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Old 08-24-2006, 11:15 AM   #1
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Not your Average Lunchbox...

OK folks, back to school some of the kids go. If you are like me, you can easily fall into a rut with what goes in the lunches. My standard is:

Sandwich (preferably some kind of meat)
Granola bar (no nuts allowed)
fruit snacks
Piece of fruit or slices of cucumber
Juice box

This gets pretty boring for the kids after a while. I thought maybe we could share our creative sides and when we get into a rut come back to this thread for ideas.

I'm going to try sending wraps this year, and if I can figure out how to keep a pita from drying out I'll send that too.

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Old 08-24-2006, 11:24 AM   #2
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You mention pita's?
My girls loved them..I use to brush the insides with some butter, and then put in slices of their favorite meats, left over thin sliced pork roast, thin sliced avocado, and lettuce, my girls, like mayo mixed with some mashed up cranberry sauce in there as well..Sometimes they like to fill them with just marinated veggies that we had cut into thin slices and dressed with evoo and vinegar, plus lettuce...
Another favorite was to get a soft kaiser or sub roll, take some of the bread from the center out making a shell and will with egg salad or tuna salad or even ham salad...
The kids like chips they loved a homemade cookie, and most of the time they would take a half frozen bottle of water to drink..Sometimes juice,
stuffed celery, cucumber slices and dip...
On the pitas, to keep them from getting dry, I made sure to butter the inside and also I wrapped it in plastic wrap and then into a baggie or foil..

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Old 08-24-2006, 02:16 PM   #3
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I recall the lunch table having a lot of wheeling and dealing in my youth. When parents got into ruts of packing the same thing, the lunch table became an auctioning table.

Depending on if that happens, leave it as is. They'll get their variety at school.

Cruel, maybe, but I recall it happening frequently.
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Old 08-24-2006, 02:20 PM   #4
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I always loved it when mom gave me hot soup. Tomato was my favorite.

Hard boiled eggs and a small salt shaker were fun too.
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Old 08-24-2006, 02:24 PM   #5
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I like to take tortilla "rolls" for lunch. Just take a tortilla and spinkle some cheese on it, then nuke for 20-30 seconds till the cheese begins to melt. Sprinkle some garlic powder on it, put lunch meat on it and roll up. You can add more to it if you like, but it's great just like that!
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Old 08-24-2006, 02:24 PM   #6
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All I had was a sandwich, chips and fruit/dessert in my lunchbox. I was too lazy to mess with soup.

But I do remember all the wheeling and dealing....sometimes you could even get one of those little troll pencils for a Hostess cupcake.
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Old 08-24-2006, 02:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Baked
But I do remember all the wheeling and dealing....sometimes you could even get one of those little troll pencils for a Hostess cupcake.
For some reason John Michael Montgomery's Sold (The Grundy County Auction) came to mind . . . . .
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Old 08-24-2006, 08:45 PM   #8
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For the pita, moisten a good quality paper towel with cool water and then wring it out. Lay it on a square of parchment or waxed paper, then place the pita on the moist towel and wrap as you usually wrap a sandwich. As long as it's not seeping wet, it will deliver just the right amount of humidty to the sandwich.

Speaking of sandwiches...I used to use cookie cutters to make shapes of the sandwiches.

And, don't forget the bag! I'm not quite sure how old your kids are, but I used to make funny pictures on the lunch bag using different coloured markers. If the lunch was less than stellar, at least the bag was entertaining.

And, it doesn't always have to be a sandwich, either. My kids liked breakfast for lunch, every now and then, too. Send a box of cereal and a small container of milk, or a blueberry or corn muffin and some cheddar cheese cubes.

A small salad bowl with a packet of dressing is good, too. Put a nice dinner roll with it.

Cold sesame noodles are a great hit, too. They liked getting the ocassional sushi box, as well.

Sausage bread or pepperoni bread is good, with a tomato salad (or the cucumber slices you mentioned)

I've been a chef since my kids started school, and they never had the opportunity for a school cafeteria. They brown bagged it until they got to high school...and even then they wanted lunch from home.

When they were real little, I started offering a choice the night before, just a choice between two things. As they got older, I offered choices and suggestions and before I knew it, they were bringing things like the cold sesame noodles or sushi, or stuffed mushrooms....and very happy to have such unusual lunches.

Good luck!
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Old 08-25-2006, 04:36 PM   #9
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Hey thanks guys! Great tips here. Vera, my kids are in grade 7 and grade 5. The younger one will be coming home for lunches most days but the elder will be at school all day long. We don't have the info yet on whether or not she will be able to take "heat ups" so I am trying to work with the cold lunch ideas.

Keep 'em coming folks. I know there are tons of you out there with wonderful ideas to share.
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Old 08-27-2006, 12:20 AM   #10
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I have found that the simpler I that I make wraps the better they are. Here in the states we have plain, spinach, or herb tortillas. I like the herb the best. For spreads I use: pesto, flavored cream cheeses, Trader Joe's feta red pepper spread, ranch dressing, spicy thousand island dressing, etc. The dressings I put in a small container and add at lunch time because it keeps everything from getting soggy. Romaine lettuce is great to use a the leafy green, but sometimes I use mixed baby greens. For meat I use thinly sliced smoked or herb turkey breast, thinly sliced ham, grilled chicken, etc.
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