1/08/2009

Labor of lunch

In the first few days of the school year, Ethan came home with some devastating news: no peanut products allowed in his classroom or the cafeteria. There goes my no-brainer lunch menu for the year. Suddenly I had to be a little creative. I started asking around and looking online and discovered a whole amazing world outside of my peanut butter and jelly rut. I became instantly smitten with the idea of bento boxes but not enough to justify ditching his brand new lunch bag/box. If you want to be simultaneously depressed and inspired, go look at these lunches. My dinners aren't this involved.

After some initial grumbling I've been forced to think outside the box (aaaahg!) and embrace a little more variety. Even so, we got stuck in a cream-cheese on bagels and occasional turkey sandwich routine which is getting old. As usual, I have new year resolutions of fitness and good health marching around my subconscious. I'm hoping to come up with some more good ideas, preferably with the focus on fruits and vegetables. I need some simple, fool-proof, healthy input!

13 comments:

Emma C said...

Howdy, Liane! This sounds like a great topic to pose to the Kitchn community (a blog I write for - www.thekitchn.com). I'll put it up next week and send you the link!

(p.s. my word verification password below is "ovenrod." How funny is that?!)

Liane said...

Thanks, Emma, that would be great!

Carrie said...

that website with the bunko lunches is DEPRESSING!!!

Claire said...

Does Ethan like hummus? Lately I've been making my own - it's pretty easy and you can make a pretty big batch all at once that could last a whole week...Use it in pita bread with some cucumbers or as a dip for carrot sticks...? I guess it all depends on if he likes it or not.

Stephanie said...

Okay...I am seriously lacking in my lunch making skills. Those benoto boxes were AMAZING. How much of a lunch failure do I feel like now?

We have a no peanut rule at preschool. THe kids just eat snack though so it's easier.

I don't really have any good input for healthy lunches. I need to figure some out for my kids as well. I'm totally going to have to get a bento box for all the kids now. Of course...theirs won't be filled with some of the crazy things those were. (My kids would NEVER eat a salmon cake. NEVER)

I can't wait to see what everyone else suggests.

JJ said...

Simple, fool-proof, and healthy don't belong in the same sentence, much less when they are being used to describe a 1st grader's boxed lunch. Eeeek. We do a lot of tuna and egg salad, carrots and grapes, homemade trail mixes with various favorite peanut-free snacks...nothing that would be in the Whole Foods circular, but pretty healthy compared to what I see around the lunch room on my volunteer days. Good luck!

Carrie said...

I don't think either of my kids would eat an egg shaped liked a cow-head. That is just wrong! Wrong I SAY! Loomanitha

kw said...

u inspired me to pay for one additional day of school lunches..making that twice a week...i am tired of uneaten lunch boxes...

Shari said...

I love homemade hummus too, and Maisy loves it. I use the recipe from the Eat to Live book. It's soooo good. Way better than Trader Joe's versions.

I'm re-focusing on fruits and veggies again because I kind of lost my focus over the holidays. I just feel so much better when I'm eating that way.

Yeah, I can't believe Bento lunches . . . I've been admiring them on Flickr for the past year.

Susan Elizabeth said...

Wow! I was going to suggest hummus, too! And also Baba gannoush is good, as well. But I think it is very dependant on actually liking these types of foods. They are very different than the usual pbj sandwich.

Wish I could suggest something earth-shattering, but I'm in the homeschooling realm in which the kids have leftover dinners and hot soups, etc for lunches.

p.s. I used to hate when my mom would send me to school with an egg salad sandwich...you were marked for life!!

Liane said...

My kids don't love hummus but hopefully it will be an acquired taste. Keith and I like it though and I'd be glad to find a good recipe..the ones I've tried were horrible. I'll have to check out Eat to Live again, Shari. Claire, where is your recipe from?

Claire said...

I think you gave me the recipe Liane- from Moosewood.

Heidi said...

I know it sounds weird, but Paige and a few of her friends love a pancake or two. Just cooked at breakfast and packaged in a bag, whole. No great shakes, I know, but it's the rage at our school. Something new, maybe?