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Back to School 2011: 10 Great Lunch Ideas

Here are some great lunch options to help parents get in the swing for the new school year.

A new school year is upon us and it's time for moms and dads to start getting ready for the kids to return to school. Once you have purchased all of the supplies, a new back pack and lunch box, and that first day of school outfit, it's time to think about what to pack the kids for lunch.

Patch has put together a list of 10 great lunches to help give parents in the community some new and fresh ideas for school lunch.  So get your lunch boxes ready!

The Sandwich is the staple of a school lunch, but many moms have given the sandwich a new twist.

  • A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is still a classic favorite of many kids, but why not surprise your kids with a PB&J with Banana, or a PB&J with chocolate chips.   
  • Wrap it up in a whole grain wrap.  Grill up some chicken, add some shredded cheese and salsa and the kids will love a Mexican wrap.  You can add some lettuce and tomatoes to the wrap for a serving of veggies as well.
  • Does your child prefer salads to sandwiches? Then they might love a salad-stuffed pita. Fill a pita pocket with all of their favorite veggies, and pack the dressing on the side so the sandwich doesn’t get soggy before lunch.
  • Ritz crackers tuna sandwiches are a favorite lunch for my kids. To make the lunch even more fun, pack the crackers and tuna separately so the child can make their own tuna cracker sandwiches at lunch.

Many moms that have picky eaters turn popular side choices into a healthy filling lunch for their finicky eaters.

  • All kids love to “dip” food, so bread sticks and a cup of peanut butter is a fun, protein-packed lunch that will keep them full until they get home.
  • Another popular snack lunch that will keep the kids from getting hungry before they get home is a yogurt, cheese stick, apple slices and Ritz's crackers.

Serve a “Hot Lunch” from home. Many kids love buying lunch, but the cost of that every day can add up. Instead of buying each day pick up a Thermos when you are out school shopping and your kids can enjoy a hot meal for lunch. To ensure the food is warm at lunchtime, microwave the lunch and make it very hot; by lunchtime it will be nice and warm.

  • Bake up some mini bite size pizzas in the oven and pack them in the thermos, kids will love having pizza not just on Fridays.
  • Macaroni and cheese is my daughter’s favorite.  I’ll prepare a tray of yummy homemade macaroni and cheese for dinner, then the next day heat some up and pack it in the thermos for lunch.
  • As the days get cooler this fall the kids will love a Thermos full of their favorite soup. Serve with crackers for some fun dunking.

Having a crazy day? No food in the house? These are the days to give the kids buy lunch.

What ideas do you have for fun school lunches for the kids? Log in to Patch and share your ideas as a comment below.

Sally September 07, 2011 at 07:16 PM
Your confused Say it Sue, I'm not jumping on anyone's back.........that would most definately be you in this case. I simply shared two facts..............
The Six Cs September 07, 2011 at 10:26 PM
It is true that West Islip is not peanut free. Although several classrooms and/or schools within the district do request that peanut products not be sent in, it is unrealistic to assume that every lunch and snack sent in to every classroom is 100% peanut/nut free, not produced on shared equipment with or in a facility that also produces peanut/nut products. It is important to be mindful of the fact that there are children and adults with food allergies in every building and all children should be able to go to school in a safe environment. As with most chronic medical conditions, every case is different & there is no guarentee that a peanut allergy coinsides with any other sort of nut allergy. Students that have a dianosed allergy generally discuss the specific foods involved with their teacher prior to the school year and teachers in turn pass that information on to their students to try to get everyone to work together to ensure the safety of the students in their class. The point of this article was to put an new twist on the sandwich. While it can be difficult to make every lunch "exciting", it is absolutely possible to make every lunch healthy for your child as well as the child next to them. For that reason, please try to avoid sending in peanut products whenever possible. If your child loves peanut butter and will not eat anything else, please ensure they are not sitting with a classmate with a nut allergy and ensure they are washing their hands after lunch!
jena September 07, 2011 at 11:37 PM
well said
Cheryl Donnelly September 08, 2011 at 12:59 AM
As the author of the article I apologize for not taking allergies into consideration when writing this piece. I myself do not have an allergy in my family and I live in Three Village School District and we are not peanut free. Let me also add that the article was written for the Three Village Patch website and West Islip Patch picked it up and ran it too.
jena September 08, 2011 at 01:35 AM
Thanks cheryl, it was a good piece. Unfortunately there are some who troll west islip patch looking to pick fights, pretend to be the authority on EVERYTHING and belittle one another. West Islip, like 3 village is NOT peanut free, and I like your ideas!

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