It is that time of the year again – back to school! No matter if your children have been back for a while or if they are just started in the last week or two, you can never have too many lunch ideas!
1. Take leftover cooked chicken breast and make chicken strips. Pack dippers such as salsa, ranch dressing, barbecue sauce, ketchup, honey mustard, or pizza sauce. If you have leftover chicken thighs or drumsticks, remove chicken from the bone, cube, and pack with with a small cocktail fork for dipping.
2. Use a variety of breads. Try Italian varieties, sourdough, different grains, Hawaiian bread, and different rolls.
3. Pack string cheese or cheese cubes. Send along bread sticks or crackers to eat with them. Or pack a prepared cheese spread with breadsticks for dipping.
4. Cut fresh fruit into bite-sized pieces and send yogurt to use as a dip.
5. Layer creamy peanut butter on a flour tortilla with jelly or fruit spread and roll up. Slice crosswise into pieces. Select the size tortilla depending on your child’s appetite.
6. Heat frozen waffles, allow to cool, and make a sandwich with them, using peanut butter and jelly. Or cut them into bite-sized pieces or sticks and send syrup for dipping. Waffles are also great for making a fried egg and bacon sandwich or for ham sandwiches.
7. Add fun to your child’s lunch by using colored plastic wraps. Or use special prints of plastic wrap, zipper-type bags, and napkins. Stock up on after holiday clearance sales for these items for the next year.
8. Cut open a bagel and spread each side with cream cheese. Lay several slices of luncheon meat on top of cream cheese and make into a sandwich.
9. Kids love to dip! Send baby carrots, celery sticks, or broccoli trees with their favorite dip or dressing. Or send peanut butter as a dip, and include some sliced apples that have been tossed with a bit of lemon juice.
10. Cut meat slices and cheese into pieces that will perfectly fit on crackers. Pack the meat, cheese, and crackers together so your child can make mini sandwiches.
11. Rather than making chicken salad, tuna salad, or egg salad into a sandwich, pack a scoop or two of it in a reusable lunch container and send crackers or pita bread for scooping and eating.
12. It doesn’t have to be jelly everyday! Some other ideas for sandwiches using with traditional peanut butter are: sliced bananas, honey, raisins, and thinly sliced apples.
I know lots of you have your own great back to school lunch ideas — leave me a comment below with your ideas!