school lunches

Tuesday the 12 year old decided he wanted to take hot lunch the next day.  We don’t do the hot lunch program at school.  I just haven’t started that.  I prefer that they make their own lunches and take food from here.  Most of the hot lunches at school are highly processed stuff that I really don’t like them eating a lot of.

Well…  yesterday he took his own money to buy his own lunch.  Which would have been fine if he would have taken enough money.  His brother told him to take more but he wouldn’t listen.. A bit stubborn that one.  Needless to say he came home hungry.  We ended up having a discussion about lunches. They are tired of a sandwich for lunch.  I get that.  It gets old after awhile.  They also have gotten into the habit of just taking a sandwich and nothing else.  They are middle school age and so the least work the better!!  I have not intervened until now, because the goal is to get them making the choices on their own.  I have given suggestions, made comments, supplied ingredients but they have chosen to stick with a sandwich.

Last night, it kind of came to a head so we got to work and talked about some ideas and did some research.

We looked on Pinterest for some ideas but really all of the school lunch ideas were the same, food that was really odd to us, or highly processed food that we just don’t buy.  I usually like to see what “100 days of Real Food” has for suggestions but what they had last night, that we saw, were things that we just don’t eat.

So we did some cooking together.  I taught the 14 year old how to make a quesadilla with flour tortillas, cheese and some lunch meat.  Now, there is lots of discussion about the nitrates in lunch meats, but what I have learned is that the whole study about the nitrates was done in such a way that you would have to eat enormous amounts of nitrate laden meats EVERY DAY in order to have the same results they found in their research.  Since we don’t eat enormous amounts every day, I figure store bought lunch meat is fine.

Anyways, he made that along with an orange and some plain yogurt with some homemade cinnamon applesauce for his lunch. I discovered last year that ziploc made these divided containers that work great for lunches.  Each divider is sealed into its own container so they work perfect for lunches, and we can put in applesauce or yogurt and it doesn’t leak into the other sections.

The 12 year old decided to try roll ups made with a flour tortilla, cream cheese, lunch meat and a pickle.  (I was on a roll with making and storing food this year!! They are homemade pickles too!)  He added yogurt with granola and an orange also.  The elementary kids liked that idea so that’s what they got this morning too.

It was fun to share that time with the boys last night teaching them some new ways to prepare their lunches and sharing with them some family history.  I told them about my Grandma’s usual party appetizer which was not much different from the 12 year old’s roll ups.  She would take bologna, cream cheese and a pickle, roll it up and slice them and secure with a toothpick.  They were my favorite appetizer for a long time.  I should have shared with them my own school lunch stories.  Like the one about the braunschweiger or liverwurst sandwiches.  See my mom could get that really cheap so we had that A LOT!!  Sometimes bologna, but it seemed that either it was cheaper than bologna or she liked that better, I am not sure.  But sometimes I had to make mine and my sisters lunches.  If I was mad at her, which I usually was, I would fill her sandwich with yellow mustard and a little liverwurst.  Yea, that was our grade school lunch!!

Oh and then there was the prune ball fiasco!  When I was a kid, I had a little problem so my mom made me “prune balls” wrapped up neatly in little foil packets.  Yea, between that and my liverwurst sandwich, I was pretty much guaranteed not to have anyone want to trade lunches with me!!   That really did not help me get any higher in the social ladder in my class.

So back to the current school lunch discussion.

We decided to make some mac and cheese to take to school to eat cold.  I will have to find some thermoses because they want to be able to take the mac and cheese hot.  I am not sure what would work best for that so if you have any ideas, please add to the comments section what you have found that works best.

I have found these containers that you can fill and freeze and they don’t leak that are really handy.  I added a picture of what they look like except that mine are just solid colored.  I made up some yogurt smoothies and filled them and froze them for their lunches too.  They seem to like them. I will try to add a link to this page for them.  You can get them on Amazon for about $12-$14 depending on the kind you get.

If I come up with any new ideas I will post them here.  If you have any lunch ideas please post them in the comments.

Blessings on your day!




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