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Tara Kuczykowski

Looking to simplify your life? Get started with Tara's easy to make recipes that taste delicious and were created with the whole family in mind. Tara is the co-author of All In Good Time and the creator of the family-friendly recipe blog, Unsophisticook as well as the popular money-saving blog, Deal Seeking Mom. Tara lives in Ohio with her husband and five children.

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7 Simple Lunchtime Ideas - That Your Kids Will Eat Up

With school lunch prices on the rise, many parents are opting to pack their child’s lunch. However, coming up with a variety of lunchtime ideas that are appealing to your kids and are easy to prepare can be a daunting task. It’s easy to find yourself sending your kids off to school with the same lunch day after day after day. Keep lunchtime simple and easy by relying on kid-friendly staples, and use On-The-Go Snack Packs to give kids their favorite snacks in convenient, pre-portioned sizes. Kids love these snack options because they are delicious and fun, and I like that they have such a wide assortment of varieties, so everyone in our family of 7 can find a snack they want. Plus, they are perfect for our on-the-go family.

My kids, like most, want food that is yummy and fun. When I put together lunches for my kids, I like to include options that they can mix and match to great creative with their food. I’ve put together a week’s worth of on-the-go lunches that are sure to appeal to a variety of tastes. The components can easily be mixed and matched based on your kid’s preferences. My kids aren’t big milk drinkers, so their lunches are paired with water. If your kids like milk, pack it in for extra protein and calcium.

1. Ham and Cheez-It® Up!

Ham and Cheese Lunch Idea

Lunchtime Idea Includes: Ham & Swiss sandwich with peanut butter on celery, fresh strawberries and Cheez-It Crackers.

For a fun twist, my kids like to add the Cheez-It crackers in their sandwich to add a little crunch and extra cheese flavor.

TIP: Cutting a classic ham & Swiss sandwich with a cookie cutter makes lunch more interesting!

 

2. Fresh & Fruity Kabobs

Fruit Lunch Idea

Lunchtime Idea Includes: Fruit kabob, fruit dip, Keebler Cinnamon Toast Grahams, and string cheese

Kids can be picky eaters, but many kids like fruit. Take their love of fruit and make it into a fun lunch with these fruit kabobs. Try serving the kabobs with a tasty fruit dip. Then, kids dip both the kabobs and the Grahams in the fruit dip for a delicious and fun lunch.

TIP: Use a cocktail straws to skewer the fruit instead of a sharp or pointy stick.

 

3. Sure-to-Please Pinwheels

Pinwheel Sandwich Lunch Idea

Lunchtime Idea Includes: Turkey & Cheddar pinwheels with applesauce, almonds and Scooby-Doo Baked Graham Cracker Sticks

Creating pinwheel “sandwiches” with tortillas will bring a smile to your child’s face! I recommend serving applesauce with Scooby-Doo graham crackers. The graham crackers taste great with the applesauce, and the shape of the cracker make it a fun alternative to a spoon.

 

4. Kid Approved Tea Time

Fruit and Vegetable Lunch Idea

Lunchtime Idea Includes: Keebler Harvest Wheat Toasteds, cucumber slices, cream cheese, apple slices and Right Bites Fudge Dipped Pretzels

Kids can create their own mini cucumber tea sandwiches with Toasteds, cucumber and cream cheese. The dainty mini pretzels add sweet ending to the tea theme. My kids like to spread the cream cheese on their apple slice and then top it with the chocolate pretzels.

TIP: For extra fun, include a tea mix packet that they can add to their drink!

 

5. No Mess PB&J

Peanut Butter and Jelly Lunch Idea

Lunchtime Idea Includes: Peanut Butter & Jelly rounds with baby carrots and ranch dressing, mandarin oranges and Keebler Mini Fudge Stripes

TIP: Making your own sealed peanut butter & jelly sandwiches saves money over store bought versions!

