moveable feast

[Note: This post and all advocacy posts are unsponsored and unaffiliated. I bought any and all items discussed with my own pennies and no one is editing the content of this or any post except myself.  Ever.]

So, lunch.  MmmmHmmm. Let’s talk about this real quick, shall we?  Ry has to take a snack every day to school.  Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays she takes a lunch and 2 snacks since it’s a full day.  Plus, she’s got at least an hour on the bus, and this little girl… her body eats up energy just walking, so we need some good food.  Everyday. Lots of it.

Here’s the situation:

We use this Happy Tiffin lunch box.  Um, love it.  It can go in the dishwasher.  It has 2 compartments and the lid doubles as a plate.  Plastic baggies are unnecessary with the food-grade stainless steel.  The side latches are secure and simple enough for Ry’s little fingers.  It’s $16.  She thinks it’s cute and is so excited to open it every day. Win.

Confession: when this first arrived, I kind of freaked out thinking it was too small.  For the first time EVER [lie], I was completely wrong.  Smaller portions and a variety of options each day ensure that lunch box comes home completely empty.  I just had to re-work my old-fashioned brain a little bit.  Does she need a whole apple?  No.  Would she eat 4 apple slices and some granola in a cute cup?  Yes.   It’s PLENTY of room for her 2 snacks, lunch, and a couple extra snacks just in case of a bus snack attack.  She carries a water bottle separately.  

I bought a $4 cookie cutter for sandwiches that fits perfectly in the tin.  It cuts out, like 87% [questionable math alert] of a regular slice of bread, so there’s very little waste (zero waste if you have a 2 year old scavenger around) and she’s super excited to eat it.  You can find bajillions [yes] of cookie cutter options in the baking aisle at the grocery store.  We also use these silicone baking cups when they don’t have rocks and lego people in them GIDEON JAMES.

I’d like to buy a couple sets of these ice pop molds to freeze yogurt in and such.  Or, maybe these ones since they are a little smaller.

It’s a peanut-free school. Tree nuts are ok.  No problem.  I stocked up on peanut-free SCHOOL ONLY snacks to make things easier. I had to hide them because my children are crazy.  We go big on crunchy snacks because they are so tactile for Ry.  Her mouth and speech need lots of activity to make things work better.  Did you know your snacks can help develop good speech patterns?  They can.  I do not lie.  Carrot sticks and pretzels and almonds and crackers… all these things help wake her muscles up.

She loves to dip, so hummus goes in quite a bit using one of these little guys from LunchBots.   I’m saving up to get this triple set from them as well.  There will only be more lunches to pack in the future and it would be nice to have backups in different sizes while something else is in the dishwasher or if [like this would happen] someone left their lunch box at school GIDEON JAMES IN 3 YEARS.

Confession: I don’t insulate anything.  Everything that goes in the lunch or snack bag is frozen or able to survive the day without an ice pack. I can never remember to take the little gel pack out and re-freeze it.  Honestly, it’s like I missed a class or something.  So, it’s out.  FORGET YOU, ICE PACKS!  You are not the boss of me!  [runs to her room, slams door]

Some of our staples:  pretzels, goldfish crackers, triscuits, kiwi, apple slices, grapes, bananas, cucumber slices, hummus, cherry tomatoes, raisins, Monkey Bars, Stretch Island Fruit Co. fruit strips, popcorn, string cheese, carrot sticks

Alright, what are your school lunch favorites?

In my day, I took a bagel sandwich with cream cheese and ham.  And a whole dill pickle wrapped in foil.  Every. Single. Day. I did.

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About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

24 responses to “moveable feast

  • katiethemomlady

    You are truly ” mother of the year.” I LOVE it! I signed up for MOMables, compliments of Colene Johnson. It’s about $5 a month, but it gives me awesome lunch ideas that I never thought of before. Plus they’re super easy to make and prepare. I bought my boys Bento boxes that have the separate compartments. 3 days in, so far, so good. I used to bring my lunch to school in a large brown paper bag from IGA grocery store with a bag of Doritos and the green rubber band from the newspaper wrapped around it, a loaf of white bread and a jar of peanut butter.Basically I was “that” kid….

