View Full Version : Lunch suggestions for someone who HATES to pack lunch

01-25-2014, 02:20 PM
I'm that mom who is horrible at remembering to pack lunches/snacks so my kid tends to puppy eye others to see if they'll share their snacks. That works at one of our playgroups but we've got a weekly co-op now where I really should pack her something. I've got a rice and noodles girl who can't be bothered to eat a sandwich. Normally, I'd fall back on rice balls but cooking a fresh pot of rice butt early in the morning before rushing off to co-op? Um, no. (They're not so great when they're cold and hard.)

Aside from fresh fruit and veggie sticks, which she loves, I'm kind of stumped for ideas. Normally, I'd just throw up my hands but she does need to eat during the co-op break since that's normally our breakfast time when we're doing school at home. (She usually has a fried egg and sausage; all protein for this girl in the morning which seems to help with her concentration levels.)

Any suggestions?

01-25-2014, 03:16 PM
Is there a kitchen at co-op? We had access to the church kitchen and could warm things up and even cook some easy things.

My kids always have like Laughing Cow cheese, apples, nuts (almonds), tortillas rolled up with cheese and ham, pretzels.

01-25-2014, 03:22 PM
Getting a bento box can help. Then you know how much food to put in there, you know? You just keep putting in things until it's full. :p

I second nuts, cheese, tortillas with stuff - bean and cheese quesidillas go nicely... My boys aren't huge into sandwiches, but they'll eat sandwich meat rolled up. I stick leftovers in there as well - especially just cut up chicken breast or sausage.

01-25-2014, 03:26 PM
We do bento boxes OR one big community bag for the four of us (like rolls, a package of cheese and meat, box of something, etc.) Either way works. I find individual worked better at co-op because I was not necessarily eating with them and I wanted them to know what they were SUPPOSED to eat.

01-25-2014, 03:28 PM
Yeah, we also do the community bag a lot. But when I'm sending them off, I find the bento useful. The ones we had for a long time actually broke and I need to get new ones... which is why the ease was definitely on my mind.

01-25-2014, 03:36 PM
Ooo~h, bento box is a great idea. No kitchen available, unfortunately, but she may go with the sausage idea. (Must remember to get food picks! She'll eat anything with a fun animal shaped pick.)

01-25-2014, 03:36 PM
So could you just send a sausage-and-egg sandwich? Cook some of it ahead of time? We have a short thermos which I sometimes pack leftovers in, very handy.

01-25-2014, 03:41 PM
So could you just send a sausage-and-egg sandwich? Cook some of it ahead of time? We have a short thermos which I sometimes pack leftovers in, very handy.

I'd do the thermos thing except she's very much a nibbler. It can take her 2 hours to finish off her sausage and egg at home, which isn't an option at the co-op. At the end of the day, I'd be left with a half eaten egg and sausage, a hungry kid and that's IF I remembered that I'd sent a thermos with her in the first place. (I'm so bad at remembering that!) Of course, this could happen with her other food as well, *sigh* (This would be the other reason I hate packing food for her.)

01-25-2014, 04:04 PM
So it might be better to pack various snacks in her bag ahead of time - trader joes individual packs of nuts and trail mix? apple sauce packs . . . pretzels . . . a banana . . . oh, and a piece of sausage to eat in the car on the way

01-25-2014, 04:46 PM
My kids always ate a sausage biscuit on the way to co-op. That way they had breakfast as late as possible so they weren't melting down midmorning, before it was time for lunch.

01-25-2014, 05:09 PM
Yeah, our co-op doesn't eat lunch until 1. It's becoming a bit of an issue I think... But I have yoga just before. It's enough of a struggle to get out the door, much less make sure everyone had protein instead of just cereal and raisins.

01-25-2014, 05:12 PM
You could try; thinly sliced chicken with spinach and hummus wrap , peanut butter drizzled with honey & banana wrap , granola mix , yogurt, tuna/chicken salad with crackers, stuffed pita with her favorites, rice cakes with peanut butter. We are peanut butter fans! Lol

01-25-2014, 06:08 PM
Hard-boiled eggs? You can boil a dozen at a time, then mark an X on each one and put them back in the fridge. Grab-and-go as needed.

A meat-and-cheese wrap could be cut into pieces like on an appetizer tray, maybe she'd nibble on those?

01-25-2014, 06:25 PM
Goldfish crackers.
Ham & cheese cubes.
Bagel & cream cheese, cut into quarters.

Crabby Lioness
01-26-2014, 02:15 PM
It sounds like the problem isn't so much what you send as how slowly she eats. If you've got a nibbler it doesn't really matter what you pack, she's going to eat it too slowly for the time constraints. I've got a daughter like that, and the only thing that did any good was a growth spurt and the subsequent appetite increase.

That said, nuts will probably alleviate some of the issue.

01-26-2014, 03:22 PM
Yeah, as someone who has picky and slow eaters, my kids just can't eat much in a large group. Try to have your child eat as much protein before the co-op and finish the packed lunch after co-op. Only pack food you know she loves. Like last year my oldest was in school and stuff she would eat at home, she just didn't eat at school unless it was one of her favorites. And it wasn't that the kids in her class only ate junk food and she felt pressure not to eat her carrots or cucumbers. Some kids in her class had healthy packed lunches and did eat them. She has some social anxiety so I think eating food she loves is comforting for her in those situations.

01-26-2014, 04:07 PM
I am NOT a morning person...
That said, packing ds's lunch everyday is what gets me out of bed on time in the morning.
I have a lot of easy stuff ready or easy prep since it's done while I'm half awake. DS isn't a sandwich kid either except for pbj's. WHICH he cannot have at school as his school is " nut" free. But he does enjoy a jelly only sandwich. His thermos is his favorite... Noodle anything... Alfredo is the most most favorite :p I just make a double batch of it when he has it at home.... Then in the morning nuke it lava hot and in it goes. Add some fruit, cukes, drink , refill his water bottle, done.
He loves " homemade lunchables" ritz style crackers cheese/cheese stick,fruit, drink..etc

01-26-2014, 04:11 PM
I'd look at what she's scamming off the others at co-op and start there. If she's liking it enough to take from others, she'll most likely be able to eat it if you pack it.

When we did co-op, DD ate breakfast on the way in (30min drive), they broke for lunch between 11:45 & 12:15 and the kids had a half hour-ish to eat, and I always had leftover (hers &/or mine) in the lunch bag after co-op so she'd have something to snack on until dinner time. One of the things we always had with us was a 'trail mix' I made up myself: mixed nuts, craisins, small pretzels or crackers, and (sometimes) M&M's. If she didn't want it or couldn't finish what was in the bag, I'd just stick it in the fridge for another day. It's definitely easier to do this stuff when you've got an eater. Our friends with pickier kids or slower kids just kept a peanut butter sandwich and an apple on hand. It was probably easier for our group, too, because no one had allergy issues (other than me).

Did you ask your DD if she had any ideas? :)