I was emailed this week about the containers I use and if I send them to school as is. I have several containers, Bento, Ziplock Lunch kits and others that have been collected over the years. To answer the question, no I do not send as is, I place each container in a soft lunch bag that the kids can easily carry. Two lunch boxes? YES, here me out.
It makes better clean up for them, when they are rushed to leave the tables they don’t always get the time to stack tops within each other and so forth. Does that mean they cram it into their soft lunch bag? Yes, yes it does. Does that mean you’ve got a mess to deal with? Yup, but think of it this way- If you’ve been using my tips on keeping to small portions, ( several options, just small portions) you really don’t have much at all to worry about. I think the only one thing that’s made a mess was a tablespoons worth of dressing that leaked around the bag when they didn’t put the top on it correctly. This would be better than your child rushing to get his lunch cleaned up and having to carry it all in his arms and possibly dropping it all to the ground. So my lunch box tips are coming to you before my recipe here they are –
So here are my tips-
- Pick a soft or hard cased lunch box.
- Pick your containers which can be separate or a Bento, or lunch kit. Make sure they fit easily into the lunch bag you picked.
- Keep this simple , you do not need to pack 7 containers, if you scroll back over the days of this challenge you will see it’s kept very easy for the kids. I think the most they had to open was 4.
- Make sure the kids can open and close everything with ease. Just like you prepare a kindergartner to open their juice boxes and snack items, this is the same thing.
- Keep any dressings or dips to a small amount. The more you send the more chance it’s coming back in a messy way.
- Encourage the kids to make sure everything is closed up if they didn’t finish their lunch, but be ok if it comes back crammed into the lunch bag in a mess. We all know kids are messy, so be ok with it. It’s not the end of the world.
Today’s recipe is Crazy Red Beans & Rice. Get a little crazy with what you put into this. My kids enjoy different things, salsa, different cheese, chopped vegetables. Depends on their mood. You will need to pack this in a thermos but this is again a leftover lunch box.
Crazy Red Beans and Rice.
1/ 2 cup of mushrooms
1 cup of cooked rice
2 cups red kidney beans
1 1/2 chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper of choice
salt and pepper to taste
heat a skillet over medium high heat. Coat pan with oil and add in the mushrooms. Cook till slightly brown set aside add in your onions and cook till cooked tender. Add in pepper till tender then add back in mushrooms. Add in the rest of the ingredients and heat till cooked through. It will be about 15 minutes. Cook this for dinner and save left overs.
My kids like to add in different things so have whatever their favorite is on the side, whether it be salsa, cheese, chopped vegetables. Keep this in a warm thermos and serve with something light. I served it with a sliced plum and with the Applesauce Fruit Bars, instead of making them bars I rolled them up. Find that recipe here.