Back to School Food Menu

*This years update- I am still a fan of pre-making as much as I can like on a Saturday, and freezing it. I love taking out mini homemade muffins, sandwich and cookies from the freezer and packing it right into the lunch box. It became habit to pre- make and really saved time and money by making as much as I can from scratch, and it's healthier :) I know, I know, blah blah, blah.

Thinking about school lunch makes me sick- I definitely opt for making them. I am a big believer that food effects a child's behavior, and I want to control that as much as I can, while I can! But that is going to mean time and planning. It's a little work in the beginning of the week-but pay off during and of course the health benefits!
Treating this the same way we would the dinner menu- Make a two week lunch menu. (or a month if you wish)
I actually started by making a master list of all the different things I would put in their lunch.
Here is what I came up with to start:

Lunch Ideas
My kids have all approved these ideas by the way! Ages 11-9-5

Sandwich/main meal

Sandwich roll (they love sandwiched on my homemade rolls)



Mini Wraps

Pizza Bagel

Egg Salad

Chicken Salad

Green Salad

Homemade lunchable

Rice cake with peanut butter jelly on top (seriously they love it)

Spaghetti O’s


Chicken noodle

Beef stew





Dried apples

Carrot & Celery sticks w/ dip

Celery and peanut butter dip

Cheese Squares

String Cheese

Diced peaches and pears

Applesauce Cups

Hard Boiled Egg

Orange slices (I peel and separate for them)

Banana (I’ll just cut in half)

Grapes and square cheese on a toothpick

(Mellon's need to be kept cool for food safety reasons)



Mini rice cakes

Gram crackers, plain or w/ peanut butter

Granola bars- homemade J

Mini Muffins


Poppy seed



Banana Bread

Zucchini Bread

Oatmeal Bars

Oatmeal-cran scones

Cereal snack mix

Trail mix

Mini bagels and cream cheese

Chips and salsa (I put salsa in a little round tubaware)

PB&J on Ritz crackers





Chocolate chip

Peanut butter

Chocolate Zucchini

Brownie bites (just cut brownies in circles)

Rice Krispie Treat

Mini Marshmallows

Oatmeal Bar

Crispix bars

That for me is half the battle, then you can simply plug in the food items on your menu.
I come up with different sandwich items, fruit items, snack items and treat. My kids take a water bottle to school and switch from water and lemonade. NO CAPRI SUNS. (they rot their teeth says my grandpa for a dentist!) Plus this saves big time on buying drinks. My friend suggested this, and does it with her kidos- they love it actually because they get more in there than they would out of a juice box!
Alright, so once you have your master list, plug in your menu!

Once we have our menu, we can shop from this- buying only what we NEED, and then back to Saturday baking days. (or whatever day your choose) I will take Saturday to make the different items for the week. For example if I have banana bread, mini muffins and cookies as part of the lunch menu- I will make these, baggie them up and freeze. They are ready to pull out and stick in the lunch box! I will do this with sandwiches too. PB&J freezes great, just put peanut butter on each slice of bread, then jelly in the middle. It wont get soggy this way. And with Turkey sandwiches, use Miracle whip not Mayonnaise. Mayo does not freeze!
But I will make these up as well and pull them out that morning, they are ready to eat by lunch time! My oldest says they are perfect, not soggy!
This really does take the ugg out of making lunches in the morning and I feel better about whats going in their little bodies. For me, again, half the battle is the planning. I promise it's worth it. And for my provident living plug- This really is the smart way to do most everything in our homes, planning, budgeting, and using our resources. It is a lifestyle that creates financial freedom and joy in homemaking. It sometimes does take courage to start! But it's worth it!


Jeff and Sheila Capell said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE it...all of it!!

goemrick said...

How do you keep things like stew and spaghettios heated for them at lunch time?

amie said...

You can a find little thermos at walmart and I will heat it up real hot before i stick it in the lunch box. The kids say it stays warm un til they eat it!