Pls help w/ preschool lunch ideas

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by Safari, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. Safari

    Safari Well-Known Member

    The girls are starting preschool soon. 3 full days per wk. I need to provide lunch. They don't heat food, so it's either cold. Or I can put warm food in a thermos and hope for the best.

    What veggies work? I can't think of any veggies that my kids will eat raw. ideas please? or veggies that have been cooked, but then served cold?

    Most of the kids have divided tray type containers. never really looked for those, where can I find them?

    I remember reading about a tupperware sandwich maker. Does it work for most sandwiches (other than PB&J - since it's a NO peanut zone)?

    Any other suggestions about what to pack? I want them to have a healthy lunch, but I'm having a hard time figuring out ideas.

    Also, I have the option of a prepared lunch from a local company who will deliver it HOT to the school. It's $5 per lunch. That's $30 a week. Is that too much? Would I end up spending that much packing their lunch anyway?
  2. ljcrochet

    ljcrochet Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Good luck! For veggies, I'm thinking of sending my girls with celery, carrots and cucumbers. Stuff I know they will eat. lol
  3. Babies4Susan

    Babies4Susan Well-Known Member

    I don't have any good suggestions, other than cucumbers for veggies. I think my girls would eat cold cooked carrots too.

    We pay $30/month per child for hot lunch at daycare, so $60 month altogether. They go 3 days a week. So I think $30/week is pretty high since ours is half that price. I think you could pack it for cheaper than that.
  4. Safari

    Safari Well-Known Member

    Yeah, we live in the CA bay area. You'd cry if you heard HOW much $$$ I'm paying for daycare/preschool. Everything here is crazy expensive.

    i'm searching but not finding those divided lunch dishes. am i missing something obvious? all the kids had them today at lunchtime. are they the disposable kind from like gladware or something? why do things like this that should be simple, become so hard!?

    i know they won't eat raw carrots - they spit them out.

    any and all advice will be helpful. thanks!!!
  5. anicosia

    anicosia Well-Known Member

    We just spent the last eight weeks doing this. I was attending the summer session at the local college and they were going to the campus preschool/daycare. During the school year the local school district does the lunches but during the summer we're asked to bring our own.
    My girls love "cream cheese and jelly" sandwiches. Fruit whipped cream cheese and blackberry or strawberry jam.
    raw veggies (carrots and cucumbers) with ranch dip
    apple slices (we love the ones we get at costco that I get in a big box of small packs)
    ham and cheese rolls (I roll a slice of low sodium ham around a string cheese)
    apple sauce or fruit cups
    graham crackers (they love the shapes. bees, bears or sticks)
    toddler trail mix (cheerios, raisens and a few mini marshmallows or m&m's I like to throw in mini pretzels or goldfish on occasion)
    spahetti o's are good hot or cold
    Some kids will eat cold peas and carrots or green beans
    veggie puff snacks like veggie booty (there are others out there but I don't remember the name but I think they are veggie stix)
  6. ljcrochet

    ljcrochet Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Gerber and the first year both have take and toss reusuable trays/bowls.
  7. Tripsmommy

    Tripsmommy Well-Known Member

    for the thermos foods to stay warm I rinse them first w/ steaming hot water from the tap, wipe dry and insert about 6 chicken nuggets or mac n cheese. The boys tell me it stays warm. I do soup also, but my boys are older. not sure if that is something your girls are used to. I have one son that only does cheese sandwiches. and one that does turkey bologna. do they like spinach leaves? You could do a turkey cheese spinach tortilla wrap and slice it into 'wheels'?
    Okay, off to piano lessons...
  8. girlsxtwo

    girlsxtwo Well-Known Member

    My girls go two days per week and they have to take a lunch also. That was one of the hardest things for me to figure out. Here are some things I sent:

    Carrot slices with ranch dip
    Pickle slices
    Peanut butter/Jelly sandwiches
    Peanut butter crackers
    Vienna Sausages
    Ham slices
    Cheese slices
    Sometimes chips
    Diced peaches
    Mandarin Oranges
    Apple slices
    Lunchable Jr. or Lunchables with Ham, Cheese & Crackers
    Juice boxes

    Hope this helps. Also, I never used the divided dishes, I just used baggies.
  9. ceb023

    ceb023 Well-Known Member

    I have been looking for the divided dishes also. My boys start MDO in two weeks and their teacher recommends divided plastic containers instead of baggies. The only place I've found them is on the tupperwear website. I haven't ordered them yet because I was really hoping to just find something similar at a store somewhere. Here are the links to the tupperwear products:

    Tupperwear Lunch'n Things Container with lid

    Tupperwear Divided Dish with lid

    I also have friends that use the Laptop Lunches products for their kids. It looks like too many pieces to me, so I'm still going to try and find one container that's divided. But the website has a ton of great ideas for packing nutritious lunches. Here's the link:

  10. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    I got divided portion containers at Walmart. Gladware also makes some. Sandwich keepers are also at Walmart & Target (my DH uses them!!

    I would suggest:

    yogurt w/granola or other add-ins
    green/red pepper slices (my girls love them w/ dip)
    Spagettios (has tomato)
    tomato slices & diced tomatoes
    cold corn (it is good!)
    pea pods (again my girls love them!- crunchy & sweet)
    hummus & crackers
    pita roll up
    fresh fruit (keep cool w/ a cooler pack)
    pretzels & other snacky foods
    cheese sticks or shapes
    Mac n cheese (my girls will eat this cold)
    trail mix (w/o nutes- KIX, pretzels, raisins, cheerios)

    I think you can absolutely make lunches cheaper than 30$ a week! I would do it as a treat or if you dont have time to make them...but that is super expensive over making them from scratch.

  11. kma13

    kma13 Well-Known Member

    We send lunch to school too. I find that they are tolerant of cold food no matter what the food is.

    We send sandwiches with fruit and 'trail mix' (cereal and raisins or craisins) and carrot or zucchini sticks and edamame
    or chik'n' nuggets, or veggie dogs. We also are nut free so we do cream cheese and jelly roll-ups on a tortilla or banana and cream cheese.

    Mac and Cheese with peas mixed in (the annies whole wheat kind)

    Bagels with cream cheese or pizza bagels/muffins

    Cheese sticks

    we freeze yogurt sticks and send them

    We use thermos brand foogo drink containers which keep the milk cold all day (its shocking).
  12. egoury

    egoury Well-Known Member

    I have to pack lunches and it's peanut free and only dairy. I find that they don't eat a ton because they are distracted by the other kids and everything going on. I just make it nice and simple...a sandwich which i split between them (cream cheese and jelly or butter, tunafish, egg salad, cheese, etc), a yogurt smoothie (danimals), grapes, juice or water, and maybe a few chips (100 calorie bags are nice and easy). I would avoid desserts because they will just eat those first and not eat the other foods. As far as giving veggies, I have tried and they don't tend to eat much of them. They do have the packages in the store such as carrots with ranch dressing which we've tried. I would stick with the simple and understand that they will need to pretty much be able to open and put it all together. The teachers can only do so much and their lunchtime is typically pretty short.

    Also, most of the containers I sent with lunches don't wind up coming back home so it's easier to just use disposable ones.
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