40 answers

Kindergarten Lunchbox Ideas

Hi All
My son is heading to kindergarten soon. His school does not have refridgeration for the lunches, but I have a little icepack. I need ideas for 2x snacks and lunch. It would be great to get a list going.........

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Well, I know when my daughter as well as my son started Kindergarten the school did not like for you to put any kind of sweets in there lunch box. I suggest fruit, veggies, and even cheese and crackers are good. They have really good individual packed things at trader joes and even Ralphs now for kids lunches. I even sent mini bagels with cream cheese with them. Good luck.

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Another idea is to freeze the drinks in the lunch box they will be nice and cold for lunch and they will keep the rest of the food cold as well. the other ladies have the same ideas that I had. Good luck!

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Hidden Valley Ranch sells the little individual containers of ranch dressing which are less messy than a reusable container. My daughter uses ranch on carrots,spinich, other vegetables and cold chicken nuggets. She also likes taking leftovers for lunch, such as cold salmon with rice, fried or baked chicken, tri tip. Hard boiled eggs are a big hit too because they are fun to peel. A halfway frozen water bottle works good to keep lunch cool...(if it's completely frozen it doesn't defrost by lunchtime). FYI, Lunchables are a big waste of money and packaging...just as easy to pack you own cheese, meat and crackers...

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As a teacher I really encourage parents to consider healthy treats that are in their natural state not a lot of processed foods. Some great ideas are: cheese, hard boiled eggs, raw vegetables (red and yellow bell peppers, jicama, spinach leaves, carrots, celery), fruit, nuts (but not peanuts due to allergies),etc. Try to avoid food with a lot of starches such as crackers, chips, fruit roll ups, cookies, etc. These create excess energy (and usually lack of concentration) that wear off quickly. These foods should survive being in a lunchbox with an ice pack.

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You can check out all the fast, easy and healthy recipes on www.weelicious.com. How about chicken, bean and cheese, quesadillas, summer vegetable pasta salad, banana bran muffins, rice and beans, nuts and raisins in a baggie, almond butter and jam on rice crackers (won't get soggy), whole fruit....and more...

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You should go to kraftfoods.com They have an entire section just for lunchboxes!

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I'm from Hawaii, so a couple of my suggestions may seem a little odd:

Snacks: Carrot sticks, celery sticks, black olives, grapes, apples, raisins, bananas, crackers (Teddy Grahams, Goldfish crackers, graham crackers, whole wheat Ritz, Cheez-its, etc), edamame (soybeans), cheese sticks, 100-calorie snack packs of anything, mandarin orange or mixed fruit cups and lowfat pudding cups (the kind that don't need refrigeration). I wouldn't recommend fruit snacks and sugary breakfast cereals unless he is going to be near a toothbrush--these foods lead to a higher rate of tooth decay. Raisins and cheese, on the other hand, actually help to fight bacteria in the mouth according to new research!

Lunches I typically make for my son: Grilled cheese, pasta (plain, boiled in water with a little salt) with chicken nuggets or Morningstar (vegetarian) items, scrambled eggs with soysauce and rice (his favorite), ground turkey and rice, quesadillas (sometimes with turkey or chicken), and I purchase a mini pizza from his school every Monday for him. Hope this helps! Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

My son has been on PB&J all through K and heading into 1st. I do send him with cold pizza every once in a while. The only thing I would really recommend is G2 (a Gatorade product) or Propel for a drink. I don't know about you, but I'm really picky about my son's sugar intake and these two have the least sugar of any of the boxed/bottled drinks out there, that I have found. Even the super natural stuff is full of sugar. They also have those 100 calorie packs of snacks and of course Wheat Thins. I also try to include one fruit or vegetable like grapes or baby carrots and one special treat like a fruit roll up or cookie.

3 moms found this helpful

peanut butter and jelly! that's a staple. bananas, sliced apples, grapes, carrot and celery sticks all stand the heat. pretzels, whole grain crackers (think wheat thins, triscuits) also work. cheese, crackers, and salami make a fun lunch. once in a while for a different lunch, the turkey and chedder cheese lunchables are a good choice-low fat, low sodium, high protein. lots of finger foods, basically, which is what they are into. costco carries alot of organic and no sugar added fruit snacks and granola bars for treats. caprisun makes flavored waters with no sugar in them, and juicyjuice makes all fruit juice, no sugar added juices in a variety of flavors. i know there is a birthday nearly every week in kindergarten, so my daughter got her sugar fix that way. hardboiled eggs can be out of the fridge for hours before being eaten, and leftovers from pizza or mac n cheese work well also. regular meat and cheese sandwiches are fine too, just watch the mayonaise if you're not sure how well your ice pack works(you don't want food poisoning). save tuna and egg salad sandwiches for the winter months. if you have a good thermos, you can send soup also, or hot chocolate when its cold and raining. these are all the things my daughter loved last year. hope they help you!

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Most lunch boxes these days are mini coolers, so your son's food should be fine if you stick an ice pack in there every day. Here are some snack ideas:

string cheese
soft pretzel
goldfish crackers
graham crackers
carrot sticks
granola bars
peeled orange
mini Babybel cheese
mini bagel w/ cream cheese
sunflower seeds
pretzel sticks
Pirate Booty
Trader Joe's fruit leather

As for lunch ideas, we usually do sandwiches, but depending on what your son likes to eat, you could include just about anything - quesadillas, soup, pasta, etc.

Good luck with Kindergarten!

3 moms found this helpful

Another thread that might help:
I would suggest sandwiches, but mix them up-turkey, pb&j, salami, ham, cheese, if you don't have much time you can buy the premade ssandwiches in the freezer section. Then I put in chunks of cheese with crackers, goldfish, or pretzelfish. For a fruit I put in a fruit cup-either peaches, oranges, or applesauce-you could do veggies if he'll eat them. And then a box drink.
Sometimes for fast alternatives I'll pack a lunchables with a fruit.
If I want to give him something special, I'll make mac n' cheese in an insulated bowl (bought it at Target $7-8), you can also put raviolis or anything you think he'll eat warm. My son's preschool won't heat stuff.
For snacks, you can do crackers with peanut butter, crackers with cheese, popcorn, fruit, yogurt, a cheese stick, cottage cheese or even a breakfast bar.
Just make sure you put a cold pack in if you send a dairy pack. Another suggestion, try to use recyclable containers-small hard Ziplock or a "sandwich box," otherwise, well if you're like me you'll feel bad about using 2-3 bags everyday, it seems like a waste.

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