"Packing School Lunch" Cheat Sheet

9:49 AM

One of my all-time favorite commercials is the classic "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" from Staples. I love how giddy the father is for back-to-school shopping and how miserable the kids look. The voice over is perfect too - exuding over-the-top enthusiasm. This commercial always comes to mind at the start of every school year (maybe that's the geeky advertising side of me).

Except for the first time, I've become empathetic with the kids. I am dreading the chore of packing lunch for my Kindergartner... and for the next 17 years?! He's not a terribly picky eater, so I'm not worried that he'll go hungry because he didn't like what I packed for lunch. But because I'm the one packing his lunch, I want it to be enjoyable and satisfying. And hopefully that will carry-over to the food when my kid opens his lunchbox.

I'm sure there will be days he'll ask to buy lunch. Being a new mom and someone who truly values wholesome food, I am leery of the processed foods that is being served in our public schools. Thanks to organizations like Whole Foods and its Great American Salad Bar Project and Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, there is a push to bring fresh food into local schools. Until significant progress is made, I'll be packing lunch most days of the week.

So I've done some homework and found some great sites and blogs that truly inspire when it comes to lunch ideas. I don't have any delusions of creating mini works of art with bento boxes (if only I had the time). Here are some sites I will be coming back to often:

www.epicurious.com - everything from lunch recipes to snack ideas
Whole Story - Whole Foods blog with great lunch and snack lists and tips
Weelicious - helpful and realistic tips and recipes for busy parents
Babble's The Family Kitchen - round-up of fun and tasty posts from great food bloggers
Wendolonia - Wendy's Week in Bentos look amazing and totally doable
Cooking with My Kid - you will want to try all her recipes, not just lunch ones

So what did I pack for my kid on his first full day of Kindergarten you ask?

almond butter with apples and honey, sliced apples, banana yogurt, nuts and dried cranberries

What are some other great lunch links? What are some things to avoid? What are some go-to lunches you pack for your kids or yourself?

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