 

6. Protein-Packed & Peanut-Free

sunflower-butter-cracjers-lg

Lunchtime Idea Includes: Keebler Toasteds & sunflower seed butter with string cheese, red grapes and Right Bites White Fudge Dipped Pretzels.

TIP: Sunflower seed butter is a great alternative for peanut-free zones!

 

7. Lunch Box Pizzas

Pizza Lunch Idea

Lunchtime Includes: Keebler Town House Crackers, mozzarella cheese & pepperoni with green grapes and Keebler Mini Sandies

Kids will love this less messy take on pizza!

 

Many of my suggested lunch components can be packaged into zip-top bags or plastic containers. So, you can pack lunches on Sunday evening to make lunch prep throughout the week a snap, allowing you to streamline your mornings.

These On-The-Go Snack Packs not only make great additions to kids’ lunches, they are also great for after school snacks, or any time you need a convenient snack when you're on-the-go. They come in many different variety pack combinations, making it easier and more affordable to keep everyone’s favorite snacks on hand. Plus, the portion controlled sizes help me easily divvy out snacks to my kids.

Check out all the varieties of On-The-Go Snack Packs and 100 Calorie Snack Packs to see which varieties are a great fit for your family.

4 Comments for 7 Simple School Lunches

Hi Jennifer! I'm with you on buying things in bulk -- the LunchBlox have been a great investment for us though. As for a Thermos-type container, we haven't experimented a lot with hot packed lunches yet. I wish I could help more, but if I find something that works well, I will be sure to come back and update!

- Tara on Sep 23, 2012

I love your ideas!! I have 3 kids and I have always packed their lunch for them. I don't like the garbage that is school lunches. I have been trying to come up with something else for them thats not the traditional sandwich. I also don't want my kids to "that kid" that always brings a salad, fruits, and veggies and nothing "fun", but I also don't like all the pre-packaged garbage(it get really expensive with 3 kids). So thank you so very much for the ideas. I showed the kids the "pizza" idea and they loved it. So thank you again! I love both of ur sites! Also I just bought small containers like the ones in the pictures at Walmart I believe they were made by glad and there's 8 to a package for less than $3. Again with 3 kids most things must be bought in bulk so the lunch blocs are not practical for me. One more question, have you been able to find a thermos or something like that to put hot food in that does not spill and will actually keep the food hot but does not cost a fortunute and will fit in a lunch box? I have looked everywhere and I can't seem to find something that works. Thank you again.

- Jennifer on Sep 17, 2012

These are great questions, Susan! I'll take them one by one below:

1. I have a few tried and true fruit dip recipes, but when it comes to packing a lunch I typically go the convenience route and purchase a cream cheese fruit dip at the supermarket. You can typically find these in the deli or produce section.

2. I have a detailed tutorial on making frozen sealed PB&J sandwiches on my blog, Unsophisticook. You can find the link under "Popular Posts" on the right-hand side or here is a direct link: http://unsophisticook.com/homemade-uncrustables-sandwiches/ Note that I used the Pampered Chef sealer that I mention in the post for the image here on Snackpicks, but I actually prefer the newer sealer that prompted my post.

3. The containers I used in the photos are called LunchBlox, and they're made by Rubbermaid. They're fantastic! They also come with a reusable ice pack and the whole thing snaps together to form one neat cube. I've seen them at Walmart and Meijer locally.

I hope this helps, and I'm happy to answer any additional questions you might have!

- -Tara on Sep 07, 2012

I love your ideas! And I definitely plan on using some of them, but I have a few questions. In idea #2, you mention fruit dip - do you make your own, and if so, how? In idea #5, you suggest making your own sealed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but how do you make yours? And finally, what I'd really like to know is - the containers w/green lids used in the photos - what are they and where do you get them? I make due with what I have, but I've been looking for something like the ones in the photos for awhile now with no luck. They're perfect :)

- Susan on Aug 30, 2012

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