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.

 

Counting the Days

fruit salad with Nutella and strawberry jam sandwich and tapioca pudding

The kids are now counting the days until the end of school. They’re so ready for this year to be over. They don’t even bother making suggestions for their lunches. “What do you feel like having for lunch tomorrow?” “Uh, I dunno.” “How about a sandwich?” “Uh, we’ve been having kind of a lot of sandwiches lately?” It’s come to this: the kids have lost interest in lunch. Three more weeks of school left: we’ll just have to power through.

yogurt with honey, chia seeds and strawberries, carrots, cherry tomatoes and applesauce
lunch on 19 May 2016: yogurt with honey, chia seeds and strawberries (Iain’s yogurt has peanut butter on top), carrots, cherry tomatoes and applesauce
cherries, grapes, applesauce, granola bar and tropical trail mix
lunch on 18 May 2016: cherries, grapes, applesauce, granola bar and tropical trail mix
pepperoni, cheese and crackers with fruit salad and applesauce
lunch on 17 May 2016: pepperoni, cheese and crackers with fruit salad and applesauce
fruit salad with Nutella and strawberry jam sandwich and tapioca pudding
lunch on 16 May 2016: fruit salad with Nutella and strawberry jam sandwich and tapioca pudding

Snacky Momables Lunch

lunch on 25 Mar 2015: snacky lunch of delicious small bites
lunch on 25 Mar 2015: snacky lunch of delicious small bites
lunch on 25 Mar 2015: snacky lunch of delicious small bites

Yesterday, I decided to do a snacky Lunchables-inspired lunch box for the kiddos. They just love lunches of delicious small bites: slices of pretzel bread with sharp cheddar cheese, ham, carrots, cornichons (oh, those sour little beauties), crazy red farmers market strawberries and a fluffy marshmallow for the treat.