Thursday, March 7, 2013

We (. . .well, I ) Love Sending In My Kids' Lunch For School

I know I was just talking about how important it is for kids to be able to take part in breakfast and lunch at school.  But for us, taking lunch to school is our best option right now.
I love being able to send in my kids' lunches for school.  It helps save us money and I can be almost sure of what they're eating, since anything that they don't eat still comes home in the container.  They still haven't started ditching stuff in the trash at school to "hide" it from us!    I love that the schools are in the process of changing over to healthier options for lunch, but they're still not completely there yet.  Plus, as I said, sending lunch saves us money.  Between both kids, the school lunches will cost us at least $110 per month once they are both there full-time.  That is actually a pretty good price, but we can still do it a little cheaper on our own.  I would love to still be able to fit their lunches into our household food budget instead of having it as an extra budget item each month.
But, we have been doing something lately that I'm ashamed of.  It's horrible.  We've been buying bottled water.  I had gone so many years without buying bottled water.  I don't want to be littering landfills and I don't think they can always recycle plastic efficiently.  So, it actually hurts my heart that I've been buying them lately.  It has really been a matter of convenience. 
The problem is that I don't really have any reusable water bottles that I like.  I've had several that I've gotten from different charity sites, but the mouths on them are narrow and I truthfully don't trust that they're BPA free.  I believe they were all aluminum, which of course you're not supposed to drink out of, so they add some kind of plastic lining.  The bottles are possibly unsafe and hard to clean because of those narrow mouths.  I can't stand the narrow mouths!
The thing is that I used to send fruit/vegetable juice boxes in with the kids' lunches.
  But, now I wanted to stop sending in juice because I just don't like that even the juices with the vegetable blends have a lot of sugar.  So, I wanted to start sending water, but I need to find a good BPA-free, wide mouth bottle that won't come open in their lunch boxes.
I think next year it will become part of their chores to make their own lunches.  Now, I still do it for them.  Since I'm trying to make sure they have enough protein, my kids take a lot of nuts, seeds and beans along with carrots and/or apple slices, plus sometimes cheese and whole grain crackers.  We have hot thermoses, so sometimes we send pasta or tomato soup.  I really need to find a good tomato soup that doesn't use high fructose corn syrup, though.  And every now and then, I break down and send in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  I try to use the lower sugar jellies though and we always use whole grain bread.  My kids have always eaten whole grain everything thankfully and don't know a difference.
I truthfully feel like we're in a rut with what we send in.  My son is pretty picky.  So, he always asks for carrots, apples and whatever the "main" thing is.  I think we need to broaden our horizons a bit and get some more unique things in the lunch boxes.  There are a lot of great blogs and websites that have lunch ideas.  I'll have to look into those.
I always try to make sure their morning snack (they both have their snack in the morning) is high in protein to make sure they still keep their focus.
Do you send in your kids' lunches or do you let them buy at school?  I think they are both great options.  Sending lunch is just the best option for us right now.  It might not always be.

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The Quirky Homemaker

The Quirky Homemaker

Who IS The Quirky Homemaker from HBHL?

I'm that girl who went to college on scholarship, lost that scholarship after the first year, changed majors 5 times, started working full time to pay for college, ended up with a degree in fashion. . . that girl who met a boy on a cruise who she eventually fell in love with and moved 1100 miles away from home and family to be with. . . that girl who believes in Jesus, but married a man who isn't sure what to believe. . .then had kids with him. . .who are a perfect combination of us both. . . Lord, help us all. . . the girl who is still trying to figure life out. . . whose life, like this blog is constantly evolving. . . that girl who cooks for relaxation, is never organized, always had her nose in a book while growing up. . . who is afraid of heights, but married a BASE jumper. . .that girl who grew out her gray hair and is trying to be the fittest of her life in her 40's. . . that girl who would rather do crafts and sew, than fold the laundry or clean the mud off the floor. . . yeah, I'm that girl

DISCLOSURE: I am not a doctor, nutritionist or chemist. The things that I post to this site are usually experiments I do that may or may not work for me (I will always let you know which way) . Nothing I post is meant to treat any condition that you may have. You should always ask your own doctor's opinion on any condition that you may have. If you try anything from my site, you do so at your own risk. I'm an experimenter, always trying to make my own way. That's my thing. I'm happy if you find inspiration here. Life for me is always about creativity.