Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mom, What's In my Lunch Box?

I have always paid for my children to get school lunch, or the last few years I have been one of "those moms ", my children have qualified for free or reduced lunch. This year we didn't qualify anymore, not because we had a huge increase in pay, but just a few dollars. Well with gas going up, the cost of food at the grocery stores and every thing else you can think of, I couldn't see paying $3.50 and up for lunch everyday for 5 children, we were looking at About $88.00 a week just for lunch , that didn't include breakfast. I told my children we just could not do that, and they would be taking their lunch from home.
The first week was fun, they had new lunch boxes, Hannah Montana, High School Musical, and just a plain red and black for my 14 year old son, PLEASE! The next hurdle was what to get them to drink? I wanted something low in sugar, but with some kind of nutritional value, none of them really ever liked getting milk at lunch. Well a friend of mine told me about the Sugar free Hawaiian Punch Singles To Go. 5 calories per serving, 5 mg of sodium, 1 g of carbs, and best of all 100% of the RDA of vitamin C, woohoo. I found them in 5 flavors and they come 8 servings to a box, but those sticks as I call them make 16.9 fluid ozs, my kids lunch bottles are 8oz, so we actually get 16 servings. Best of all I bought them at Walgreens for $1.00 a box, can you say 6 cent per serving? The only way to beat that would be having coupons, but alas I couldn't find any.
Now back to my lunch delimena, what's that you say? You didn't say anything about a delimena. Well let me tell you folks, I have found out it is hard to find something for lunch that will please all 5 kids, 5 days a week. They got tired of bologna, turkey, and ham real quickly. I was able to supplement my middle and high schoolers boxes with hot pockets, and the smaller microwavable entrees, like beef and cheese, stroganoff, etc. but no such luck with my elementary schoolers, they aren't allowed to use the microwave. Heck I can't even give the their favorite, peanut butter and jelly, because of the chance that some children may have nut allergies. I understand this to a point, but why can't my child just be sat away from the child with allergies. I am lactoise intolerent but I still buy milk. Oh well, no use fighting that battle here.
I've tried reading the articles about keeping lunches interesting, well that might just work, if you have all day to do nothing but stay in the kitchen and cut out the cutsie little designs, and cut the veggies into exotic shapes, I can do that, "NOT"!
I guess I am going to have to check on the price of K-Rations, LOL, rub them or shake, I forget which, and they self heat. Now that would be nice, and they couldn't taste any worse than my kids say the cafeteria food does. Can they?
So what's a mom to do? When and if I figure it out, I promise to do an update to this Blog, in the meantime.....Talk To MY Heart, tell me what you do for your kid's lunches at school. Who knows maybe someone out there has the answer, I sure could use it before my kid's go on lunch strike, then I'll be "one of those moms who don't feed their kids"


Moon Dog Star said...

hello & gm Marilyn, I pack my oldest son's lunch every day-been doing so for 4 years. It's tough after the 1st week but, he will try different foods.

I pack salads with dressing on side in separate container, healthy snack bars in variety also the 100 calorie snack foods. (they have cookies-kids wont argue with that)

I bake chicken nuggets & pack them in a napkin in a cutie box. this keeps them warm enough for lunch time w/out them going soggy.

My boys drink organic juice-Honest Kids. we also do organic lemon & lime juices that are sold in the cooler sections at the stores. they come in their own single containers.

My son does not eat sandwiches with cold cuts. I pack up fruits not cut so they don't get brown spots. (that turns his stomach just on look raw veggies are a option with dressing or dip in separate containers.

i buy in bulk single sized chip bags. I buy a variety so his taste buds aren't bored. chex mix seems to be his favorite over the years. i love when the stores have sales on the halloween large bags of single chip bags. that is when i stock up big time. usually you can get 2 for the price of 1.
come christmas his chip bags are still from

I also pack him one small single mini sized chocolate candy. My son LOVES a deep dark rich chocolate. ( lil fact: the dark the chocolate the better for your heart & blood The dark chocolates are more pure cocoa bean & are full of wonderful antioxidants)I buy them in bulk packages. Stick them in a large zip bag & place them in his special part of the refrigerator. One a day is just like having a hug from mom mid day. SO that is what I'm told by him!!!!

I invested in the new Swiss Army bottle. It does keep drinks cooler then reg. insulated mugs. Once a week usually on wenesday he picks out a cereal & I pack up milk. He gets a fruit. This is his way of not getting bored with lunches. We also do breakfast bars, pancakes (i cook them that am. & pack the syrup to go), pop-tarts (i buy 5 boxes for $5 cheap brand They are loaded with more fruits then the leading top brands!!! & not over caked with icing on top.)

Ok now the final & what he calls the BEST day of the week for lunch.

"freaky food friday"

This is the day that I have NO clue what to pack. I been 4 days on track & friday I'm at a lost.

He is able to pack up what ever he wants. No matter what it is. & I don't stand & watch. He has the pick of the litter. He knows though no more then 4 items no matter what they are & a drink.

I hope my LONG list of lunch foods helps ya' out. I bring my son with me to the store & I do lunch shopping once a month. Planning out what he will bring. He gets to help pick out his foods. We usually hit every isle. This way he gets better options through out the month.

I brain wash at a young age-what foods are healthy & which ones they best never ask to eat cause I'll never buy. He is getting wiser on our trips to the store. & also getting that he is willing to try new food as well.

Marilyn said...

Lahia, You have given me some wonderful ideas here. Thanks so much. Come on everyone give me some more, my kids will love you for it. Happy Friday, no lunches to pack tonight :) Hugs Marilyn