I’m kind of a crunchy, granola chic. I do my best to follow the philosophy of “reduce, reuse, recycle”. We follow “green” practices for our yard. I’m kind of uptight about short showers, turning off electronics, and walking when we can. Heck, I even work for a company whose mission is to help organizations promote environmental causes, especially clean water and water conservation.
And I’ve always been proud of the fact that my children (and Beer Geek) have always packed lunches in reusable containers. (Yes, my husband carries a cloth lunch bag with his sandwich, apple, and snack in cloth sandwich bags.)
This is what typical lunches look like in our house: thermos of milk, sandwich, fruit in a plastic BPA-free container, and yogurt or pretzels.
But Jones just started middle school.
And he asked to not have to deal with a lunch box so that he doesn’t have to go back to his locker after lunch.
It’s breaking my lil’ green heart but I agreed. (He also is in a non-sandwich phase.)
Here’s what I sent his first day of school:
But as it turns out, that didn’t work for him either. He said the banana got smooshed (they have teeny lockers) and the cheese melted and the yogurt tasted funny.
So, what’s a mom to do? This is what he’s currently eating (I refrigerated it all overnight and that’s keeping the cheese cold enough):
Do you see what I”m seeing? Too much carbs, too much processed food.
Here’s where I need your help! And in exchange, someone will win a really cool pack from the “Rock the Lunchbox” campaign from Honest Tea, Annie’s Homegrown, Stonyfield, and Organic Valley.
Here’s what you’d win: a reusable lunchsack, carton of HONEST Kids (8 pouches), Annies products and coupons for free products from Stonyfield Farm and Organic Valley.
Mandatory entry: Help me with Jones’ lunch! Give me some ideas for a more balanced lunch, link me to a protein powder cookie recipe, heck, even just commiserate! (Jones is allergic to nuts, so that’s not an option.)
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Disclaimer: Honest Tea provided some of the food in my pictures and will be providing the giveaway pack. All opinions are my own.
18 thoughts on “Breakin’ my little green heart + a giveaway”
Could you use a thermal sac that would fit in his backpack and he wouldn’t have to take it to his locker? Then you could pack apple, cheeze strings, yogurt, or homemade protein bars/cookies.
Having said all that, perhaps it is time he thought about GREEN as well. Kids are cool, they think this stuff is important, too.
Here is a protein cookie recipe http://wecanbegintofeed.blogspot.ca/2012/03/gnc-whey-iso-burst-protein-powder-and.html
We don’t ever do sandwiches over here since the kid’s eat mostly gluten free and we never keep bread in the house. How about making homemade pizza with meat and veggies that he can eat cold? Or chicken salad with crackers? Meatballs and sauce (in a thermos) with French bread? My kids also love lunch meat rolled up with cheese and pickles. And you could give him hard boiled eggs. Also delicious is grilled chicken breast pieces with melted cheese (can be eaten cold). Hope that helps!
To-Go-Ware makes a great 3 tiered container that you could stuff lunch into the bottom two and ice into the top. It would stay cold and the whole container is small enough for a locker. Just a thought!
When we were in high school, my mom made chicken breast sandwiches (with broiled chicken breasts, mustard, and cheese on a wheat bun) and froze them so that we could take them with us for lunch. We either heated them in the microwave in the lunch room or just ate them room temp after they thawed. You said that Jones is in an anti-sandwich phase, but maybe a chicken breast sandwich would appeal to him. I remember them being a nice change from pb&j.
What about a peanut butter and banana wrap in a tortilla?
I know you are all about the crustless quiches. Does Jones like that? I’ve been making frittatas in a mini muffin pan and I can toss a few of those in the lunchbox. Also, I find that breakfast can be a more mobile meal, so sometimes my boy eats what would be a traditional lunch for breakfast and takes breakfast items to school. He is a lot younger than Jones, however, and is kind of weird in that he wakes up hungry. I know a big meal first thing in the morning isn’t for everyone.
try looking at weelicious.com for ideas. Her kids are younger, but she does great lunches and just came out with a lunchbox cookbook. Plus, she lived around the corner from me growing up (my husband was all like “your.neighbor.is.a.Victoria’s.Secret.model.and.you.never.told.me?”).
What about individual servings of hummus with veggie sticks and/or whole grain crackers? Also maybe homemade granola with dehydrated fruit he could add milk to?
What about freezing the yogurt to help keep everything else cold?
This is an initial investment in plastic, but what about a banana guard (if a middle schooler could handle such an item) – or similar to protect round fruits to eliminate the canned fruit salad? [http://www.bananaguard.com/]
Veggie sticks (won’t get smushed) & hummus?
Hard boiled eggs?
Trail mix (we mix our own so we can control what goes in)?
Would he eat other kinds of cooked grains (quinoa, rice), either with veggies/salad dressing/cheese – or – raisins/cinnamon/honey/yogurt/milk (cafeteria bought, so it stays cold)?
We love the honestade pouches in our house! They have a smaller amount of sugar than other brands. I have a hard time finding Annie’s products near me, but I love that they’re dye-free for my son
i am head over heels for annies mac – and my kids love it too!
I like to send my daughter to school with rolled up ham and cheese, humus and red peppers, and a yogurt. She’s picky so it’s hard to find many things for school lunches!
I agree with others who have suggested freezing the yogurt. I have made some homemade soft pretzels this year for my son and he likes them. Since they are homemade, I know there isn’t anything gross in them. I also do my own fruit cups. Typically grapes or a melon of some sort and strawberries when they are in season/on sale.
Gosh, that is a hard one. Do you think he’d eat a wrap? Maybe a hard boiled egg? If you had something frozen in the lunch that would thaw out by lunchtime, that might keep the rest of the food cold.
We love vegi sushi in our kids lunches also leftover soups in thermos containers.
Maybe something from the SkratchLabs Portables cookbook? It’s all real food make-your-own energy bars etc. It is designed for eating while exercising- long bike rides, mostly- but there might be some things that are appropriate for bringing to school. I can just eat the French toast cakes whenever (basically french toast baked in a muffin tin).
How about pasta salad in a thermos? Pasta, salami, cut up cheese, chick peas, cut up veggies + dressing.
Does he like tortillas? Would he do like a black bean mashed up+cheese in a tortilla or pita?
Hurray! So excited to be your winner! Emailing you now!