We’re finishing up our second week of school around here, and I’m still adjusting. New teachers. New classmates. The mountain of forms to sign. The strict bedtimes. The waking up and hurrying up to get out the door. The carpool. The jockeying for spots in the pick-up line.
And of course, the bentos.
The kids’ school district this year is offering free lunches for all students, and it’s tempting (oh so tempting) to send them out the door lunchbox-less, knowing they’ll get a hot meal. But while food options have gotten a lot better, there’s still a lot of processed, packaged stuff that we don’t normally eat at home. Last year, when my nine-year-old would buy lunch two days in a row, he’d come home with a stomachache–without fail. So as much as I’d love that extra time in the morning, I know that ultimately feeding them good food is what’s best for us.
Here’s what I’ve been packing, usually as caught on my iPhone while the boys ask me for matching socks and my toddler clings koala-style onto my leg.
Contents in a Komax bento:
- Aidell’s pineapple and bacon chicken sausage
- naan with cheese stars
- carrot sticks
- snap peas
This is the same lunch for my first grader, but with added cabbage strips, which he LOVES. I love that the Yumbox container has that little section for sauce.
Contents in an ECOlunchbox:
- PB&J “you rock” stamped sandwich (cutter and letter stamps bought at World Market)
- red bell pepper strips
- prosciutto-wrapped nectarines
- mixed berries
Contents in a Planetbox Shuttle:
- chicken teriyaki drumstick (recipe here, but I subbed organic apple juice for the pineapple juice)
- steamed carrots and broccoli
Contents in an Easylunchbox:
- Applegate ham and provolone cheese roll-ups
- Annie’s cheddar crackers
- mixed berries and nectarine
- celery with peanut butter
Contents in a Lunchbots Click (top) and Steeltainer (bottom):
- slow cooker flank steak (recipe here)
- cabbage strips
- baby carrots
- Horizon organic milk
Contents in a Korean-brand stainless steel container (top) and a Steeltainer divided snack container (bottom):
- egg and cheese bagel sandwich
- rainbow carrots
- apple slices
Contents in the upper tier of a Komax bento:
- hard-boiled egg with paprika
- raw yellow squash with avocado
- nectarines with raspberries
- Vita Coco flavored coconut water (LOVE this, since it’s only 8g of sugar vs. 20-something of most juice boxes!)
Contents in an ECOLunchbox:
- turkey tortilla rollups with spinach tortilla, turkey, cheddar, mashed avocado, and baby spinach
- purple carrots
- trail mix cookies from Trader Joe’s (addicting)
So there you have it. I survived, my kids survived, and we only have about 38 more weeks of this to go! If you’ve been packing lunch, I’d love to hear what’s been going in your kid’s lunchbox.