Introducing: Made In A Pinch – Lunch Bunch!

Can I just be really honest for a moment? I am now in the home stretch before summer break starts, and I CAN’T WAIT to stop packing lunches!  Seriously, I can’t wait! By this time of year, I feel drained of any creativity or inspiration.  Like my kids, I’m running on fumes and am ready for a change in routine.

Maybe you can relate to this:  I’m resorting to PB&J sandwiches and chips (or something equally as blah and fast) just to get by.  By now I’ve also usually given up on using the environmentally friendly and reusable lunch containers I have because I’m tired of cleaning them.  Instead, I often opt for sandwich baggies that the kids can throw away.

However, this year I made a promise to myself to use those lunch containers until the very end. Although using those plastic bags saves a little time and effort, I decided that it was more important to do my part to help the environment.

I am still following through on my promise about the lunch containers, but I am finding that my creativity for interesting lunches is gone!  I’m back to PB&J or bagels with cream cheese. I’m grateful that my kids love bagels, but even they are getting sick of the monotony.

Early in the school year, I began taking pictures of lunches that I felt were more creative.  I knew myself well enough to know that I would get to April and be mentally drained.  I wanted to create a catalog of ideas, so to speak, that I could refer to when I ran out of motivation.

The result of that effort is that I now have 16 ideas for lunches to refer back to.  And that means I have a collection of ideas to share with you!  I hope these 16 ideas help get you to the end of the school year with some variety!

Let’s walk through the ideas, shall we?

Group 1:

  • Top Left: Blueberry muffin, Greek yogurt (sweetened with a tsp of honey) and homemade granola, Cheeze-its and apple slices.
  • Bottom Left: Bologna “lunchable”: (bologna, cheese slices and crackers), watermelon, homemade popcorn, yogurt covered raisins and 3 dark chocolate pretzels as a treat.
  • Right: Pizza on an English muffin (sauce is already added), salami and cheese for the pizza, strawberries and blueberries, organic white cheddar bunnies, and dark chocolate covered pretzels as a treat.


Group 2:

  • Left: pepperoni “pizza” quesadilla with carrots, apple slices, and vanilla wafers as a treat.
  • Top Right: Turkey roll-up: (turkey, cheddar cheese, guacamole, and lettuce), freshly popped popcorn, watermelon and dark chocolate pretzels.
  • Bottom Right: Nachos!  Tortilla chips, guac (partially hidden under the chips), salsa, black beans, and cheese, all with raspberries and grapes.

Group 3:

  • Left: Greek yogurt (sweetened with a tsp of honey) and homemade granola, apple slices with peanut butter, dark chocolate covered pretzels
  • Top Right: Ham Rollup (cream cheese, ham, cheddar cheese, and lettuce), grapes, regular flavor Snap Pea Crisps (we call them Lentil Snaps), and dark chocolate covered pretzels
  • Bottom Right: PB&J rice cake “sandwich”, Onion Thyme flavored Lentil Snaps, applesauce, and a Cliff Z-bar in case he needed a little more or a snack.

Group 4:

  • Upper Left: Bologna “lunchable” (bologna, cheddar cheese, Organic Triscuits), apple slices, yogurt-covered raisins, and dark chocolate peels.
  • Lower Left: cheese quesadilla with sour cream, apple slices, edamame, and Pirate’s Booty
  • Right: French bread pizza (with sauce already on bread, and shredded Monterey Jack cheese on the side), apple slices, yogurt covered raisins, dark chocolate peels.

Group 5:

  • Top Left: bagel with peanut butter, Greek yogurt (with 1 tsp honey) and homemade granola, Onion Thyme Lentil Snaps, grapes
  • Bottom Left: bologna “lunchable” (bologna, cheddar cheese, Whole Grain Ritz crackers), grapes, granola bites (left over from a camping trip), and dark chocolate peels
  • Right: Turkey sandwich with cheese, a Babybel cheese wheel (can’t see it well), grapes and raspberries, Onion Thyme Lentil Snaps (their fav flavor), dark chocolate peels as a treat.

If you are anything like me, I’m guessing that you also are feeling stuck in the monotony of packing school lunches.  If that’s true, then good news!  Try these ideas to help add a little variety and finish the school year on a strong note.  Try these ideas and let us know how you like them.

Tell us…what are your go-to’s for school lunches?

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