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  1. #1
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    School lunch & lunchbox ideas for a kindergartener?

    Little skateycat starts kindergarten next week, and it is a very exciting time!

    The school lunches do not look awesome, unlike the ones at his preschool. So, most days we are going to send him with a lunch.

    So - we will be shopping for a lunchbox of some sort. The only restriction is that it must not have superheroes or other representations of popular culture.

    I am also looking for good ideas for lunches. What keeps well with maybe just a little ice pack?
    Cigarettes are like squirrels. They are perfectly harmless until you put one in your mouth and light it on fire. -- @ciggybuttz on Twitter

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    I used to freeze juice boxes and put those in the lunch box instead of an icepack. I would make sure I ran it under water warm water a little so it would not still be frozen at lunchtime.

    My kids loved peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread with the crusts trimmed off, a seasonal fruit (whole apple in the fall, banana sliced in half but not peeled, or a seedless Clementine in the winter), and a tiny mini-chocolate bar/cookie for dessert, with a couple of paper napkins. I would roll up the juice box in one of the napkins.

    God, I miss those day!

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    How long ago were you able to send Peanut Butter to school? I thought most schools outlawed it eons ago?

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    If you go to a school that no longer allows peanut butter, one of my favorite sandwiches in grade school was cream cheese and jelly. I also liked to get a piece of bread cut up into squares with mustard and peperoni.

    Always got an apple cut into wedges (cut fruit is key to getting kids to eat it. So many schools serve whole fruit and it gets thrown away, when they serve cut fruit, it gets eaten. I imagine the same for packed lunches.)

    I liked carrots with ranch dressing too.

    My Mom also did the frozen juice box- but check when your kid eats lunch. Some are absurdly early (I've seen as early as 10), and there won't be time to unfreeze. Leave one out on the counter in the chosen lunchbox on a weekend to "test" how long it takes to unfreeze. If there isn't time to unfreeze, my Mom would send a thermos.

    Always got a cookie. Maybe a pre-packaged snack. Since I was bringing a lunchbox that I had to remember anyway, my Mom would give me a cloth napkin that had to come home. If you do a paperbag that is thrown away, give a paper napkin.

    It may be tough to find a non-pop culture lunchbox designed for kids, but it shouldn't be too hard to find one for adults. Both my husband and I bring lunchboxes to work, they are just insulated bags with compartments.

    I'm also a big fan of reusable containers rather than plastic bags, but make sure your child can open them by themselves- there isn't always someone to help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cupid View Post
    I used to freeze juice boxes and put those in the lunch box instead of an icepack. I would make sure I ran it under water warm water a little so it would not still be frozen at lunchtime.

    My kids loved peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread with the crusts trimmed off, a seasonal fruit (whole apple in the fall, banana sliced in half but not peeled, or a seedless Clementine in the winter), and a tiny mini-chocolate bar/cookie for dessert, with a couple of paper napkins. I would roll up the juice box in one of the napkins.

    God, I miss those day!
    Unfortunately, more and more schools are becoming nut-free because of high numbers of kids with allergies.

    How about yogurt, string cheese, crackers, fruit, other kinds of sandwiches, pasta salads?

    Enjoy this time! Very exciting!!!

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    Target generally has a large selection of lunch boxes/thermoses.

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    I remember being almost as happy when my kids quit carrying their lunches to school as when they were out of diapers. Most of their lunch boxes were metal, the thermos would leak, the leftovers were soggy, and things got very smelly and eventually rusty. But it was fun at first. And I do see lots of cute lunchboxes these days. Shouldn't be hard to find one for your kindergartner.

    Wishing you both a happy year!

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    Lunch boxes can't have super heroes or popular culture? Why? If not those, then what's left to decorate a lunch box with?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatfoote View Post
    Lunch boxes can't have super heroes or popular culture? Why? If not those, then what's left to decorate a lunch box with?
    Furoshiki
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    Or maybe the American version - the bindle.

    http://www.google.com/imgres?q=bindl...:429,r:11,s:77
    3539 and counting.

    Slightly Wounding Banana list cont: MacMadame.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatfoote View Post
    Lunch boxes can't have super heroes or popular culture? Why? If not those, then what's left to decorate a lunch box with?
    Get a plain one, and let it be a craft project for you and your child to decorate it. Paints, stickers, and even pictures of family and friends (2 and 4 legged ones), things that can be glued on. Or, add a clear piece of plastic to the top of the box, leave one side open, so that pictures, notes, or drawings can be placed in, and changed out as needed.

