Friday, July 30, 2010

Hot lunch

Hot lunch, wearing me out
Hot lunch, you can scream and shout

(To the tune of "Hot Legs" - that one's for my mother, the only fan Rod Stewart has left.)

The kid starts school in a few weeks.  She was in 4K last year, which was only half days.  Now she'll be the big mouth on campus all day long.  That means I need to figure out what to do about lunch (unless maybe her father is planning to take care of it . . . . ha ha!  Oooh, my side is splitting! I kill myself!). My initial thinking is that I will have her buy the school lunch on days where there is a decent meatless option.  On days when there is not a meatless option, I will send her with a lunch.  But, what to send?

At home her lunches often consist of veggie "chicken" nuggets, which aren't too tasty unless heated (and I'm assuming it won't be feasible for her to heat stuff up at school, even if she did know how). Same with veggie hot dogs.  I often pair these items with black beans, apple sauce, and other side items.

I chatted with a mom whose daughter just finished kindergarten at the same school, so I asked her for some details on how the lunch program works (it's nice that they have pre-paid accounts these days so that kids don't have to carry/lose cash). I feared I wouldn't be able to send peanut butter but she told me that I can send peanut butter - I just have to make sure A doesn't sit at the peanut-free table in the lunchroom.

So, a question for the veg people and carnivores alike: what can I send in my child's lunch?  I am pretty sure she will quickly tire of peanut butter sandwiches and cheese sandwiches.  I am totally down with tofurkey, but short stuff is not.  I would love to hear some creative ideas!  Remember, though, even though she is a vegetarian, she is still a five-year-old who would happily eat macaroni and cheese three times a day.


Kim said...

I used to take soup to school for lunch. My mom just put it in a thermos and it was warm at lunch. Maybe mac and cheese would work that way once a week. Does she like spaghetti? That could go in a thermos too.

aliciajill said...

I was going to suggest the same thing, if you bought a nice thermos and heated something up in the morning it might make it till lunchtime still decently warm. You could also do roll ups on tortillas with pb&j, or cheese, or hummus. You could try a bento style lunch, I know there are a ton of blogs dedicated to those. Goo luck! I am happy I can put off lunch time woes one more year, B will be going to half day kindy this year!

Sandy said...

Does Adrienne like yogurt? Dani was in full day 4K last year and would take that like once a week. She also liked something like a homemade *lunchable*. I would put crackers diced cheddar chunks and for D I'd put a meat cut up and grapes/strawberries etc. You could do that without the meat. We also just made a point of putting lots of healthier snack option in the lunch box too. She liked to have a bag of cheerios to munch on, granola bars etc. And things like that I didn't worry too much if she passed over some of the heartier lunch options in there.

PS - You're Mom's not the ONLY Rod Stewart fan left. DH has Dani loving the Rhythm of My Heart song so much she knows all the words and sings along all the time.

Lisa said...

Little pizza rolls would be good too. Meat free...

radioactivegan said...

Maybe check if your local library has either of the vegan lunchbox books. She has some great ideas for menus and ways to keep it at edible temperature. If you check out the older posts on her blog, she shows a lot of her kiddo's lunches

Steph K said...

My kids love what we call Munch-A-Lunch. Crackers, yogurt, cut up fruit/fruit cup, string cheese, and carrots.

Spaghetti in a thermos is a great idea too.

PS-my mom loves Rod Stewart too. It's so embarrassing.

Rachel said...

There is a hot thermos that is "hamburger" shaped at Target. I've put Boca burgers in it for Josh and put the bun and fixin's on the side.

I've put veggie and beef dogs, when he ate them, and "Chicken" nuggets in a hot thermos for Josh to take to lunch. You have to put boiling hot water in the thermos cap it and let it sit while you do the rest of your morning routine, empty it and dry it toss in the "chicken" or veggie dog and surprisingly it's still hot at lunch time. We did a test run on the weekend.

I also send pasta and sauce in the thermos the same way.

The veggie bento box lunch's are great. When you order one of the boxes they include a recipe book with some great ideas.

I think it's great your school offers a meatless lunch. Our school specializes in feeding the kiddos crap- McDonald's, Chik-Fil-a, Taco Bell. Josh only orders on pizza day and it is the only meatless day.

I like Rod Stewart and I now have this image in my head of your Mom singing and dancing to Hot legs.

arthur, robin, maggie said...

Big sandwich favorites here:

cream cheese and jelly

cream cheese and olive

hummus and/or cucumbers and/or tomatoes

egg salad

(or often I'll just pack an egg with some olives and cheese on the side)

Sometimes I make french toast the night before and then cut it into 3-4 strips for "french toast sticks". Those can be eaten at any temperature really.

We have a peanut free school so it's not part of the sandwich rotation, but we still usually find lots of options.