School Lunch UNBOXED!!
While many parents go with the convenience of paying up their kid's account for school lunch, decided to be a dedicated lunch maker. We are say NO to eating the same thing everyday!! Well, my kids were really the ones saying no, lol, so I had to step up my game...
Making lunch can be cost-effective, fun and creative. Sandwiches are great but there are so many "main events" that you can choose to switch things up a bit! Try adding some of these tips to get you one step closer to that "Parent of the Year" mug ;)
1. THE MAIN EVENT
As far as sandwiches go, its always a great idea to change up the presentation! Trying different breads (hoagie rolls, bagels, sandwich thins, pita pockets), wraps or dumping the sandwich contents in butter lettuce for a tasty lettuce wrap. To much work?! Go to the deli and your favorite supermarket of stop by a sandwich shop and get a dry (without condiments) sandwich cut into fours; that's four servings under $6 typically. Yep. You're winning.
While we still swing the sandwich two days out of the week, I provide soup, sushi, shrimp cocktail, mac n' cheese, chopped salads, pastas, grilled chicken, fruit and veggie assortments and much more as other mains they love. You will be surprised the amount of servings you can create as well as the very low cost involved.
These are the sides that make every lunch great. I survive by STOCKING UP. Many local grocery stores have BOGOs and promos for all the fix-ins to make your child's lunch an all star! Items that are a must and always on the stock up list are applesauce, fruit cups, crackers, breakfast bars, granola bars, portable yogurt, small treats, fruit snacks, fruit strips, cheese sticks, etc. I can always pull a lunch together by having these items on hand. I try to ensure that there are fresh foods in their boxes and this can sometimes be a struggle when season change or produce is not up to par; that's where the items I stock up on come in handy and shine!
Prep is what makes a great lunch come together. I cannot stress enough how important this is!!!! (hence the FOUR exclamations ha, ha!) You must be prepared! Many times, we have grand lunch ideas in our minds and can't execute them due to lack of preparation. When making lunch, get into the mindset of a caterer; whether it be for the kiddos, yourself or your significant other. Always have Ice packs, plastic utensils, thermos', condiments cups, bento-style storage, sandwich bags ( yes, write these down, lol) , parchment paper, napkins and anything else your individual family may need to enjoy these amazing lunches you're getting ready to start making! Having these items allow you to be able to make anything portable!
While this is about lunch, breakfast can become mundane also. Let's mix it up! Planning ahead is the name of the game. Keep your cereal game up along with oatmeal, cream of wheat or other grains. Our family keeps tortillas on hand to make egg and cheese breakfast burritos the whole family can enjoy and even make items that we used to frequently pick up. I also keep waffles, strudels and other freezer friendly foods on hand! Buying ahead keeps cost low and the choices on overflow:)
Give these tips a try and get creative!
Note: Sample lunches will be available to view on Pinterest and Facebook @guruwhoknew soon! Stay tuned!