Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Love in a Lunch Bucket

I have picky kids. No really, I know it seems shocking, but my kids don't want to eat anything "different". I know I'm probably the only one out there with this problem, but just in case I'm not, I thought I would share some of my ideas for fun lunches that have kept my kids happy this first week of school. Please allow me to present to you, "Love in a Lunch Bucket".

Step one: go to the bread outlet store and buy 4 loaves of bread for $5. I love the bread outlet store.

Step two: use your favourite cookie cutter to cut out the bread for mini sandwiches.

Don't waste those crusts, they are perfect for bread crumbs. The yield of one loaf:

Put your sandwiches together. My kids like plain jam but you could cut up deli meats or cheeses in the same way and put that in the sandwich, or cream cheese and ham. I have images of some sort of mashed banana and peanut butter concoction, but I haven't tried it out yet. Place assembled sandwiches on a tray lined with freezer paper (you could use parchement paper, but freezer paper is so cheap, and you get to make custom stencils with it, so why not) and flash freeze.

After a few hours put them into a plastic storage bag, now when you are making lunch just grab a few out and you're good to go! I have a section of my freezer dedicated to grab-and-go items to build the boys' lunches; sandwiches, home made cookies, quesadillas, pizza buns, etc.

Another idea I love is the use of a Japanese egg mold for different treats. We had some pre-made Fruity Pebbles treats that my husband had bought for a road trip, and the boys didn't show any interest in them. I heated one in the microwave for 10 seconds, popped it into these molds, and sent them along for lunch. I've since made Cocoa Krispies treats this way, and next I plan to see if it works with granola bars. I wouldn't think the intricate molds, such as the ones with faces, would work as well for this purpose, but the shaped ones work great.

So, what are some of your best ideas for school lunches?

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