KJ stays all day this year for three days a week at Pre-K. I’ve been sharing his lunches on Instagram(@hungryhobbyrd) and here and there on Friday Favorites, but I thought I’d pop in with a round-up.
A couple of things to note:
- He was a dairy-free baby/toddler. He ate so much peanut butter and jelly that he will probably never eat it again. So peanut butter and jelly is out, you won’t see any of that here!
- I don’t include anything with that delicious, wonderful processed powdered cheese – like goldfish or Annie’s bunnies because historically, he can’t tolerate it (insert poop emoji). He’s done better this year, but I’d rather not include it in his lunch on a regular basis. That being said, I don’t want y’all to think I have something fundamentally against those popular snack options OR that, somehow, veggie straws are a better option. They aren’t. It’s just a tolerance issue.
- My very loose formula is protein/fat + treat + grain carb + fruit + veggie.
- I work almost full-time, and I have three kids. I don’t have time to cut up shapes or make cute things. If you love to do that, then totally do it! If you don’t, don’t stress about it. He can’t read yet, so I also don’t send notes.
- I try to have him put his lunch together as much as possible, but sometimes I throw it together myself. I think getting him involved and having the responsibility is good. But he’s also four, so sometimes it’s easier for me to do it myself!
- I always make lunch the day before and keep it in the fridge.
- He never eats the vegetables, but I always put them in.
- I always include an Honest Juice Box or Chocolate Milk from Costco, but he hasn’t been drinking them, so I might stop doing that. These are often not pictured because I add them in the morning.
- I don’t buy treats just for the lunch box, but I include whatever we have. Let’s be honest, even when you don’t “purposely buy treats,” they still end up in your house all the time.
- I consider KJ an average eater for a 4/5 year old. He isn’t so picky he’s down to three foods or something, but he definitely has preferences!
- What I feed my kid may not be right for your kid! This is for inspirational purposes only! My kid has a ton of preferences that influence how I put together his lunches!
- Bentgo Lunchbox (we have another one you’ll see in the photos, but I wouldn’t recommend it!)
- Bentgo Lunchbag –> I like this lunch bag a lot for older kids, but this is kind of a heavy bag. I probably won’t buy the same one for KK next year.
- Six Pack Ice Pack
General things I keep on hand for lunches:
- Organic String Cheese (Costco)
- Grain-based snacks like veggie straws, Harvest Pea Crisps, Simple Mills almond flour crackers, and pretzels.
- Bars (for emergencies and for changing it up) – perfect bars, Lara bars, Trader Joe’s bars
(I ran out of veggies in the house!)
Lunch 13 – Justins Maple Almond Butter Pack, Uncured Honey Ham, Medjool Dates, Candy, Carrots, Saltine Crackers
Lunch 14 – Honey Ham, Carrots, Veggie Straws (Costco), candy, strawberries
Lunch 18 – Raisins, Chocolate Chip Cookies (Trader Joe’s), Veggie Straws (Costco), carrots, Hard Boiled Egg Whites (We tried this, and he said he’d rather eat hard boiled eggs at home because he likes to add a lot of salt. He did eat it though!)