Last year, I was a slacker when it came to my daughter’s lunch during the week. Nearly every day, I relied on the ease of the school lunch, rather than packing her something nutritious from home. I have no excuse for this, except that I thought it was good to introduce her to new food (and I was busy and lazy).
After reading some terrible things about the quality of school lunches in general (particuarly the meat), I knew that this year, I couldn’t let her eat school lunch every day. I made a vow to send her with nutritious lunches that she would enjoy and that would provide her with fuel for her busy day. Best of all, I could include organic foods as much as possible and I would know how much she ate each day.
Last year I used a cheap lunch bag that I found in the Target dollar section for her lunch; however, it did not accommodate more than one container and a juice box. I knew I needed a lunch box that fit multiple containers so I could offer her a well balanced lunch of a main dish, veggie and fruit as well as a drink.
In my search for the perfect lunch box, I came across the Laptop Lunch Bento System. At over $40, the price seemed steep, but it looked oh so easy to use and would meet all of our needs. A couple of clicks later and I had this pretty little thing enroute to my house:
Though I have only used it for a couple of weeks now, I already love this lunch box. It is super sturdy and the slim case fits nicely into her book bag. It comes with two large containers (one with a lid), two smaller containers (one with a lid) and one even smaller container with a lid for dips/ketchup. It also came with a small bottle for drinks. All of this fits perfectly into the cute, flowery case.
Last year, my daughter hardly ate any of her lunch. Now, her lunch box comes home with nearly all of the food eaten and just a tiny bit of milk left in the bottle. I am ecstatic!
To make life easier in the mornings, I prepare her lunch immediately after dinner the night before, giving her first dibs at any home cooked leftovers and ensuring that I don’t cop out of making her lunch in the morning because I am too busy.
Here are some examples of lunches I’ve sent with her in her new lunch box:
- Monday: Organic mac & cheese (prepared in advance and frozen into individual portions), cooked peas, strawberries, milk
- Tuesday: Cheese squares and crackers (we call it a homemade lunchable), blueberries, carrot sticks, milk
- Wednesday: Leftover spaghetti, cooked corn, strawberries, juicebox
- Thursday: Veggie chicken nuggets and ketchup, cooked mixed veg, grapes, milk
Another bonus is that we are not wasting plastic baggies and all of the plastic containers are BPA free and can be microwaved. Because my daughter has special needs, she eats lunch in a classroom where they are able to microwave her meals. You can also buy larger containers for sandwiches and other meals that do not have to be microwaved. I will likely be buying some of the larger containers soon.
How do you pack your child’s lunches? Have you used Laptop Lunches or do you have another system you use?