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    School lunch ideas.
    Amanda1981 posted:
    This year will be a cold lunch year, $120 a month for hot lunch just isn't in my budget. I am trying to do budget friendly lunches that aren't going to get boring. I can't imagine bringing a sandwich everyday, although my kids might not care.

    Has anyone done anything like soup, mac & cheese, spaghetti o's? Or do you think that would be to much of a hassle.

    I am open to some lunch ideas. In the past it has always been pb&j sandwich, fruit/veggie, baked chips, go-gurt or pudding, and a juice box.
    tcqueen responded:
    My kindergartner loves salad! I plan to pack him a salad with some dressing in a separate little container, once a week. Other than that, I pack him a sandwich the rest of the week.

    Spaghetti O's isn't a bad idea, especially since they still taste yummy cold.

    Lunchables are expensive, but maybe make your own? Get a block of cheese, you can freeze won't you won't use that week. You can also get blocks of ham or pepperoni and cut that up yourself too. Get a box of Ritz crackers, and that will last a while and isn't nearly as expensive as buying the individual Lunchables.

    I don't buy juice boxes anymore. I got him a re-usable water bottle that I can throw in the dishwasher with the dinner dishes at night. I fill it with water or juice, whatever I have in the house. It fits perfect in his lunch box or in the side pocket of his backpack.
    I_love_prada responded:
    Man! that is alot of money!!! But with the way food prices are rising, you may be paying just as much to provide cold lunches LOL.

    The soup and stuff sound like good ideas, but is there anywhere where they can warm that stuff up? Or do they just like it cold? Lunchables score BIG with love being the master of their own lunches. But lunchables are expensive, so you can amke homemade lunchables...crackers and cheese cut into small squares, etc...I'd love that if I was a kid. Or if you fix a dish that they like for dinner and you have leftovers, they can bring those too...that's what I do at work..
    nics4kids responded:
    My kids don't care if they eat sandwiches all day every year for school.

    My 4th grader today packed a natural pb on whole wheat sandwich, a pear, sugar snap peas, a string cheese and a granola bar. She's decided she no longer wants to buy milk at lunch, so I send her an extra snack item (the granola bar). Her 1st grade brother had carrots instead of the peas, and no granola bar, but will buy milk with lunch. They both (along with my K student) take their own bottle of water for snack and throughout the day.

    So for us, it is sandwich (or alternative), fruit, veggie, dairy item and water, plus milk bought at school.

    Sometimes they take wraps or pasta salad type things instead of sandwiches, but what I wrote above is pretty much what my oldest has taken to school since the beginning.

    My pre-k kid will take water, half a sandwich, a fruit OR veggie and a dairy product. She will be provided with a somewhat healthy (crackers, etc) snack mid morning.

    I don't do any of the hot items you mentioned... they have no way to heat anything, I suppose I could do a Thermos, but I don't see why when what we are doing now works
    ryanandleigh responded:
    My DS is a picky eater so I am looking for suggestions too - even though it will be next year before I have to send a lunch! When I was growing up I had soup and spagetti o's in my lunch. They were put in a thermos and were still warm/hot when I got to lunch.
    2boysmom53 responded:
    My Kids love PB&J but our school is nut free. Any suggestions?
    ksl5f123 responded:
    I also used to get spaghetti o's and soup in a thermos when I was a kid. It was always still hot by lunch.

    I also try to vary what my DD gets. My mom gave sandwiches most days (the Thermos thing was a rare exception) and by 2nd grade I often gave them or threw them away - but they still kept coming until I graduated. To this day, I can't stand to eat a cold meat sandwich.

    DD also attend a school that is nut-free, so in addition to ham or turkey sandwiches she often gets yogurt or cheese sticks or hummus as the "main dish" along with fruit, bread of some sort (if not eating a sandwich), and maybe a dessert.

    working_mom_2 responded:
    Do your hot lunches expire after a month? We pay for what equates to a month of hot lunches but then every night he gets to pick hot or cold for the next day. That way we stretch our hot lunches and it comes in handy the nights we just don't feel like packing lunch.

    Sandwiches, wraps, and mini bagel sandwiches are popular here. He loves cold pizza when we have it leftover. We've done spaghetti O's in a thermos but they are kind of a hassle because you have to remember to heat them up before school (at least for us because we both work). I'd try left over regular spaghetti or soup this year. You could probably do cold ham and cheese quesadillas. Oh, hot dogs have been done. He doesn't mind them cold and we provide ketchup for him to dip. I'm a big fan of looking to leftovers for lunch.

    I love the idea of a fake lunchable. If you want to get really creative you can look into Bento boxes.

    I'm with you on getting boring, I try and avoid it in my own lunches. But DH once went 45 days in a row bringing a sandwich to work.
    1andonlybaby responded:
    DS did sandwiches pretty much everyday for lunch. Occassionally he would take leftover pizza and he had a Thermos and sometimes took ravioli.
    Riley29a responded:
    Instead of peanut butter use sunbutter (from sunflower seeds). Tastes surprisingly like peanut butter, but with an after taste. My eat it fine on sandwiches with honey or sliced bananas or fruit spread.

    I'd send a note to the school saying what it is so the teachers won't be concerned, though about it being peanut butter.

    Also, soups, leftover spaghetti, chili, ....... in a thermos is great. It also uses up some of the leftovers that may not otherwise get eaten. I think the newer aluminum thermos are even much better than the ones we had as kids - this is the third year we will be using there food thermos and drink thermos. My boys also take a thermos for their drink (those juice boxes get too expensive).
    3GirlsCrazy responded:
    My girls like boiled eggs with a little salt. Shrimp cocktail is a special treat. I know it gets expensive. But shrimp is so healthy, easy to send cold, and they love it! Also yogurt smoothie drinks are good.

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