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Creating Variety in Back to School Lunches (Freezer Recipes)

The “Mom New Year” is in full swing and with it has come a torrent of questions about how to handle school lunches. Exacerbated mothers the world over are starring at brown paper bags and plastic boxes asking themselves yet again, what do I pack TODAY in this lunch box? It can be overwhelming can’t it? With so many schools going to no nut lunch rooms the old stand by of peanut butter and jelly just won’t cut it. So what is a mom to do?

Well, don’t whine, cry or throw a fit. We have some solutions for you. Here are some tried and true Once A Month Mom recipes (which means that you can make them ahead and freeze them) that can easily be put in a lunch box. You might want to invest in a thermos, reusable hot/cold packs or something similar for keeping some of the items warmed if your child doesn’t have access to a microwave.

Main Course Ideas:

This 30+ page eCookbook is FILLED with recipes that are perfect for your kids lunches (and your toddlers). Simply put the individual mac and cheese cups, spaghetti o’s or homemade cheesy rice in a heated thermos or next to a heated pack to keep warm until lunch time. In addition to great main dish recipes there are several snack recipes that would be PERFECT for lunch boxes as well, granola bars and homemade yogurt.

Black Bean Salsa Quesadillas. (or also Corn & Chile Quesadillas) Great as a filler either hot or cold. If heating, heat them in microwave until steaming and then wrap them up with a hot pack.

Buffalo Chicken Wraps

Most wraps freeze well and can then thaw out in the lunch box in the morning. These are my favorite, but then again, maybe your kid doesn’t like spicy buffalo sauce. You might try some with rice like the Chicken Curry Wraps or Bacon Hashbrwon Wraps (what is wrong with breakfast for lunch) or Chicken Burritos to name a few.

Pizzas! What kid doesn’t like pizza. Yes, some are picky about them being HOT, others are not. If your child will eat a Pizza Lunchable then they will surely eat a cold pizza. Sometimes you just need to think outside of the norm. These pita pizzas are a great way to go, english muffin pizzas or even a buffalo chicken pizza for a child after my own heart.

Side Items:

Make your own yogurt tubes, freeze them and then pack them for lunches. They should be mostly thawed by lunch and ready to be eaten. You can also thaw them the night before in the refrigerator if you would like.

Homemade Applesauce. Make this ahead and freeze it, thaw it the night before in the refrigerator or simply pack it for the kids to have an extra cold snack. Or consider making it into Go-Gurt style tubes.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Blueberry Breakfast Cookies

Breakfast cookies are the way to go too! These are packed with more nutritious things than your average chocolate chip cookie but your kids will think they are eating cookies non-the-less. Here is a traditional version (with gluten) too.

Various fruit salads like this frog eyed salad are good for freezing and packing in lunches too! There are so many on several of the Once A Month Mom menus, simply do a little search.

And if these don’t appeal to you they are just a “taste” of recipes that work well with school lunches. You can find more under the kid-friendly tag on the recipes page. Take a look yourself! And here are some additional ideas from 2010.

Good luck! And feel free to share your kids’ favorite tried and true lunch snacks with us!


6 Responses to “Creating Variety in Back to School Lunches (Freezer Recipes)”

  1. Lynsey says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I am a fairly new subscriber so it was really helpful to point out past recipes. My daughter gets so sick of the “same old, same old” that I am in the habit of putting in her lunch. Maybe this will help!

  2. QuatroMama says:

    LOVE! Gracias, Amiga!

  3. This packing a lunch thing is brand new to me, too! I appreciate the recipe round-up. And frog-eye salad … YUMMM.

  4. Oh, how I needed to read this today! I’m slacking on lunch ideas so this was the perfect thing for me today.

  5. Yvone says:

    Thanks for the fun ideas! My daughter is starting kindergarten next week! She already found out there is a peanut allergy in her class, so these recipes will really help!

  6. Jennifer says:

    hm… my child doesn’t want to pack his lunch, but you know what? I pack mine! And I have access to a microwave, what with being a grown-up and all. These ideas will be great for me! Thanks!

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