Archive for February, 2013

Lunch 4 “the ages” {K-5}

Thursday, February 28th, 2013
 

 

Lunch 4 “the ages” {K-5}

Welcome! This is the 2nd post of a 3 post series featuring tips about packing lunches for children. Last week I focused on packing lunch for preschoolers (Pre-K). This week I focus on lunches for children in  Kindergarten through 5th grade and next week I’ll cover grade 6 and beyond. If you are a blogger and have a URL featuring tips or photos of lunches for this age group please feel free to link up at the bottom of this post (while it is available).

Only one of my 4 children fit into this age bracket. My son Brendan. Brendan is in 5th grade so he just barely fits in this category. He has just reached the age where he is becoming embarrassed by cutesy gestures. I have had so much fun packing some creative lunches for Brendan and luckily the fun doesn’t have to end, it just has to be more reserved. Let’s however leave this topic for next week! And instead focus on where we have been!

 

Here are my lunch tips and thoughts about packing lunches for Kindergarten through 5th grade:

  1. Get those kids involved – Kiddos in this age bracket have some definite opinions on what they like and what they don’t like. They are also definitely willing to share those opinions with you. Seek this input from your children. Have your child participate in packing lunch if they are willing and let them make some selections for their own lunches. Consider letting them choose a recipe from a cookbook or online to make. Talk with them about healthy eating and about packing lunches with less waste. Need menu inspiration? Check out Momables, an inexpensive subscription lunch menu service. Also go check out these kids in action packing their own lunch: Bento Kids!
  2. Go crazy – You don’t have to but you can if you want to! Lunchbox accessories are no longer off limits. You can use food picks, cupcake rings and whatever other creative lunchbox décor you can dream up. Choking is no longer as high of a risk as it is for the little ones! Food no longer needs to be cut into bite sized pieces as it does for toddlers. Explore these freedoms! Draw inspiration from what your children love. It doesn’t have to be a bento master piece. One small detail is all it takes!
  3. Pack it cold – In this age bracket children rarely have access to means to heat up lunch. They also usually don’t have access to a fridge to keep their lunch cold. Pack lunches meant to be eaten cold. Pack lunches to stay cold or pack lunches that need little to no refrigeration! Most standard lunchboxes do not keep food at food safe temperatures for longer than 2 hours. Use 2 ice packs instead of 1 to prevent spoiling. Also consider freezing drinks or yogurts so they will stay fresh, these will defrost by lunch time. If your child prefers a hot lunch consider investing in a good thermal container.
  4. Keep it together – There is a wide range of maturity in this age bracket but many kids will not remember or will not be able to hold their lunchbox flat. Sauces, dips or dressings should be placed in leak proof lidded containers. Food should be packed tightly to stay in place. Consider using compartmentalized containers like Lunchbots or Easylunchboxes. Use silicon baking cups or bento baran to act as food dividers.

Still have more questions? Like to know more about lunches featured in this post? Feel free to contact me via email (email on left sidebar) or by commenting on this post and I will attempt to help you work through them! Remember to check out the blogs linking up below for more lunches packed for elementary school aged children! Refer back to last week’s post for Preschoolers for additional lunch packing tips.

Sincerely,

Lunchbots products used in this post available here:

Shop LunchBots

Fast, Fresh and Friendly Skies?

Monday, February 25th, 2013
 

Yes, that is a wacky title but my Monday got off to a rough start and I am ready for it to be over! Haha! The day draws near an end for me now but before it does let me see if I can make sense of that title for you! ;)

I was away this past weekend for a lovely Catholic Woman’s Retreat (to all my friends new and old it was such a pleasure to spend time with you all)!  I returned home yesterday making a tense 60 minute drive during a New England snow storm. I was delighted to make it home safely and to see my family! As the snow continued to fall making the roads still dangerous I decided to forgo grocery shopping. This combination of being away and no grocery store trip made for a disorganized Monday kick off! I woke up and realized that I didn’t have proper laundry or proper food. Honestly life is so much easier when you prep the night before (lunch, cloths etc) but I just wasn’t ready to let go of thet relaxed feeling from the retreat!  Instead I had a harsh cold morning and was late, late, late! Ugh!

Since I was late I had to come up with something fast! No way around it, no matter how late and how disorganized I have to pack lunch for my preschoolers! Lunch is not provided by the preschool so this is something I cannot forgo! If I am packing lunch for 2 then I may as well pack all the lunches. A small break was that the older kids are on school vacation and I didn’t have to pack lunch for them! So 4 lunches it was! Evan’s lunch will not be pictured on this post (come back Friday when I discuss Evan’s gluten-free lunches)!

Trevor’s lunch today (pictured above) was packed in a Lunchbots Duo and contained:

  • Mango and strawberries
  • Trader Joe’s Cheddar Rockets
  • A cheese stick
  • A sandwich stamped with a cloud and airplane (hence my friendly skies).

To be honest Trevor wanted a rocket but I was just too disorganized to make that happen so this was a more simple compromise! Since I do not have a rocket cutter or stamp I would have had to think hard to put together a rocket! That wasn’t happening today! I think he was OK with the compromise! The outside circle shape was cut with a biscuit cutter. The cutter just happened to still be on the drying rack and easy to access! I did sneak in the cheddar rockets so there, Trevor did get his rocket!

Even though I didn’t get to the grocery store I still had some fesh produce that needed to be used up from last week. Since I was cutting strawberries and mango for Trevor’s lunch I decided to put that in the 2 identical lunches I made for my husband and myself. Strawberries and mangos are a great colorful and tasty combination! Yum! Our lunches were packed in Easylunchboxes containers and contained:

  • Strawberries & mangos
  • Trader Joe’s Edamame Crackers and Naturebox Nature’s Bounty mix
  • 1/2 of a corned beef sandwich (1 sandwich made and half put in each lunch)
  • Carrots & snap peas also leftover from last week (Greek yogurt veggie dip in small container)

 

 

I hope I managed to make sense out of that title! I am glad Monday is over and I hope your day kicked off a little smoother than mine!

Sincerely,

Lunchbots products used in this post available here:

Shop LunchBots

Other products used in this post:

The Lent-o Bento

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013
 

As practicing Catholics my family abstains from eating meat on Fridays during lent. This is usually a great opportunity to go get some cheese pizza or a Fish Filet sandwich but sometimes you have to make the healthier choice (sometimes)! Today’s featured lunchbox was affectionately dubbed the “Lent-o” by my husband. It is rather catchy and I assure you no disrespect for the traditions of Lent is meant! This lunch is however a great way to make sure we don’t cheat or forget to abstain! The key is to make the lunch filling especially for my husband who relies on that meaty protein to fill him up!

This lunch is served in an Easylunchboxes container and includes:

  • Carrots, red pepper strips, snap peas and mini cucumbers served along with Greek yogurt veggie dip in a mini dipper sontainer
  • Trader Joe’s Edamame Crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Naturebox Nature’s Bounty mix with extra nuts added for additional protein

Sincerely,

Products used in this post:

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