With school starting up again it reminds me of all the lunches I have packed in the past.  I'm not a huge fan of the lunches the school provided.  I'm not saying its bad but I can pack better things and get more nutrition for my buck.  Food is fuel for growing bodies and brains.   I want to know what my kids were eating.  They brought home the cute little bags and I could see what was left over.  I knew if they only had cookies that day if there was still the rest left in there. Sandwiches were not always a big hit but we found little ideas to get around that.  Here were some of our favorites. 

* Cracker Stacker's-  We packed wheat crackers in a bag, cheese cut into pieces the size of the cracker, and most of the time lunch meat also cut the size of the crackers.  Like a lunchable but half the cost and whole grain crackers.  Kiddlets liked the novelty of it and it wasn't PB&J so it was a hit.

* Lunch Logs- I know cheesy names but I have young kids and if I called it a lunch log it would be eaten.  If I called it lunch meat and fat free cream cheese wrapped in a whole grain tortilla it might not have been.  Its that simple too.  Spread the FF cream cheese and lay out some meat.  Roll it up and wrap it in foil or plastic wrap.  Oh and depending on the size of the lunch box cut it in to pieces to get it all to fit. 

* Trail Mix-  We like our nuts here and we love our fruit.  We make a trail mix out of fruit that has been dehydrated and left as plain as possible and nuts, not honey roasted or lightly salted, just plain nuts.  We would mix in a variety of nuts and fruits and call it good. 

* Vegis and Hummus-  Yes I have kids that will eat hummus, but only if its the roasted garlic flavors.  Mmm I can taste it now.  It isn't something I can pack often but it gets eaten and I feel pretty good about it.

* Apple wedges and peanut butter- My Son started to sit at the peanut free table so these had to stop but it was so simple on me, I missed it.  Cut up an apple and bag it.  Pack up some peanut butter and toss it in.  I added a bag of pretzel's to get the rest out but they loved it. 

* Ants on a log- Celery that we filled with peanut butter and then topped with raisins.  Simple easy and kids loved em. 

*Leftovers-  If we had chicken the night before then they could see again the next day.  As long as I can keep it cold and safe.

I'm a big fan of being ahead of the game.  I have three bins in my home for lunches, two in the pantry and one in the fridge.  I keep one full of salty treats and one sweet treats both packed to about 100 calories give or take a few.  In the fridge I have bags full of carrots and celery that I have prewashed and cut up.  They last a few weeks like that so I cut two weeks at a time.  When I pack lunches I grab a salty, a sweet, a vegi and a main item.  For the Hubbs I pack him an extra snack and a fruit.  Something simple and long lasting a bag of almonds, a protein bar, a string cheese or a nut bar gets him over that gap in between breakfast and lunch.  Today he even got some diced up chicken in a cute pink Hello Kitty container.  I guess we need to buy more lunch sized containers.

Though we don't go to school anymore and have opted to have school at home we still pack a lot of picnics and have treats on hand.  We pack lunches and go to historical sites then have lunch on a towel ofter to talk about it.  Its much cheaper then a stop by a fast food restaurant and better for us too.

LInking up with
Somewhat Simple

                                XOXO  Misty