maybe I will have her pack her brother's too, while I get breakfast made.  I used to do very elaborate bento style lunches, but over the years I have settled into a less decorative groove.

We don't do a lot of sandwiches, although that may change with the 11 year old in charge.  We do leftovers, or leftover transformations (i.e., put the main dish + tortilla + cheese; main dish + pasta + additional vegetables; main dish + rice).  I also like making big batches of baked goods and throwing them in the freezer (muffins, mini muffins, scones, etc.).  Whenever I make extra rice, it goes in the freezer, too (short grain gets made into onigiri).  I also like to make big batches of macaroni and cheese and freeze the leftovers in muffin cups.  My kids love tortilla roll-ups of all kinds, and big salads, too.

We're going to try to do vegetable prep on weekends, so there is something like a salad bar in the fridge all week for lunch making, with peeled carrot sticks, celery sticks, sliced cucumbers, sliced or diced green peppers, washed and chopped lettuce, homemade dressing, and cherry tomatoes.  That way DD can make a salad for lunch or just tuck in some extra veggies and dip whenever there's an empty space in the box.  Or they can be used for making other lunch items without too much work in the morning.
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sweets4ever
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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2013 06:49:15 AM »

Ahhhh!  LOVING these ideas!  I'm making a list. Cheesy
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« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2013 05:10:46 PM »


We premake pizza pops, ham and cheese pockets, taco pockets, what ever else you can stuff in a pocket pockets and freeze them. (As long as there is access to a microwave, these ideas will work.)

I also make big batches of healthy cookies and stick them in the freezer.

I do like that idea of a salad bar in the fridge. that would make for easier mornings.  I wish fruit kept longer cut up like that, though, we have big fruit eaters.

Thank you, Lazurii for that Lara bar recipe.  I'll have to try it out nut free, since our whole school is a nut free environment.
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2013 10:18:56 PM »

I used to do simple bentos for myself in university.

*  pocket sandwiches:  spread filling in center of two slices of bread, squish with other side of a large circle cookie cutter, and then cut it out with the right side.  Can be frozen in multiples.
*  faux fried rice:  cook rice, add frozen veggies, soy sauce, garlic powder.  Stir together and microwave until hot.  Was fast and easy, and can be done with leftover rice.
*  real fruit jam:  cook fruit of choice down, with a little water and sweetener of choice.  It's done when it sticks to a spoon.  (You can also add wine/mead to it.)  Also good for getting rid of slightly soft fruit.
*  preserving colour in fruit/fake Grapples:  Take grape juice (I used white Welch's), and slice up apples.  Stick 'em in the juice, and fish 'em out again.  They taste like the grape juice and don't go brown at all.
*  holding sauce in a seperate container:  I used Kinder Surprise eggs (they are a chocolate egg that has a toy capsule inside), the capsule is really leak proof.  Smiley
*  cornbread muffins:  Use sweet or savory cornbread and add whatever fillings you think will go great with 'em.  I've had chopped up hot dogs in 'em.  The best part is that they tuck nicely into the lunch box and can freeze well as well.  Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2013 11:37:21 AM »

This isn't for lunch, but I sent it for his classroom snack day.  His school is nut-free and has pretty strict nutrition guidelines, so it was tricky, but I complied! Grin



http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=427234.0#axzz2fSY9tloW
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sweets4ever
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« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2013 11:39:29 AM »

I've been doing a lot of compartmentalized lunches for him (almost 5-years).  For the lunch box he chose, these containers seem to work best for us http://store.goodbyn.com/category_s/87.htm  We're in one of those monthly-subscription box programs and got one to try (along with dishwasher safe stickers for it!).  Tried it.  Fell in love.  Perfect portions.  Fits his lunchbox.

Today he had waffles (cut into sticks for fun), blueberries/strawberries/raisin salad, bacon and milk.

Yesterday he had pasta (no sauce -- his preference), meatballs, corn, blueberries and milk.
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« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2013 11:59:30 AM »

Those are neat containers! We bought Rubbermaid lunchblox. http://www.rubbermaid.com/Category/Pages/ProductDetail.aspx?CatName=FoodStorage&SubcatId=LunchBlox&Prod_ID=RP092020&Redirect=1

since the boys don't much like entree style foods (silly kids) we went with the sandwich ones. They either get crackers and cheese or cut up fruit and cheese in the small and medium ones, and yogurt in the other small one. I do end up wrapping thier cookies separately, though, since there isn't another block for that.
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