Our first “School Lunch Roundup” post quickly became one of the most popular pages on the blog so I thought I’d put together another one for you! For those who are newer to our site be sure to check out “My Favorite School Lunch Supplies” to see the details on all our containers, lunch boxes, thermos cups, etc. Also, if you see a recipe below that you may be interested in (like quesadillas, apple sandwich, refried beans, chicken noodle soup, etc.) just search for it using the search box at the top, right of the page. Most are on the blog, but unfortunately I’m not able to put a live link in photo captions.
Also, I’d like to make sure everyone knows about our meal planning sponsor, Plan to Eat. The start of school means getting back on a schedule and they can definitely help when it comes to the kitchen and grocery shopping. Plan to Eat is a web application that creates a categorized grocery list from recipes that you drag into an interactive meal planning calendar. You can easily import recipes from any website using their handy bookmark (similar to “pinning” in Pinterest), which helps to keep all of your favorite recipes in one place. They are currently offering a completely free 30-day trial, so you should definitely give it a try!
So without further ado, here is a summary of the school lunches that I’ve been sharing on my Facebook page:
Leftover whole-wheat vegetable quesadillas (with sour cream, guacamole and pico de gallo on the side), an apple/peanut butter sandwich, and a homemade cashew/pistachio/raisin trail mix
Leftover spaghetti, banana and peanut butter packet
Leftover frozen smoothies in freezie pop molds (plain yogurt/berry/milk/banana and local Swiss chard smoothies), baked whole-wheat pita chips, hummus, apples/cantaloupe and popcorn
Warm refried beans with metled cheese, cold sour cream and green tomato relish (to go on beans), oranges, AND a treat…homemade (baked) whole-wheat donuts
Cream cheese and homemade jam on whole-grain Ak-Mak crackers (one cracker had been made with sunflower butter and jam when she requested cream cheese on the rest), a hard boiled egg, and cantaloupe/kiwi mix
Oatmeal made with milk/cinnamon/vanilla/raisins/honey, whole-wheat zucchini muffin, apples & kiwi
PB&J whole-wheat pitas, mozzarella cheese stick, frozen peas, and a diced apple/cantaloupe mix
Potato/vegetable soup (premade and frozen in individual portions) topped with cheese, sour cream, bacon and a homemade whole-wheat strawberry jam pop tart on the side
Whole-wheat waffle sandwich with cream cheese and cinnamon in the middle, a cheese stick, diced papaya, some leftover crock pot chicken
A variety of sandwiches (hummus/cheese/spinach, PB&J, leftover panini), popcorn, and fruit
Leftover homemade chicken noodle soup, a whole-wheat zucchini muffin (from the freezer), and a plum
Field Day Lunch (had to be disposable): Sunflower butter & “jelly” (an organic all fruit spread) on a whole-wheat pita (from Trader Joe’s), strawberries/blueberries, grapefruit slices, Kettle baked chips and a Clif twisted fruit leather (some very rare “treats”).
Whole-wheat banana/walnut muffin, apples, deviled eggs, and a frozen smoothie pop (made with plain yogurt, berries, bananas and swiss chard leaves)
Apple/PB sandwich, leftover whole-grain cornbread, TJs raw nut/raisin packet, and fruit (mango/kiwi/strawberry)
Leftover whole-wheat cheese pizza (from dinner), a fresh organic apricot, 2 carrots, and some grapes
Triple-decker waffle/cream cheese sandwich, fruit (mango/grapes/blueberries), and a little homemade trail mix (sunflower seeds/pumpkin seeds/dried apple rings/dried mango)
Homemade tomato bisque soup (defrosted from freezer – it’s her fav), whole-grain zucchini muffin (from freezer as well), and an apple/sunflower butter sandwich
Cream cheese and strawberry jam whole-wheat waffle sandwich, oranges, and leftover spinach salad topped with cheddar cheese, sunflower seeds, and homemade ranch dressing
My lunch on a roadtrip (not a school lunch!)… caprese salad with pesto, popcorn, and a whole-wheat banana walnut muffin
Please feel free to share your lunch packing ideas in the comments below! -
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I’m wondering how the muffins are frozen. Do you wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze them individually or freeze them all in one container? How do you de-thaw them? Do you put them in the refrigerator the night before and then pop in the lunch box in the morning? Thanks for any tips!!
