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Frugal, portable lunch box ideas

Posted October 21, 2010

We're barely two months into school and I'm already in a rut when it comes to packing my daughter's lunches for school.

Let's see. We have ham and cheese sandwiches, cheese sandwiches, hummus and crackers, hard boiled eggs, cheese sticks and yogurt with granola and fruit. And then we start all over again. At least I'm able to mix it up a bit when it comes to the sides ... fruits, veggies, granola bars, crackers, trail mix and the occasional dark chocolate (when I want to open a bar but don't want to eat all of it).

Still, I need ideas.

And Faye, WRAL's Smart Shopper, and her readers have some. Click here to read more. Thanks Faye for the post!

9 Comments

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  • algeorge1 Oct 22, 2010

    lettuce wraps: romaine lettuce, turkey, cheese... wrap in plastic wrap and then slice in half.

  • running girl Oct 22, 2010

    Also, if your child likes cold pizza.. leftover take out pizza is a hit with my son.

  • mrschizzy Oct 22, 2010

    Oh...and if your child doesn't mind cold spaghetti, I've done that before, too. My stepson doesn't mind it cold.

  • mrschizzy Oct 22, 2010

    I have also baked some chicken nuggets in the oven the night before and packed them for lunch the next day...if your child doesn't mind eating cold chicken...

  • aloflin Oct 22, 2010

    what about soup and saltines or soup with pita bread or a cheese sandwich? Bagels with a variety of toppings, pizza, hot pockets, pizza pockets, cottage cheese, etc.

  • backhome Oct 22, 2010

    I don't have children yet, but I do pack lunch everyday for my husband and me. You could try pimento cheese, shrimp dip, spinach dip or chicken salad (all cold items). Mini muffins go well for a dessert. You could also have her help you make Chex mix on a Sunday afternoon - I hear kids are more likely to eat foods that they were involved in preparing. Just a few thoughts!

  • mkmiller Oct 22, 2010

    I feel your pain. My daughter is a great eater, but doesn't really care for sandwiches, crackrs of any kind, and won't typically eat cheese. My saving grace is that I have learned she will eat almost any veggie (leftover from the night before) cold. Personally I wouldn't, but makes my life easier!

    I have had success with wraps (as someone else said) and making sandwiches on mini bagels (I guess they are different enough that they are ok? she like them with cream cheese, meat, and cucumber slices). I have also rolled up lunch meat and put it on a toothpick. You could also add cheese, but again my daughter isn't big into it. Next week I am going to try tuna or chicken salad and crackrs (you could also do pita bread or bagel chips).

    My daughter is great at eating fruit and veggies sides. Her veggie is typically whatever we had for dinner the night before. Fruit is whatever is in season, though occassionally I have to do a fruit cup. I will also freeze a yogurt cup. Since sh

  • amyrn Oct 22, 2010

    Try making lunch for a 16 year old ova-lacto-pescetarian...pasta salad with veggies, sometimes shrimp...individual packs of carrots. She got burned out on PB & J last year and won't touch it with a ten foot pole!

  • mindikflowers Oct 21, 2010

    I was stumped as to what to make also and found that a great change from a traditional sandwich is to make a tortilla wrap.

    Lay down a large/soft tortilla and throw on some lunch meat such as turkey, ham or roast beef. Then add cheese & throw on some chopped lettuce & spinach leaves too. You can also add a bit of mayo, ranch dressing, or even veggie cream cheese to the mix. Just roll it all together as you would a burrito, cut it in half, and VIOLA, now your kid has a lunch everyone is jealous of!

    Another great tip is to freeze your childs drink and also their yogurt. That way, not only do you have freezer packs to help keep lunch cold, but also by the time he/she eats it then it should be perfectly thawed.