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I’ve been packing lunch boxes now since the beginning of August. Both boys get one because that way I can control what they eat at home, school and daycare.  Eric still isn’t sure he likes taking his own lunch, unless I put something special in.  I think he’d rather be like the other kids and just eat what K serves for lunch.  (I am sure K has seen a drop in her grocery budget, because I saw a big spike in mine!)

Nathan’s all-time favourite lunch is GFCF Hot Dogs & El Peto hot dog buns.  (with ketchup and mustard, don’t forget mommy)  He only gets it once or twice a month and I try to time it with the Hot Dog Day they have at school every other Thursday.

We used to send Peanut Butter & Jelly, but the “peanut-free school” letter came home last week, so I guess another kid has appeared with a peanut allergy.  It’s too bad for Nathan because that was one of the surefire ways to get protein in him at lunch. 

There are 2 essentials for a lunch box in my opinion.  One is a wide mouthed thermos container. The other is a reusable juice box.  Rubbermaid makes a great one.

We use the thermos to send the previous night’s leftovers or macaroni I’ve made in a panic in the morning.  Simply fill the thermos with hot water, heat the leftovers to “hot hot”, dump out water and fill the thermos.  Lunch will be piping hot.  The reusable juice box gives you an opportunity to send enzymes or other supplements hidden in his juice.  We sneak extra GSE in this way also.  You have to keep it very cold, so I throw in 2-3 ice cubes, then juice, then into the freezer for an hour – about the time we have in the morning.

Here are some great lunch box filer ideas:

Baby carrots & sugar snap peas
Homemade applesauce
Pre-peeled & sectioned oranges
You could also send a dip with these, Nathan doesn’t like them.
For a sweet treat:
Donut muffins

My lunch box formula is: Main course, 1 vegetable, 1 fruit, 1 drink, 1 sweet.  I try to avoid all pre-packaged snacks for school lunch because he always has 1 granola-type bar in his backpack for “extra” in case he is hungry.

Don’t forget the spoon (and whatever vitamins or enzymes you send)!