Monday, August 22, 2011

"Out of the box" lunch box idea

Since I am not impressed with what the school cafeteria has to offer for lunch, I pack lunches at home for my kids to take to school every day.  Unfortunately, it doesn't take long for me to fall into the rut of packing the same old lunch every day.  I am always on the lookout for ways to incorporate new things into their lunch box.

I like to think "out of the box" if you will, when it comes to lunches.  I have been known to pack a breakfast lunch.  (Bagel, cream cheese packet, fruit, baggie of cereal and a thermos full of milk.)  I have also packed my own version of a Lunchable.  (Without all the salt and preservatives)  I cut up small pieces of ham and cheese and pack it with crackers and a fruit cup.  I also tuck a couple of fancy toothpicks into the lunch box to make it more fun to eat. 

Today's lunch menu - meatball subs. I had extra meatballs left over from the batch of spaghetti sauce and meatballs that I cooked earlier in the week.  I figured this would be a great way to use up some of my leftovers.  (By the way, just in case you didn't spend a day making home made sauce and meatballs, this lunch works just as well with store bought meatballs.)  

Since my kids leave so early in the morning, I pack lunches the night before school.  I cut the meatballs in half and put them in the refrigerator overnight.  I also put a small container of shredded mozzarella cheese in the refrigerator.  I happened to have a couple of extra whole wheat hamburger buns leftover so I put one in a baggie for each child.  (Hotdog buns actually work best for meatball subs but I decided to use what I had on hand.)  With a few extra additions (a pear, pretzels and a cookie) I had lunch ready for the morning.  (Don't forget napkins and a plastic fork.)
Before the kids left for school, I warmed the meatballs in the microwave and put them in an insulated Thermos.  I tucked the cheese into the lunch boxes and off they went. 

A healthy lunch that any kid (or adult) would love.

Bon Appetit!

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