Ideas for "Cold Lunch Box" Lunches Anyone?

Updated on May 01, 2008
N.P. asks from New Lenox, IL
4 answers

Anyone have any ideas for lunch box type meals? In a few months my kids will be trying a morning program which requires them to bring a lunch box. We typically have warm meals so I need to start getting them used to it. Also, the items should be somewhat feasible for a 2-3 year old to handle. Also, we haven't had peanut butter/nuts yet and probably won't until closer to 3.

Thanks in advance for your ideas!

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answers from Chicago on

N P,
I always make sure they have a fruit (dole fruit cups are great, but putting cut up apples, peeled oranges or grapes are easy and less expensive), I give them a yogurt or drinkable yogurt, then I give them a sandwich or something as the main dish. My daughter isn't much for sandwiches so I bought a little thermos (at jewel, it has a top that holds a little spoon and then a second unscrew top that opens up the thermos, i think it may be 8-10 oz. big so it doesn't fit a lot but offers you to give them soup, spaghettiO's or what ever else you find.) My five year old likes tuna fish with mayo no bread. I just put it in a little through away tupperware thingy and it is perfect. Turkey is one of the easiest to bite out of a sandwich other meats like salami may be hard to bite but most of my kids don't like sandwiches so I roll turkey up with cheese and bag that up. A great little thing I found was smooshing bread flat putting some deli meat on it 1-2 slices and then roling that around a cheese stick, cut into bit size pieces. Yummy. I also give them bagel sandwiches. My oldest loves the square bagels. I put cream cheese on both sides close it up, wrap it in wax paper, then aluminum then in a bag. I have also given my oldest a chicken pattie sandwich. I believe it's tyson makes a chicken patty (it's frozen, four come in a box). I heat it up in the microwave for a minute and 30 seconds. Place it on a hamburger bun with a little ketchup. I wrap it the same way as I do the bagel. My son says it stays some what warm and he just uses a brown paper bag. Of course we give a juice box and I give a type of crunchy thing like a packet of gold fish or ritz crackers then last but not least a cookie or fruit snack pack for dessert. In some kids lunches I put baby carrots about 4-5 with some ranch dressing into one of those little throw away tupperware things again so they can dip, not all my kids will eat carrots-braces. Have fun.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Chances are your program may have a "no peanuts" rule, so start testing alternatives like sesame and almond butter (yummy! They carry it in big containers at Costco too.)

Here are a few thoughts, but it helps on some of these that my kid doesn't mind the food not being warm. (I pack a cold pack in the box to keep it cool). I've found that variety is good - several small items instead of one big sandwich, for example

- leftover pizza cut in little squares
- wraps made on flour tortillas (you can put anything inside you'd put on a sandwich - cream cheese is a good mayo substitute)
- bean burrito made with flour tortilla, canned refried beans, grated cheese
- fresh fruit
- string cheese
- yogurt
- assemble-it-yourself sandwiches with crackers and cheese or whatever
- celery stuffed with cream cheese (raisin ants optional)
- veggies and dip, if your child can take the lid off the dip and is past choking age. I mix Paul Newman ranch dressing with plain yogurt to make my own fast dip
- chicken nuggets and ketchup (again, if they don't mind it not hot - my kids don't. My son is vegetarian, so they are soy chicken nuggets)
- hot dog (same note as above)
- bagel or english muffin instead of bread sandwich
- "spaceship" sandwich - made with one of those crust cutter-offer devices.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My daughter's favs are: bagel and cream cheese and either soy or sunflower butter (from Trader Joes) and jelly. I will add a packet of pretzels, applesauce a banana or yogert tube. Her preschool puts all lunches in a refrigerator, so I don't need to worry about cold packs. Also, there is a kid in my daughter's class that has severe nut allergies. So, no nuts of any kind are allowed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My 3 year old LOVES peanut butter and jelly on crackers..Like a sandwich on crackers with some cut up carrots..

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