The Lunch Conundrum – What to make??

 

Whats for Lunch

Lunches stress me out. I usually have a plan for dinner, but for lunch, I really don’t want to cook. And menu planning for lunch has always seemed like overkill to me. The idea of reading recipes and measuring ingredients and standing over a hot stove once a day for dinner is plenty enough for me. Some people {ahem, Allie & Karissa} actually enjoy such slavery. For me though, I’d rather be tarred and feathered and run around the town screaming then cook for lunch. Noooo thanks, not this gal.

But, that poses a bit of a problem, especially if there are not enough leftovers from last nights dinner to go around. Or you just aren’t feeling sandwiches *again*. So what’s a gal to do?

Attachment-1 (2)

Well you become a professional smorkesborger, that’s what. Enter the Snack Lunch. Snack lunches are basically an excuse to clean out all the remaining food items that are almost gone but no one seems to want to finish it off. It’s also an excuse not to cook, but win the title of “Fun Mom” in the meantime. Score!

A long time ago when I first began preparing Snack Lunches, I went out and purchased a stack of lunch tray plates, compartments and all. These babes have helped eliminate some of the dishes around here, which I’m all about because his family can generate some dirty dishes, let me tell you. The sink looks like the Leaning Tower of Piazza after each meal as it is! The compartment lunch trays are perfect for this type of meal because you don’t have children complaining about this food touching that food and that food’s juices running into the other food. And you don’t have to dirty up a dozen ramekins or fruit dishes to compensate.

To make a snack lunch, I literally just open up my cabinets and pull out whatever and toss it on the tray in separate compartments. I loosely try to keep in mind that they need some sort of protein and a vegetable or fruit, a grain, etc. but I don’t make the rules too strict. I also try and add things that will give pops of color, since a colorful plate tends to look more inviting than a plate with a bland color scheme. You might see popcorn, carrot sticks, some dip, raisins, mixed nuts, yogurt, cottage cheese, dry cereal, rolled up lunch meat, string cheese, etc. on their plates. Sometimes I will just mix up a Bear (“bare”) Salad for them with all these dry ingredients and let them eat it all mixed together like that. (A Bear Salad is basically salad with just all the goodies on it and no lettuce because lettuce is hard for my kids to eat with a fork.) Sometimes I get a bit more fancy and will serve something with minimal prep work, such as whipped cream cheese with a sprinkle of cinnamon, spread on a graham cracker, or raspberry jam in place of the cinnamon (tastes like cheese cake y’all!!), ants on a log (celery, peanut butter and raisins) or a peanut butter banana tortilla wrap. I’ve also mixed up some tuna with cheddar cheese, mayo, garlic and pepper and let the kids dip into it with ritz crackers.

Another fun twist on the traditional pb&j sandwich is to spread peanut butter on crackers and sprinkle the tops with raisins. Or just give them peanuts and raisins. Or trail mix. Trail mix with both peanuts and raisins in it always tastes like pb&j sandwiches to me. One of my kids’ favorite snack lunch sides is a sliced banana with a bit of honey drizzled over it sprinkled with just a dusting of cinnamon. Crunch up half a sheet of graham cracker and sprinkle it over top and you have something that kinda tastes like fried ice cream. (Freeze a Greek yogurt and do this and you’ve got something good goin on!) If you use raw honey, you actually have quite a healthy snack, as cinnamon and honey are a common diy immunity elixir. Hmmm…..now my wheels are turning. Might have to make that next time one of the kid’s are under the weather.

Blog pic - Lunch

Have you ever thought about doing snack lunches? Try it and see how your kids will enjoy breaking out of the norm a little bit! I guarantee you too will win the title of Fun Mom!

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