Mom Lunches

I typically feature kid lunches on this blog, but I also pack lunches for myself. My teaching schedule typically doesn’t allow for time to go out to lunch, so I frequently eat in my little windowless office—not the best ambiance, but at least the food is okay.

Here are a few of my favorite lunches from the past two weeks:

prosciutto and aged cheddar, pickles and lettuce sandwich
prosciutto and aged cheddar, pickles and lettuce sandwich with green beans and an Asian pear
grilled chicken salad with cucumbers, green beans and cashews
grilled chicken salad with cucumbers, green beans and cashews; homemade brioche and grapes
spicy fish salad sandwich (made with fish leftover from fish taco night), grapes and carrots
spicy fish salad sandwich (made with fish leftover from fish taco night), grapes and carrots
volkornbrot with avocado and pea sprouts, cucumbers with chile limón, edamame and carrots
volkornbrot with avocado and pea sprouts, cucumbers with chile limón, edamame and carrots

Anatomy of a Snacky Lunch

lunch on 15 Sept 2017: lunch on mini muffins and nibbles

I’m afraid the start of the academic quarter has made for sparse lunch posts on my part. Funny thing about teaching: it’s always a challenge, even for a class that you’ve taught for twelve years in a row. Or, maybe it’s just me. I can’t resist making new assignments, because I get bored looking at the same old thing year after year. That’s how it goes with lunch, too. If the lunches get too repetitive, the kiddos complain.

One thing they never complain about is when I make a fun, snacky lunch—a Momables lunch box, if you will. The snacky lunch is all about balance: something sweet, something crunchy, something salty, and something proteiny (I don’t think “proteiny” is a word).

Exhibit A:
lunch on 14 Sept 1017: lunch of small bites
lunch on 14 Sept 1017: lunch of small bites

If I have several little things to organize (like edamame and small slices of meat or cheese), I like to use silicone cupcake liners in the lunch box. Crackers are always de rigueur in a snacky lunch. Our favorites are good ol’ Ritz. Not the healthiest option, but I don’t make snacky lunches every day.

Exhibit B:

 

lunch on 15 Sept 2017: lunch on mini muffins and nibbles
lunch on 15 Sept 2017: lunch on mini muffins and other small stuff

Mini muffins are a great thing to build a snacky lunch around. Banana peanut butter chocolate chip muffins are definitely a kid favorite. I like to swirl a few scoops of peanut butter into the muffin batter before pouring it into a mini muffin pan. If you don’t fully incorporate the peanut butter into the batter, you get satisfying blasts of peanut butter deliciousness in every muffin. Small fruit is also great to throw into a snacky lunch: things like figs and apricots (fresh or dried).

The Basic Formula

A lunch of snacks is basically built around finger food. The formula is simple: crackers/bread + veggies (small or cut small) + fruit (bite sized or cut into chunks) + protein (meat or cheese or tofu or nuts) = a fun lunch.

 

Week 2: Crushed It!

lunch on 30 Aug 2017: grilled chicken and edamame hummus roll ups with veggies, watermelon and ginger snaps

The kids made it through the second week of school, and I’ve pretty much gotten back into the swing of lunch making. This week it was all about variety. Here are some fun lunch ideas:

Rice Cake Sandwich

Mix things up by using rice cakes instead of bread. Since rice cakes are pretty light, I threw in a hard boiled egg to power the kids through their day.

lunch on 28 Aug 2017: rice cake sandwich with peanut butter and Nutella, peanut butter filled prezels, hard boiled egg, sprouts, and apples
lunch on 28 Aug 2017: rice cake sandwich with peanut butter and Nutella, peanut butter filled pretzels, hard boiled egg, sprouts, and apples
Sandwich Bites and Bento Containers

Make a regular sandwich, but cut it into smaller pieces. Kids love small stuff. Cute silicone bento containers are perfect for holding little treats.

lunch on 29 Aug 2017: peanut butter and blueberry jam sandwiches with almonds, candy sunflower seeds, veggies and melon
lunch on 29 Aug 2017: peanut butter and blueberry jam sandwiches with almonds, candy sunflower seeds, veggies and melon
Roll It Up

Do your kids get bored with sandwiches? I know mine do. Use flatbread or a tortilla to roll up all sorts of yummy stuff. Hummus works great as a glue. So does peanut butter if you want to go sweet.

lunch on 30 Aug 2017: grilled chicken and edamame hummus roll ups with veggies, watermelon and ginger snaps
lunch on 30 Aug 2017: grilled chicken and edamame hummus roll ups with veggies, watermelon and ginger snaps
Add Something with Cute Packaging

I usually try to avoid food that is overly packaged, but some things are just too cute to pass up like GoGo Squeezes. They are kind of like baby food, but my big kids still like them.

lunch on 31 Aug 2017: peanut butter, Nutella and banana sandwich with peach applesauce, apples, and veggies
lunch on 31 Aug 2017: peanut butter, Nutella and banana sandwich with peach applesauce, apples, and veggies
Make a Sliders

My kids are crazy for any sandwich made on King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls, which are so soft and delicious. Every sandwich is more fun when it’s slider-sized.lunch on 1 Sept 2017: pepperoni and cheese sliders with veggies, white nectarines, and Goldfish grahams with candy coated chocolate sunflower seeds

lunch on 1 Sept 2017: pepperoni and cheese sliders with veggies, white nectarines, and Goldfish grahams with candy coated chocolate sunflower seeds