Hello Sarah. I usually wrap my muffins individually and put them in an airtight container or bag. Be sure they are cooled before you wrap and freeze them. I typically thaw in the fridge overnight and use them the next day. Often they are gone by breakfast time. ~Amy
Question about the apple/peanut butter sandwich: do you put lemon juice on the slices of apples or do you have a better hint to prevent them browning? I don’t think that my son likes apples once I’ve added the lemon juice or maybe I put too much? Any help would be appreciated.
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What do you use to prevent the apple from turning brown. I have tried lemon squeezed but my kids say it tastes funny.
Hello Stacy. Lisa doesn’t use anything. Her girls don’t mind the color. However, several readers have said that pineapple juice work well while others say a salt/water bath. Good luck. ~Amy
I like the apple rings idea for a sandwich. When I do apple wedges, I sprinkle them with cinnamon, which adds a flavor my daughter likes. I tell her that’s why the apples are brown, and she eats it all up.
I just wanted to say thank you! I recently have become vegan due to the fact that I have Crohns disease and this seems to help me. I also eat mostly raw unprocessed foods as this helps too. I don’t make my kids eat this way, but I still didn’t want them to eat all processed foods either. I was overwhelmed about what to feed everyone. So your blog has helped me so much!! Now packing lunch isn’t a chore, it’s really fun! My girls are excited to help me at night. They were so excited about the freezer pops and the thermos for soup, thank you!!
It’s going to be finish of mine day, except before ending I am reading this fantastic post to increase my experience.
Hi! This site is awesome. I’m trying to move my family towards whole foods, non gmo, organic and all that good stuff. Slowly but surely we are getting there. I see that you use whole wheat pitas from TJs. I’ve recently learned that we don’t know if the TJ products are non gmo as they are a private label. Do you have any thoughts on that? Is it best to just then get organic? Thanks again!!!
Hi there. I know it can be a difficult and confusing when trying to navigate this subject. I think it has to be a personal decision about how far to trust a store’s claims when they aren’t willing to be fully transparent. I shop TJ’s a lot and enjoy it but not without a little reservation because Con Agra does own one of there big suppliers. I do look for organic their products whenever possible. ~Amy
I love your site – thank you!
I have a question about the apple peanut butter sandwich you show several times in the kids lunches section. How do you keep the apples from browning during the day (or do you)?
Hello Beth. Lisa doesn’t do anything. Her girls don’t mind the browning. Many readers use lemon or another acidic citrus to keep the brown away. ~Amy
Do you use a specific deviled egg recipe that you can recommend?
Hi Trista. Lisa uses a traditional deviled egg recipe but replaces the mayo with sourcream. ~Amy
I noticed a lot of plastic ziplock bags. Have you ever thought of reusable bags? I get compliments on mine. They’re an awesome Eco friendly solution to plastic bags. I linked my Facebook bag for you to check them out. http://Www.facebook.com/kaylasecochicboutique
[…] are also some previous posts similar to this one: School Lunch Roundup I, School Lunch Roundup II, School Lunch Roundup III, School Lunch Roundup IV, and Nut-Free School […]
Thank you so much for these ideas!!! I LOVE the smoothie pops and I know my kiddos will too!! Just curiously, do the smoothie pops stay frozen, become slushy, or what by lunchtime??? Do you have to send a cooler pack?? Can’t wait to try some of these ideas??
Hi Sandra. Lisa packs them with ice packs but they do not stay frozen and are like a slushy yogurt tube. ~Amy