Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Before you go thinking I'm going to homeschool my kids, let me just say I am using that title as a clever play on words. This post is about food.

Lunch, mainly.

I'm curious about how other people do home/school lunches with their kids.

Right now we give Emma $22.50 a month for lunch. That's for 10 lunches. She can use them as she sees fit, using up all 10, or carrying some over for next month. She usually comes out about even. But I have to say, I'm not looking forward to next year, and doing $45 a month for lunches! Yikes!

When she has home lunch, it's a sandwich, a juice box or Capri Sun, and a granola bar or a baggie of chips. Sometimes I'll throw a cookie or two in just for a surprise. I know, it's not super balanced, but it's what works, and it's what I have on hand.

What do you guys do? What do your kids like?

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Min said...

We usually send lunches. Sandwich, crackers, fruit or fruit snacks, and a water bottle. If we have leftover pizza then they get that the next day instead of a sandwich. Occasionally a cookie or some candy makes its way into the lunchbox.

When the kids really like something at school we might send money with them. This happens more often when we are tired of fixing lunches or are running out of items for lunches.

Aimee's and Alex's lunch is $1.75 and Aaron's is $2.oo. I thought this was a lot until I saw what you pay.

Noel said...

My advice is, have Sean get laid off, then you could qualify for free lunches for both girls. That's what we did. The boys are eating better than they have in years. JUST KIDDING.

They still take their lunches nearly every day. With exception when I am too lazy to prepare/pack a lunch. They prefer lunch from home. Skool lunch ain't what it used 2 B!

Kate said...

I dont have much of a choice. No hot lunch in preschool. But, I do have to pack a snack in one bag and a lunch in another. Im not creative and fancy with the lunches. Most of it just comes home anyways.

Jill Johnson said...

Just wait until Jr high. 5 bucks a day! and it's not cool to take your lunch. Dontyaknow?

Shannon Watson said...

The first 2 years, I insisted on home lunch every day.

Then my kids started begging for school lunch, and I did the math and realized it wasn't much of a cost difference (though we pay even more than you - $2.50 per lunch).

So, at the end of each month we get out the lunch calendar for the upcoming month, I tell the kids what is on the menu each day and they each tell me yea or nay. On the "nay" days, I send a cold lunch - leftovers, sandwiches, soup in a cup, etc.

I've come to really enjoy the days I look on the calendar and see that all 3 kids want school lunch. :D

grannybabs said...

I was trying to remember what I used to pack in lunches. I think my first 3 kids got pretty good lunches - I was the mom who read the magazine articles about cool lunches for your kids. And they all had lunch boxes - those are easier to put a good lunch into.

The younger ones always wanted sacks - and it pretty much was pb&j, pudding cups, juice boxes and granola bars. Fruit cups maybe. But they didn't seem to want me to make anything special. "It will just get gross by lunchtime" I heard all the time.

Although Noah was into a Coleman cooler - the small kind - for a time in elementary school and he'd take more interesting items like leftovers.

As a child, eating in the cafeteria was a major treat - and I have fond memories of actually walking home for lunch! (We could watch Sheriff John too!)

Kathie said...

It really starts to add up! I am the boring mom that sends a sandwich, chips, grapes and a quarter for Tampico.

bet[c] said...

My kids never eat hot lunch --our district has very gross school lunch. So they pack one from home. They also don't really like sandwiches, which makes things a bit harder. I bought some food thermoses at target, and now they take hot lunch from home. Leftovers usually. But sometimes I heat up a frozen dinner and put it in the thermos. Or Aspen just takes the frozen dinner to school -- the middle school has microwaves for the kids to use at lunch. Then always a two fruits (one for snack time), a treat: cookie, muffin, cake, etc, a power/granola bar to eat at snack time (lunch can be anywhere between 10:30 am - 12:40 pm: so there is snack time). Also put in yogurts, go-gurts, pistachios or other nuts, crackers and ham and cheese, burritos, cold pizza, pudding or jello cups. I bought them all good water bottles so that is the drink. Occassionaly I'll send a juice, but I'm too cheap for that. I try to add vegetables, but they come back uneaten 98% of the time. I usually find them stuffed in a backpack after they've gone very bad. But I would rather spend money buying food that I know they will eat and is actually good for them, rather than pay for a lunch that they will throw most of away (what kind of school serves creamed spinach to elementary school kids - its gray and slimy and gross) and the other options are usually bad for you.

amy k said...

My kids pick on the calendar what days they want to eat and what days they want sack. It's usually half and half.

Kelli said...

My kids used to have school lunch. Then they decided to make it hard on mom and to have cold lunch everyday. They hated to stand in line for school lunch because by the time they got it their friends were done eating.

Linda G. said...

My daughter doesn't like school lunch. She prefers a home lunch. And I try to keep it healthy. Half turkey or peanut butter and jam sandwich, water bottle or capri sun, grapes or melon chunks, almonds, celery or carrot sticks. A cookie if I have them in the pantry.