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Lunch Box Lessons {and Giveaway!}

September 7th, 2011 · 16 Comments

The foodie boy began kindergarten yesterday (sniff), and now that I’ve successfully packed my first two brown bag lunches I thought I’d pass on my expert advice. Kidding — but I am employing a couple strategies learned from our summer experimentation. And I welcome any tips from those of you with more experience than I!

3 Strategies for a Successful School Lunch

1. Ask your child. Whether it’s asking them for a list of approved items or letting them select ingredients at the grocery, buy-in is key for ensuring they’ll eat what you pack. (Just take care to avoid the junk food aisles if you can.) And if your kids are old enough, have them help prepare their lunch, too.

2. Embrace comfort foods. I wouldn’t call the boy a picky eater, but he does tend to go through phases — particularly in times of change — where he may ask for macaroni and cheese each night. (He even requested it for his birthday party.) We’re taking things easy this first week and using his favorite snacks as building blocks — nuts, berries, cheese, etc.

3. Think outside the bread. We don’t eat a lot of sandwiches at home (aside from grilled cheese), so I shouldn’t have been surprised that the boy is slow to warm up to the idea of a cold sandwich. More appetizing, in his opinion, have been almond butter on rice cakes and cream cheese on cinnamon raisin English muffins. Meat and cheese roll-ups were also a hit.

He ate every morsel of his lunch yesterday, so I think we’re off to a good start. What have you packed for lunch this week?

I’m also pleased to share a giveaway and special offer to help you pack all-natural lunches for your kids:

Annie’s Homegrown, Stonyfield YoKids, Honest Kids and Seventh Generation have teamed up to help families toss their brown bags this back-to-school season by offering a free Kids Konserve lunch sack with the purchase of participating products through September 30, 2011.

Consumers are invited to visit Annies.com/bts11, print out the form then mail in proof of purchase of all four brands. Eligible products include:

  • Any Annie’s Homegrown item
  • Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt 6-packs or Squeezers
  • Honest Kids Organic Drinks 8-pack carton or 64-ounce bottle
  • Seventh Generation Disinfectants (sprays or wipes)

BACK-TO-SCHOOL GIVEAWAY: FIVE FoodieTots readers will win a free lunch sack with coupons from each of these brands. Simply leave a comment below telling us something you’ve packed for your child’s lunch, before 11:59pm on Sunday, Sept. 11. Winners will be selected at random and notified by email on Monday.

For additional chances to win:

* “like” FoodieTots on Facebook, and leave an additional comment below telling me you did so (or already do),

* “follow” FoodieTots on Twitter, and leave an additional comment below telling me you did so (or already do), &/or

* “subscribe” to FoodieTots via RSS or email, and leave an additional comment below telling me you did so (or already do).

Thanks for entering — and I hope you’re having a smooth transition back to school if your kids started this week!

Disclosure: I received a free lunch sack in exchange for hosting this giveaway, but these brands are well-loved by the FoodieTots family. As always, all opinions expressed in this post are our own.

Tags: healthy eating · lunch box

16 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Carrie C. in VA // Sep 8, 2011 at 8:57 am

    well, today we packed corn fritters plus a broccoli/cauliflower medley with melted cheese

  • 2 Christina // Sep 8, 2011 at 9:04 am

    A fav for a while were PB&J sushi rolls which is just fancy way of saying PB&J sandwich. You cut the crusts, rolls out the bread flat, add the peanut butter and jam, roll them up and voila sushi looking rolls. My son LOVED these for a while and they were lots of fun to make!!
    Christina´s last blog post ..AmazingMy ComLuv Profile

  • 3 canama22 // Sep 8, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Exactly! when preparing snacks for our kids, it’s not us who has the last say on what should they bring. We should ask them what they want to eat.
    canama22´s last blog post ..date adviceMy ComLuv Profile

  • 4 Kerri // Sep 8, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Today was anya’s first day and her school highly encourages zero waste lunches, so I have been experimenting with bento boxes. I’m no where near the skill level of most of the bento box families I’ve see on line, but it is still fun. She loves hardboiled eggs with salt and pepper and the lunch punch cutters have been a hit.

  • 5 bets // Sep 8, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    My loves almond butter and jelly’s, but on the first day of school we wanted vegi sushi.

    We also love a lot for fresh fruit for snacks in ther lunch box.

  • 6 Robin // Sep 9, 2011 at 1:50 am

    Fruit is always a good choice to pk

  • 7 Robin // Sep 9, 2011 at 1:51 am

    Follow on fb

  • 8 Robin // Sep 9, 2011 at 1:52 am

    Follow on twitter

  • 9 susitravl // Sep 11, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    My kids go crazy if they get a pickle in their lunch – they are so funny!
    susitravl(at)gmail(dot)com
    susitravl´s last blog post ..Pork CarnitasMy ComLuv Profile

  • 10 zeus // Sep 13, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Very nice blog because we need fruit for our health body it help to our tummy not only that but all body.. :P
    zeus´s last blog post ..Dirt Bike Games for KidsMy ComLuv Profile

  • 11 Venicar // Sep 14, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    yes i agree with that we need a fruit even just once in a day.i used to have fruits at night it help my diet…
    Venicar´s last blog post ..Top Free Dating SitesMy ComLuv Profile

  • 12 lanny // Sep 15, 2011 at 10:11 am

    I have been searching for some information about it almost three hours. You helped me a lot indeed and reading this your article I have found many new and useful information about this subject.
    lanny´s last blog post ..Getting Pregnant FasterMy ComLuv Profile

  • 13 Abi // Sep 16, 2011 at 10:59 am

    My daughter chooses her lunch by putting magnets of ‘pre-approved’ lunch items in the ‘lunch box’ on the fridge. Today’s lunch included cheese and crackers, peaches (sliced), apple juice, and an oatmeal raisin cookie.

  • 14 susitravl // Sep 27, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Received my package today – that was fast! Thanks again for the giveaway and for drawing my name as a winner.
    susitravl´s last blog post ..Pork CarnitasMy ComLuv Profile

  • 15 Yvonne // Oct 6, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Great tips, my daughter is a picker eater and your suggestions might help me. Too bad i didn’t have a chance to have your give away.
    Yvonne´s last blog post ..How To Conceive QuicklyMy ComLuv Profile

  • 16 Kisha // Oct 20, 2011 at 5:06 am

    Fruits are healthy and fun to eat.. When I was a kid I love to have fruits in my lunch box and share it with my friends..