kids eating lunchNow that we are back in the swing of school, the debate of whether to pack lunch versus school lunch has become a topic discussed amongst my mom friends. We were all so fortunate to receive free breakfast and lunch for the last couple of years (silver lining to Covid).

Starting this year, we are back to paying $3.25 for lunch. I know that they have to follow the guidelines for what they can and can not offer. What I also know is that if you give my kid the opportunity to eat a hot dog every day….she will.

So the question is — do we pay $3.25 for hot dogs every day?

….The answer in our house is no.

My kid is big on snack trays (which is what we call a kids version of a charcuterie board in our house) so that is what I do for her lunch. If I pack a sandwich, I will get a soggy piece of bread with everything taken out of it back at the end of the day. She gets a smattering of things that are typically healthy and that I know she will enjoy.

Today it was turkey, pepper jack cheese, crackers, cucumbers from our garden, Gushers (I’m not a monster lol), a cookie, and to round off her strange kid palette-banana peppers.  I obviously trade out the protein and other snack items but this way she is getting something from every food group. And she eats something besides just a hot dog every day.

Here are a couple of things I have found to make packing lunch a little easier.  

I picked up this bento box and I really like the compartments. It also has no rubber to get nasty halfway through the school year.

Then instead of using 93,429 snack-sized baggies, I found these little containers intended for portion control. I like them because they fit in the lunch box and are brightly colored.

Here are the bento box and containers.
bento lunch packed
And here it is all nice and neat.

Of course, there are still days that she wants to eat the school lunch-like Taco Tuesday (the kid lives for refried beans) and French Bread Pizza. But for now-we will keep packing the lunch.

We’ve also gathered a list of our lunch box favorites collectively as a Cedar Rapids Moms’ team and we’d love for you to check it out by clicking here.

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