  • katiethemomlady

    I had a “Ben” in my class, but his name was David. He used to always bring sliced cucumbers and a miniature Morton Salt shaker. Oh, and he had a Thermos with HOT SOUP in it! I really felt a little jaded toward David. I mean, he actually had it all, included a real lunch box that latched. I had an IGA grocery store leftover.

  • trace

    Okay, these are fabulous Katie – we used the stacking tins camping in Africa (saw them first on a fancy safari resort) and I have a giant set coming home on that container, but I never thought to use a smaller one for lunches. Although, I’m looking at the site now and while they have “flower shaped sandwich” sized ones, there are no “ravenous teenage boy” sized ones. I’ll have to put it on my *list

  • Colene

    Katie and Katie – you two are killing me! And the “You are not the boss of me!” sort of made me guffaw. I want to get the Mitten cookie cutter you posted on Pinterest. Who wouldn’t want a Michigan sandwich in their lunch?!?

  • Miss Laura

    Let it be known that this post was pure magic. I’m going to be lovingly scolding GIDEON JAMES in my head allll day 😉

    My favorite part of my school lunch was my milk money, because I bought cookies with it. Sometimes Nutty Bars. Sigh.

  • Susannah

    these are genius ideas! i’m just starting on the packing a lunch journey with stella. we got her a bento box too with an adorable case covered in cherries, although she just needs a lunch as snacks are provided. apparently (first day yesterday), she was so into her own lunch that she passed on the communal snacks. and it came home empty! so i’m currently batting 1.000. woohoo. but i already feel my creative energy waning.

    she’s big on dipping too, so we’ll be sending lots of hummus and guacamole. also muffins. and lots of fruit this time of year. i love the look of those tiny containers!

  • steph

    In elementary I had a Menudo (Mexican boy band…my mom was a Spanish teacher you know) lunchbox until I graduated to Smurfette. Then…it was brown bags through JH and HS. I took bagel sammies all the time too! Ike loves PBJ’s, but he also likes ham and cheese roll ups. Squeezy applesauce is always a winner for him and yogurt in any form. He also loves dried fruit…cherries are his favorite. 🙂

  • Teresa

    One thing I learned about ice packs — especially living in the CA desert — is that if it’s essential, freeze their low-sugar, no high fructose corn syrup juice boxes. It doubles as a little icy treat as part of their lunch that keeps the lunch cool if needed.

    Thanks for all the great ideas. Wish you had kids earlier, I could have used the advice! Kid #2 really does have it eaiser!

  • Kim Aguilar

    When I was little, I had a lunch box and thermos (can’t remember the character) but my mom got wise to the fact that cleaning out a thermos of milk is sick and wrong (yes, we pre-date dishwashers) and ended up sending us with brown bags, a sandwich, an apple and a quarter for milk. Every. Day. When I got to high school, I used babysitting money to buy a Pepsi and Nutty Bars (We’re cut from the same cloth, Laura).

    Clark has a Cars lunchbox that he picked out himself. He gets a juice box and no peanuts (There’s a kid with death-threatening allergies. Bless that mother’s soul.).

    So, our list looks a lot like yours. Except Clark LOVES celery and eats it almost everyday. I also try to throw in a treat, you know, since I never got one.

    What I’m finding, though, is that the child will come home not having eaten hardly any of his lunch. Not surprising, since I have to force him to eat at home. How he has the energy to move constantly without fuel is BEYOND ME.

  • amanda (@HabitOfBeing)

    how weird that they’re peanut free but not nut free entirely. my guy has a tree nut allergy and we avoid ALL nuts (peanut and tree varieties) because of the high potential for cross contamination. anyhoo…

    love the tiffin!

    • texasnorth

      I know! Church and pre-school were both peanut-free but tree nut ok, too… and all have kids with severe allergies, but for whatever reason, it hasn’t spread beyond the peanuts. And for that, we are thankful.

  • Kathy in Chicago

    Drinking thick milkshakes through straws also help to develop tongue muscles. Our youngest had to do that while in speech class. When the classes ended, he threw fits about no longer being able to drink a milkshake with dinner….

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