Lunchbox Food for Preschool?

June 28, 2006

Ariana, my oldest daughter, will be starting preschool this fall (sob!)  The kids bring lunches from home, so I need some ideas about what to send.  I’ve always cooked hot lunches for my girls at home, and I figure I’ll need to introduce lunchbox foods to Ariana for a while in advance so she can get used to eating that type of food.

But what on earth do I fix?  I don’t want to get her started on the unhealthy, overly processed stuff I ate when I was a kid – Lunchables, packaged snacks, etc.  Besides PB&J on whole wheat, what other foods are healthy and work in a lunchbox?  I do have a few ideas of my own to share, but I’d love to hear more ideas from y’all.

  • peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread
  • fruit (sliced apples, grapes, bananas, berries)
  • veggies (carrots, celery…um…out of ideas here)
  • homemade quickbreads (zucchini, banana, pumpkin)
  • home-cooked turkey or chicken breast on whole wheat
  • cheese cubes
  • nuts
  • yogurt cup, chilled
  • granola

As you can see, I’m a little short on “main course” ideas.  Any suggestions?  (Oh, and don’t mind me: I’m just trying to stall freaking out over my oldest starting school, so I’m obsessing about school lunches for now.)

On a similar note, the “Beyond Organic” radio show did a whole hour on food marketing and kids that’s a real eye-opener (you can listen to the show at that link.)  That show was the kick in the seat I needed to get me really thinking about what my kids eat and how they’re being marketed to (no more cartoon-themed processed foods in our house!)