Last updated on December 7, 2016 by Liza Hawkins
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HorizonLunch #CollectiveBias
There’s really only ever been one year that we’ve been purchasers of the cafeteria school lunch.
That is, aside from one time last month, in the first week of school, that my youngest (in first grade) forgot his lunch bag at home, and consequently had to purchase something from the lunch lady.
Or, rather, be given something from the lunch lady since he has $0 in his lunch account. Whoops.
Back to buying lunch. When my daughter was in kindergarten it seemed easier to refill her lunch account and let her buy school lunch, than trying to figured out what to pack every morning.
Turns out though, I wasn’t (and still am not) a big fan of the school lunch menu, and aside from chicken nuggets or corn dog day, neither was she.
So I started packing her lunch, and once I got in the groove, I realized it’s not terribly difficult nor time consuming. A lot of the food I pack is thrown together by hand (PB&J, bagel and cream cheese, ham and cheese rolls, sliced veggies with ranch dressing), and sometimes I include prepackaged goodies, too.
5 Tips For Packing A Tasty School Lunch
1. Don’t feel as though you need to emulate Lisa’s lunch boxes from 100 Days of Real Food.
Unless you want to, and it makes you giddy. Quite frankly, they’re amazing. Crazy amounts of food diversity, and creative uses of dinner leftovers from day-to-day, make me stressed out. Instead, my kids have their few simple favorites and we stick with those.
2. Make sure there’s fresh fruit or veggies.
My kids always have a fruit (grapes, sliced apples, Clementines, berries) or a veggie (sliced cucumber, peppers, carrots) in their lunches. Slice or bag things up ahead of time, so when it’s time to pack their lunch boxes all the work is already done!
3. Throw in a packaged item here and there.
I buy organic applesauce pouches and fruit strips. Both kind of cross the line between snack and dessert, so they’re in addition to number two above. They also love something crunchy, so Horizon® sandwich crackers are perfect for that — cheddar’s a favorite flavor. Sometimes I’ll do pretzels or tortilla chips, too.
4. Think outside the sandwich box.
If the kids have a large handful of Horizon sandwich crackers in their lunches, they might not also need a PB&J sandwich. Instead I’ll throw in a string cheese, a couple pieces of fruit, and call it a day! One of my daughter’s favorite “sandwiches” is cream cheese slathered in between two pieces of banana or zucchini bread. DELISH.
5. Give a little dessert.
I bake cookies every week, and the kids each get one in their lunch boxes. Sometimes I’ll forgo the cookie if they’re having another item that’s kinda sweet, like the fruit strips I mentioned above, or a Horizon single serve chocolate milk box. But a treat makes it fun, and who doesn’t like to finish off a meal with dessert? (Okay, I’m fully aware they probably go for the that first. HA!)
Horizon has a whole line of yummy, on-the-go snacks that can help with packing school lunch on the fly, or providing some after school noshing on the way to the next activity (in our case, dance or soccer). There are single serve milk boxes in vanilla and chocolate, and sandwich crackers in cheese or smooth peanut butter, all made with ingredients you can feel good about — like, organic cocoa, vanilla extract, cheese and peanut butter.
And now, you’ll notice super cute Horizon packaging with The Peanuts Movie as we all gear up to celebrate its release, in theaters on Nov. 6th. — YAY! You can check out the movie trailer by clicking here, and play some fun games over on Horizon’s The Peanuts Movie website, here.
While you’re at it, take a peek at my little video to see how to make school lunches easier with Horizon — it’s full of The Peanuts Movie fun!
What’s your easy school lunch packing tip?
I visited Walmart to find my Horizon products. The sandwich crackers were located in the cracker isle (though not with the larger sandwich cracker packages), and the single serve milk boxes were in with the juice boxes.
Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.