It’s that time of year again when school lunch making becomes part of the daily tasks. It can be daunting when you see pictures of perfectly heart shaped sandwiches and six options for snacks and lunch in bento boxes. What happened to the paper bag lunches that I grew up with?
Making lunches doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive!
In earlier posts, I’ve talked about tips for grocery shopping on a budget. Today’s post provides some ideas for inexpensive lunch ideas.
Children need a variety of food options throughout their week but that doesn’t mean they need a gourmet lunch. Here are some low-cost easy meals to make for your school-aged child:
Macaroni and cheese: This can be leftover from dinner the night before. All you need is macaroni, milk and cheese. Add a vegetable and voila!, you have lunch.
Boiled egg, crackers and apple slices: Boiled eggs are easy to make in batches and keep in the fridge. Send it peeled so it is easier for your child to eat. Add some whole grain crackers and cut up an apple and you have yourself a balanced meal.
Black bean quesadillas: You can make these the morning of or the night before and let them cool before you pack them. Use whole wheat tortillas and fill them with black beans, cheese and peppers. You can pan fry them or put them in a microwave.
Pancakes, berries and yogurt: Give them breakfast for lunch! The berries can be frozen or you can use applesauce. Make a big batch of pancakes on the weekend and put them in the fridge for use throughout the week for breakfast or lunch.
Good ol’ PB & J: Don’t forget about the classic peanut butter and jam sandwich. Add a fruit cup and some carrot sticks and you have a full lunch.
There you go, one full week of school lunch ideas on a budget.
Always send water for a drink, there is no need for juice at lunch (or anytime really). Water is the only thing they need to stay hydrated. The exception to this is if your child’s school has a milk program and they receive milk at lunch. Then they can drink their water throughout the rest of the day.
To learn more about how you can help ensure more children in Calgary receive lunches in the summer months, check out About I Can for Kids.