A Week of Lunches

This week I did an “instagram takeover” for @LalaLunchbox — a really cool meal-planning app for kids and parents that I highly advise checking out — and had a few revelations about the process, none of which, amazingly, involve the state of my mental health. 1) Phoebe, my 13-year-old, is content to have a turkey and cheddar sandwich with mustard every single day of her life. 2) Abby, my 11-year-old, seems to be a strict lunchtime vegetarian. 3) If we have dinner leftovers, the girls are 90% more likely to pack their own lunches. 4) We are doing pretty well with the no-waste thing, thanks to a few key reusable containers.

Here’s what you’re looking at above (clockwise from left): Trader Joe’s organic baked beans in a small Thermos (it’s old; this is the closest I could find), salt & vinegar potato chips in a KidsKonserve container (one from a pack of three), and a just-picked apple from the weekend’s orchard visit; Chopped up mozzarella and tomatoes with baguette slices in a LunchBot (sandwiches are “not my thing,” says Abby. But bruschetta…); Cucumber slices with ginger-miso dressing, a Nature’s Bakery Fig Bar, and leftover buttery noodles, all packed in a BuiltNY bag (here’s a similar one); Phoebe’s famous turkey, cheddar, and whole-grain mustard on a ciabatta roll, inside a Lunchskin; and Snapea Crisps, another apple, and a quartered cheddar quesadilla, which Abby will use to scoop up leftover dinner salsa.

And here’s something fun: Nature’s Bakery got in touch with me after seeing one of their fig bars in the feed and now wants to give away five six-pack boxes to one lucky DALS reader. (Who said social media was ruining us? Oh yeah, I did!) All you have to do to be eligible is follow them on instagram (@naturesbakery) and comment on a photo with the tag #dinneralovestory. Deadline is Monday, October 5 at 5:00pm ET and (sorry!) US and Canada residents only. Thanks Nature’s Bakery!

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Thanks for these great suggestions. Although I’ve been making school lunches for years, this fall I found myself in a complete lunch rut and am glad to have some new ideas.