Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Homemade Lunchables

I have been in a MAJOR lunch funk with my kids lately.

My kids have eaten peanut butter and jelly almost every day for like two years. Really. Like every single day. Unless we're at Bojangles. {Praise God from whom all blessings flow.}

One day a few weeks ago, Max and I had a little conversation during lunch:

Max: Mom, what does it mean when you are sick of something?

Me: Well, it kind of means you've had enough of it and you don't want it anymore.

: I am sick of peanut butter and jelly.

And, with that, I freaked.

What on earth am I going to feed these kids? It had been so long since they'd had anything else for lunch at home. Really.

So, I turned to my friends via Facebook, and asked them for help: What do y'all feed your kids for lunch?

And, they came through. Like they always do.

Just a sampling of the ideas they shared:

Chicken nuggets.
Mac & Cheese.
Hummus and crackers.
Grilled cheese.
Build your own wrap.
Baked potatoes in the crockpot. (High for 2 hours. Set out the fixin's. LOVE THIS!)
Chicken salad.
Egg salad.
String cheese.
Hot dogs.
Tortilla pizzas.

And, my favorite:

Homemade Lunchables.

Oh, how my boys beg for Lunchables. They've seen them at Target in the little refrigerated section by the cookie/popcorn/drink counter area. And, Jack has a friend who brings one every day to school. But for us, $2.50 for a few crackers, ham, and cheese? Um, no.

But, it had never occurred to me to make them at home.

So, every day this week, we've had Homemade Lunchables. And, my little buddies have LOVED it. I've stacked a few crackers, some cheese, ham, and salami on their plates, and let them stack.

And, stack. And, stack.

It's been so much fun for them.

And, my Mr. Max?

Happy as can be.


*If you have some kid-friendly lunch ideas to share, I'd love to hear them. We're not gonna get stuck on one thing around here, again - VARIETY is the name of the game from now on.


  1. I've yet to try this, but I find it very cute and interesting. It's called Muffin Tin Meals. This blogger has many ideas already figured out. :) I love that.

    My kids frequently eat hot pockets. Since my daughter is convinced she doesn't like ham, we call them elephant and cheese. :)


    Good ideas :)

  3. yep, my boys love pb&j's. more than anything! but they also love grilled cheese, jacket potatoes with baked beans (baked potatoes), chicken nuggets, pasta {out of of packet, so easy to make} and so on. i like that muffin tin meals...i don't have enough muffin tins though for 4 but we'll figure out something =)

  4. We do this too! BTW, Ziploc makes a divided container that works great for homemade lunchables and other lunches. They fit in my kids' lunch boxes. I love baggies to mess with each morning and I think my kids actually eat more because they aren't opening an assortment of bags and packages...also makes for some healthier lunches. You can even fit a danimal with string cheese in one compartment.

  5. And, I have found that if you serve things on toothpicks...they will eat anything! Just count out your toothpicks so you know how many you'll have to dig around for...they've become playmobil swords around here!

  6. Brilliant post. *SO* can relate... Thanks for the great idea, Sar!!


  7. Sarah,

    I have been there. So I came up with a list that I posted last year:

    I hope it helps. While these are school lunchbox ideas, we use them at home too!

  8. My kids always devour crackers and cheese and lunch meat when I serve it at home. It is definitely in our summer rotation. I do send pb&j to school every day. Sometimes they ask for turkey or ham instead, but usually they don't complain. Some of my kids eat leftovers fairly well, so on weekends we often have leftover buffet. With six kids and two adults we don't have a ton of leftovers anyway, but usually enough to satisfy those who will eat them.

  9. Great post, I am such a slacker about lunch. PB & J all around, or else just PB on Ritz crackers. I usually eat a sandwich. Boring. I like the 1-2-3 lunch that somebody linked to: 1 carrot, 2 apple slices, 3 cheese cubes, etc. Brilliant!

  10. english muffin pizzas, tuna sandwhiches, egg salad sandwhices, corndogs, subs, fish sticks, etc.

  11. my kiddos like breakfast things for lunch. sometimes I'll make scrambled eggs or oatmeal w/ fruit, etc. whatever they didn't have for breakfast :)

  12. We have it even harder with gluten free but here are out top lunches:

    ** Mini Muffins & Yogurt tubes + cheese and fruit

    ** Mini Pizza (eng muffins & toppings)

    ** Chicken Nuggets

    ** Mac n Cheese

    ** Grilled Cheese, Ham & Cheese

    ** Hamburger, Black Beans & taco seasoning with chips for dipping & salsa.

    ** Nacho's

    ** Quesadilla's (yes we love mexican food)

    ** Smoothies w/ coconut milk & homemade muffins.

    Welcome to the "no PBJ" group. My kids won't eat them either.

  13. yup!!! They are a fav here too! We also make "bambinos" they are little Ritz cracker pizzas! Kids LOVE them! tHEY MAKE THEM ALL BY THEMSELVES! score!

  14. I'm LOVING all these ideas. Thank you all for sharing them!