I don't know about you, but I have a few kids that don't want their food mixed together or touching other foods in any way. So when I found these 3 partitioned lunch trays at Walmart for $1(in the kitchen/utensils area), I picked up 5, one for each of our children. Here is Jane eating some home-made mac and cheese, grapes and carrots. I especially appreciate these trays when we have mexican foods(which we have a couple times a week) with things like salsa and sour cream on the side...those run and get messy if they're not in their own little space, so these are perfect. Also, pasta with a bread stick and some veggies...yeah they definitely don't like when those mix.
Goodbyn lunch boxes. My cousin Rachel had these on her blog about a year ago and so I picked up a couple then. I bought two different sizes, a large and a small. The large has 6 different compartments. The smaller one has three. The smaller one is just the right size for my kids who take school lunches. The big one I mostly use when we go on a family picnic or take lunch to the park for playgroup because it's really big. But it doesn't look like they carry the large size anymore.
When I bought these lunch boxes, they came with a drink bottle. Now they're sold separately but the price of the lunch box has also gone down significantly, about $10(was $20 when I bought it and now it's $9.) You can buy the drink bottle for $5 but I rarely use mine because my kids always take a different water bottle with them anyway since the lids are a little hard to open on these. The nice thing about the bottles is that you can freeze water inside and use it as an ice pack for a cold lunch because it fits perfectly in one of the compartments. So it would have been nice if they'd had this 'sold separate' option back when I bought mine, because I would have just bought one bottle that we could share for when someone needs an icepack in their lunch(like for hard boiled eggs).
Here's a sampling of some things we put in lunches. This is what we brought for lunch last week at playgroup: pasta salad and a home-made crescent roll for me, half a pb and honey sandwich for Jane, 2 hard boiled eggs for Annabelle and grapes and a home-made trailmix (raisins and peanuts) for everyone to share.
We took this for lunch at the park another week: 2 pb and honey sandwiches(stacked on top of each other), pistachios, rice crackers, carrots, strawberries and hummus.
I bought mine online here. You can also purchase it on amazon.com. Like I mentioned above, I bought mine for $20(small) and $25(large) last year, but now they just sell the smaller ones and they're only $8.99! Since the price is so good, I'm going to buy a couple more of these small lunch boxes for my other kids. Think of all the money you'll save from not buying and using so many sandwich bags and/or juice boxes! And of course they're dishwasher safe, BPA free, recyclable and all that good stuff!
And just for fun, here are a few real food ideas for snacks, many of which you could put in your kids lunch boxes. These are all things we snack on pretty regularly at our house:
- string cheese or sliced cheese
- cooked black beans (annabelle is a HUGE fan of cooked, whole beans)
- cooked Great Northern Beans
- banana and natural peanut butter
- apples and natural peanut butter
- celery, peanut butter and raisins (ants on a log)
- air popped popcorn
- whole wheat zucchini bread
- whole wheat toast with natural peanut butter
- hard boiled egg
- carrots and hummus
- plain yogurt with fruit and honey
- salsa and tortilla chips
- rice crackers and hummus
- guacamole and rice crackers or tortilla chips
- lara bar
- frozen grapes (neighbor kids always ask me for these in the summer when they're out playing)
- dried apple chips