If you are a momma with school age children and do not have the option or income to do the whole school hot lunch thing, I’d encourage you to set out and make lunches, fun, full of variety, and super easy.
When my kids come home and say, “Mom, kids keep looking at me when I eat… they asked to try some” it makes me happy. It’s way better than them coming home and begging for a hot lunch. I am hoping we can do a hot lunch for them every now and then as a treat, but honestly, I’ve somewhat figured out some fun new and yummy things that are easy to fix without breaking the bank.
Here are a couple quick suggestions:
- Make Jello every week. This is a cheap and easy task. I only takes about 5 minutes and way better and cheaper than buying the packets of made jello from the store. Often Bi-lo has bogo and I can make a ton. I snatched up some cheap small containers that have easy lids for my littles.
- Make cookies ahead of time so you can easily pull a few out of the freezer or out of a jar for the littles sweet tooth!
- Make Tea or encourage them to drink water. We typically send water in their lunches, but its fun to surprise them with some tea, juice, or maybe even an occasional soda.
- Decorate your veggies! What???? Nothing beats boring sticks of celery than smother them with peanut butter, cream cheese, mini choc chips, etc.
- Change up their fruits. Sometimes an apple in a lunch box stays in the lunch box. Make an apple fun and exciting to find each day. Last week I gave Chloe an apple in 5 different ways throughout the week. One day I cut it up and put peanut butter in the bottom of a container and stuck the apple slices in it for her to dip it in. One day we sprinkled powdered sugar on top, another was covered in peanut butter and sprinkled with chocolate sprinkles, etc. Be creative and watch your littles eat healthy and cheap, but still have a yummy and fun lunch.
- Give options---This can be a tough one because you want it easy and it’s nice for them to be thankful for what you give. However, some days peanut butter sandwiches just don’t sound too great! I mean, we remember don’t we? Sometimes they may just opt for a jelly sandwich or maybe just cheese and no meat. That’s always nice, right? I have just found that when they get to put a little input they enjoy it more and are less likely to complain.
- Make homemade popcorn. Spice it up with different flavors for variety. You can see how I do it here.
- Make lunches the night before! This makes early mornings so much better for you and your littles. Stick the sandwiches on a designated shelf in the fridge so you can just grab them in the morning.
- Make fun recipes as the protein for the day! I am excited to share the kids newest favorite that I created several weeks ago. Gonna share on the blog tomorrow. So, make sure you come back!
- Have some treats. We don’t do a great deal of chicken nuggets, corn dogs, etc, partly because of cost and partly because of ingredients. However, having things like this on hand for the occasional “mom you’re a great lunch maker” kind of day is special! It will break up the everyday mundane foods too and make them more thankful for the special treats.
See what my kids enjoy in their lunches a few times a week. It’s homemade and easy!! And, if you don’t want to make it complete from scratch there is an easier way too!!!