Thursday, September 12, 2013

Week 1 of Healthy School Lunches (with recipes!)


Did I mention the freakout I had the day before school started? It was over school lunches, because totally ridic and trivial things are always at the basis of all my fits.  Thankfully my husband and one of my dearest friends, Bonnie, were here to witness it and talk me down from the ledge.   
 
Together we created a system, because honestly, plans and systems sooth my soul. They helped me come up a bunch of different school lunches I can pack for Narls (and Em on dance days), which I then used photoshop to create recipe cards for, detailing exactly what ingredients are needed and how much time I'd need to set aside for preparation. 
 
My goal is to have 20 varying, healthy lunches, so I'll have four weeks to cycle through and rotate. No guesswork. No additional planning. Seriously, I heart anything that makes my life easier.
 
If you're interested, here is our first week of different, healthy lunches that my kiddos took with them. The lunchboxes are from laptop lunches and I love love them. I bought them last year and they're still in excellent condition despite being used almost daily.

A note on the food I use, because I don't want to sound all obnoxious & preachy by specifically pointing out ~organic wheat crackers~ and ~all natural sugar-free appleseauce~ , I do try to buy organic, natural, no-sugar-added and/or whole wheat versions of everything. We haven't completely eliminated every processed food from our diet, but on a whole, we eat primarily clean and have been for almost two years (go us!). 
 
Monday:
banana slices, green peppers, applesauce (mixed with a sprinkle of cinnamon), pb&j, thin crackers, & cheddar cheese slices
 
Tuesday:
a healthier diy "lunchable" consisting of deli-cut thick-sliced turkey pieces, colby jack cheese chunks, thin crackers, a cutie orange, blueberries, & baby carrots with homemade ranch dip
 
Wednesday:
apple slices with caramel for dipping, veggie chips, a cheese quesadilla, & cucumber chunks
 
Thursday:
a spinach chicken caesar salad with caesar dressing, grapes, apple cinnamon rice crisps, veggie straws, & celery with peanut butter and raisins
 
Friday:
rotini pasta with pasta sauce, cheese bunnies, pineapple and strawberries, & fig bars
 
Here are the recipe cards I made. I print them off at Office Max for less than $1/sheet (using their strongest cardstock-ish paper) and 3 4x6-in recipe cards fit on one sheet.  Download the recipe to get its full size. Also, if you spot a typo please let me know; I check and double check but still miss a ton.





 
Enjoy! And I'd love to hear what your kiddos' favorite lunches are :)

14 comments:

  1. Honestly, I loved witnessing your panic because I was going through the same thing! And I love, love LOVE that you think to share what you come up with! Gives me more ideas for Amelia's lunches!

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    1. Let's get together soon and work on more lunch combos <3

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    2. Yes!!! I love this idea, especially because it gets me more Ami time!

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  2. How do those lunch boxes travel? I would be worried that the food wouldn't stay in those seperators and it would be a mess.

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    1. They travel very well. The individual boxes with the rounded corners - including the small dipping containers - have air-tight lids(I just didn't photograph them closed). The boxes with the square corners are a tiny bit higher, so they form a seal with the lunch box when it's closed; granted it's not air-tight, so you don't want to put applesauce/yogurt/dips in the square boxes, but they're perfect for chips & bars & grapes, etc.

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  3. Oh em gee these are friggin adorable and awesome! I'm pinning this for future reference when I has babies

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  4. I love this idea! So awesome, I truly can't wait to make school lunches for Madison. haha. Do the dip containers have a lid, or do they just free roam around the area that their in?

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    1. Thank you! :) And yup, the dip containers have lids. All the containers with the rounded corners have lids, so they're prefect for sauces/dips/yogurt/applesauce. The square containers stand a tiny bit taller than the rounded, so they're flush with the lunch box lid. They're not air-tight, but pretty close, and that's where I pack crackers, nuts, sturdier fruits & veggies, etc.

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    2. I'm pretty sure I'll be buying these like, now, and testing out recipes and different methods. haha.

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  5. Those look adorable, delicious, and healthy. Good job Mom!

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  6. Mmmm! make my lunch, please! :)

    Great ideas, going to have to figure out how to do this on an adult level!

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  7. I may steal these ideas for me. I've been grabbing waaaayyyy too many quick and easy lunches, which are far from healthy.

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  8. OMG this is awesome!!! I've been packing Boomer the same lunch every single day because she is SO picky. I'm going to bookmark this and talk to her about some variations to her lunch. She eats healthier than I do already, so that part isn't a struggle. Love these ideas thanks for posting!!!

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