Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Packing a creative, nutritious, fun lunch...

So, I have decided this week will be a food week. Maybe I can convince the guest blogger to take a picture of some food for you for his weekly appearance. (Or maybe not--those I leave up to him.)  Other topics on the list for the month are: Organization, Valentines, Time Management, and throw in a few blog tutorials. Perhaps some photo tutorials, I am thinking about putting those along side his guest blogger appearances. You tell me your thoughts. Today's food topic: LUNCHES
Little Man (as I will refer to him on this public blog--unless he sees that and exclaims that he's not little :).) prefers to pack. That is unless it's brunch lunch. Then, watch out he wants to be first in line.

So, what do you do to make a lunch packed full of the right foods and fun at the same time? (While maintaining your food budget--which is the topic of tomorrow along with coupon tips and deals of the week.)
What to pack?
This is a tough question. Really, it depends on your kids likes and dislikes. But, you can help by:
1. Having your kids help you plan their lunch. Use something like tip #2 to have them do this...
2. Plan using a chart like this one:  (This from a Mom who loves charts, lists and anything organized!)

The tool we use when planning a lunch-updated and changed as needed. :)

( NOTE: I created this a a word document and would LOVE to share. I know we'll keep changing this list and if you had your own copy, then you could, too. I seriously need to find a safe place online that I can upload and have you all download files for free. ANY TIPS??? As I have lots of things I plan on giving away in a digital form. But, for now, let me know if you want it and where I should email it to.
3. Theme them up (Back to school, Holidays, colors, shapes, etc.) I'll have to take some pictures of themed lunches when I do them. In case you want some inspiration in the meantime. Check out this amazing lunch packer! Another Lunch I aspire to get to that packing skill. :)
4. Notes--I put them in there for now while they are still allowed. I wonder how long he'll let the notes keep coming, at some point I am sure they will become "uncool". Sometimes it's a joke with a little love you at the bottom, sometimes it's a short encouraging note, and sometimes it's just an inside way of me telling him I love him--that others wouldn't know. Our inside family I love you.  I plan on creating some cute notes to share in the future with all of you. So, all you'll have to do is print, cut and throw in the bag.

What do I put it in?
I am still struggling with this question. No expert on this, but I can tell you that some things just don't work. I plan on getting Little Man a lunch box system that we'd both love before next school year. I've waited 1/2 this school year and have a lunch box that is starting to show it's wear and a less than perfect packing system. Perhaps, I will get one before the year is out. Little Man hates if the food gets all mixed up and the containers that I got when trying to pack a more Bento style lunch for him, just are not cutting it in that department. It's not always a problem just when I pack certain things. Sigh!!

Ideas for packing are listed below:
Planet Box If I could get over the sticker price and have my husband get over it, this would be in my home in the blink of an eye.
Goodbyn a serious consideration for us as well.
Laptop lunches
or just type in Bento lunch box and you'll come up with a ton of options.

There you have it. Rest of the list of topics for the week:
Wednesday- Setting a Food Budget and Sticking to it and using coupons to your advantage.
Thursday- The Stockpile and meal planning
Friday- Guest blogger and perhaps a tutorial of some sort.
Note: I will be working on getting an email subscription for this blog ready for everyone-per some requests.

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