Friday, July 13, 2012

Getting Ready for a New School Year

With the new school year right around the corner,I  am already starting to do my lunchbox planning so that not everything is left till the last minute. We start school on August 6th, so it's coming quick.  A friend of mine posted this on her Facebook page this week, and I thought it was inspired. Now, I am not going to tell you that my kids have never eaten a Lunchable...they have. But I mostly try to save those for field trips... and then only if the kids ask me for them. The good thing is that they hardly ever do. They say it doesn't taste as good as what I usually send, and half the time it's the "packaging" they like and not so much the food. I mean they love pizza, but a lunchable pizza that is not cooked with non melted cheese just doesn't fit the appetizing, "I can't wait to eat lunch" bill. Not to mention, it's much cheaper to just make my own stuff and send it.  Usually my kids get a protein bar or a ham, turkey or peanut butter sandwich (or maybe peanut butter crackers). These main dish items are rotated. Sometimes they take LO pizza or homemade chicken strips if we have any. Their sides are usually carrot sticks, cucumber slices, goldfish, pretzels, nuts, yogurt, occasional chips, homemade granola bars, ...and of course, fresh fruit. (P.S. I have absolutely nothing against anyone who uses lunchables. We all have to do what we all have to do.)

This year, I'm also going to be sending my own homemade "gogurts." to school. The packaging is the challenge.  On Once A Month Mom they tackle this issue by using a Foodsaver.  I don't have one, although it's a brilliant idea, so I may invest in some new popsicle type molds. I like these from Norpro.

I also like these from Cosmos. The reason I like these more conical shaped containers as opposed to  regular old popsicle molds is that they are compact and the frozen food inside of them can be easily pushed up. Sending frozen smoothies and yogurt works great here in Arizona  because it's always so darn hot, and I think these two products are just what I need to aid me in my endeavors. My boys will also be getting braces this year, and I'm thinking that this will be a good way for me to send something nutritious to school with them that they won't really have to chew...especially after tightening appointments. I will let you know how these work out for us, but I anticipate that they will work just great.

I'll also have to be more of a logistics expert this year (how to pack things the most efficient way possible is my challenge) since the twins won't be packing lunchboxes with them anymore.  Only brown bags from here on out. Lunch boxes are babyish and uncool once you get to the 6th grade don't ya know!   It's a good thing my oldest (who is entering high school this year...Yikes!) is around to tell us these things and help his younger brothers out.

I am also putting together my August food menu. With football every night in August, we need quick, and easy, and mostly healthy food ready for us so we don't get tempted to whip through Mickey D's or Wendy's at a ravenous moment of weakness. More on my August menu later...

Is anyone else already thinking about school lunches.  Do you have any special tips or tricks that you go by? Please share.

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