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    I'm also a fan of reusable, but as Skittl mentions, kids might not always have help opening plasticware. Big fan of healthy here, too, and we allow dd to have school lunch just once a week, because despite the school's attempts to make healthier food, most of it just.plain.isn't.healthy.

    Yogurt
    applesauce (well, okay, these two can be messy for a kindergartener, depending on your kid)
    cheese sticks or slices
    PB&J is always great
    any kind of fruit
    fruit leather
    popcorn
    slices of pepperoni or ham
    any kind of nuts--peanuts, almonds, walnuts, etc.

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    What's fruit leather?
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

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    I've discussed this topic here a few times and definitely plan to cut up the fruit for Mini Ice and toss it in lemon juice to prevent browning.

    He likes cheese and wholewheat bread sandwiches, carrots, yogurt so these will be the staple. Lately he's been trying new foods so I am hoping to expand his palate. He likes omelets so may be I could put an omelet between two slices of toast.

    I am a bit hesitant to send meat to school, worried that it will spoil.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    What's fruit leather?
    It was originally dried fruit that was rolled and packaged in a flat package. Unfortunately now it is often fruit juice, high fructose corn syrup, and other stuff put together and called fruit. They are a great snack as long as you are careful and read the label. So much of it is really just candy.

    My kids eat left overs for lunch. Pasta (spaghetti and meat sauce, macaroni and cheese, tortellini with pesto sauce, etc) in a thermos. They also like apple cut up with a bit of lemon juice and cinnamon to keep it from going brown. One child won't eat sandwiches so she packs everything separately in plastic boxes (chicken breast, cheese, tomatoes etc.) I have now convinced her not to take the bread because she would never eat it and it would come home soggy - a real waste. They both eat chicken wraps. We make them with left over chicken breasts, rice, lettuce, ranch dressing, all in a tortilla.

    My kids usually do their own lunches now, but when they were younger I would often write them a note on their paper napkin. Just something like "hope you're having a great day, love mom" can be a nice pick me up if your child is having a tough day.
    A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer

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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    What's fruit leather?
    Dehydrated flat fruit.

    A fruit roll up without all the added sugar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    What's fruit leather?
    Fruit roll-ups, which are dried fruit that is colored and packaged individually.
    "awwww....shades of Janet Lynn" - Dick Button on anyone who makes more than one mistake in their program.

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    Check out this site:
    http://justbento.com/
    It's based on the tradition of Japanese lunchboxes but contains a ton of interesting ideas that can also be adapted to Western tastes.
    Also, if I may get on my soapbox for a moment: Please don't send your kids to school with sugar bombs like juice boxes, cookies or cream cheese and jelly sandwiches. That stuff is NOT healthy! Kids need protein and vitamins from fruits and veggies for proper growth, not a buttload of sugar carbs!
    Getting off my soapbox now. Sorry if I offended anyone but childhood nutrition is a topic that I'm very passionate about.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatfoote View Post
    Lunch boxes can't have super heroes or popular culture? Why?
    The "no pop culture" guideline comes out of a desire to keep things more even for haves and have nots, to let kids be kids for as long as possible, to teach them a little discernment when it comes to advertising directed at kids, and to let them figure out who they are rather than copying what is most popular.

    We are in a crunchy granola corner of northwest California. It will be interesting to see how this works in real life.

    As for what I'd decorate it with, it depends. If it has a microfiber surface, then probably nothing. If it's a hard plastic shell, then probably the stickers and decals we ask family to bring us back from trips instead of space-taking dust collecting souvenirs.
    Cigarettes are like squirrels. They are perfectly harmless until you put one in your mouth and light it on fire. -- @ciggybuttz on Twitter

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateycat View Post
    The "no pop culture" guideline comes out of a desire to keep things more even for haves and have nots, to let kids be kids for as long as possible, to teach them a little discernment when it comes to advertising directed at kids, and to let them figure out who they are rather than copying what is most popular.
    Because the Snoopy lunchbox I got in first grade left me unable to see advertising with discernment or to develop a sense of self and certainly marked the end of my childhood.

    Seriously, I think adults sometimes over-analyze these things.

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