Tuesday, August 13, 2013

School Lunch Ideas

Life is Good: lunch is ready!

Winter boots? Check. Winter parka? Check. Long-sleeved shirts, hoodies, sweaters, jeans, and pants? Check. I've purchased enough winter gear for the big kid to survive an early winter. Now, please, don't let us have to use all of this until January!

The countdown has begun...school starts on August 28th for the big kid. Not just school. KINDERGARTEN! For the past two years, I have been so excited for the big kid to start preschool. I knew he would love it. And he did. But this time around, I find myself a bit melancholy. I have to stop myself from thinking about it for fear of tears welling up. Like right now. So I will put on the brakes once again and save that for another post!

There is so much prep work in getting kids ready for school. I have been working on different pieces of this since July. Last week, the big kid and I sat down and wrote a list of good ideas for school lunches. In the past, he stayed once a week for lunch at preschool, but now he will take his lunch five days a week since his food allergies prevent him from eating foods at risk for cross-contamination.

I was really thrilled that the big kid listed things like red peppers and fresh green beans as lunch items! We've also discovered that Thomas brand whole wheat mini bagels work with our dietary issues so he added bagel sandwiches to his usual faves, grilled cheese. Ah, the glorious grilled cheese sandwich! I often hide spinach, carrots or other shredded meat or veggies in them. Cheese makes everything better, right?

I love the lunch bag we bought for him. I bought it when he was two and attended a Friday morning playroom where they ate lunch. We had his name embroidered on it and it still looks as good as it did when we first used it three years ago. I wash it in the washing machine and line dry it. I store it in the freezer so that it keeps the cold pack cold longer and therefore, the cold foods cold longer.

I've bought what seems like a million water bottles and cups with straws in the lids over the years. Each one ended up leaking at some point. Until I found these at the Container Store in the spring. So far, no leaks! And they are super easy for the 5 year old and 2 year old to open themselves. They are BPA-free, so I like that. But I have wanted to find something that wasn't plastic at all. The same goes for some BPA-free reusable plastic containers I use for yogurt, berries, etc. Then today, I noticed this post and was thrilled to find a list of tried and tested environment-friendly, kid-friendly products from a mama devoted to serving her family yummy recipes made from organic, unprocessed foods. I just ordered these great stainless steel containers!

As satisfying as it is to be prepared, my kiddos have taught me to live in the moment. And so that is what I am going to get right back to. Quiet time is over for the big kid so we are going to examine the "summer list" ("bucket list") we made in May and see what we need to accomplish in the next 15 days. No matter what is left on the list, I have no doubt that we have accomplished the priority for the summer...fun!

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