15 Apr
Bon Appetit, From My Lunch Box to Yours

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My daughter is in kindergarten this year, and wants me to pack her lunch every day. I think it’s a good idea to do this, too, since I don’t like the food in the cafeteria, but I’m running out of ideas of what to put in her lunch bag. She’s pretty picky, but there has to be something that’ll make her happy.   Help!




Dear PBJ Mom,

I guess it depends on whether you are a Mrs. Brady type mom or a Roseanne Barr type mom.

If you are a Mrs. Brady type mom, why are you even writing in this question? Isn’t packing your kid’s lunch your housekeeper’s problem?

If you are a Roseanne Barr type mom then you simply throw a pack of Malboros into your child’s lunch box. On Tuesdays pack menthols for variety.

But, if you are a Type A mom like me, the challenge is less black and white. How many ways can you slather a piece of bread before you want to slit your wrist with the serrated knife out of boredom?

I recommend utilizing a soup thermos, especially during the cooler months. Take this a step further by getting on your Julia Child and filling it with homemade soups. This really makes you look like a superior mother to all those other kindergartners. Type B moms can fill a thermos with Chef Boyardee ravioli, but really, all that says to the other kids is your child will attend state college and not Ivy League. (Those Lunchables are even worse and say technical college, so watch out for those.)

I also recommend Fit & Fresh containers.* I use them in my kids’ lunch boxes and adore them. I can easily pack fresh fruit and yogurt, salads…you get the idea; healthy foods that will not only make me look like mother of the year but ensure a Harvard scholarship too. On top of those fringe benefits, you’ll also use fewer plastic sandwich bags, so it’s like you’re Eco-Mom of the Year with future Ivy League genius.   For anal-retentive moms, there is no higher dream.

So, PBJ Mom, I hope that has given you some alternative lunchbox ideas. Write us back and let us know how it goes. We’d love to know if your daughter enjoys homemade shrimp bisque, or prefers the menthol over slims.


Heather, TMH

*TMH was not compensated in any way to mention Fit & Fresh products.   At least, this Mouthy Housewife wasn’t. Kelcey and Wendi have been looking mighty fit and fresh lately.

20 Responses to “Bon Appetit, From My Lunch Box to Yours”


Comment by Jen.

I’m a bad mother, and I enjoy it. 😉 I can’t be bothered to make lunches – that’s what school lunch is for and I’m more than willing to pay for it. If my kindergartner wants to pack a lunch, that’s fine, but she has to do it. I have to OK what goes in there, but she has to do all the work of putting it together. I have enough to do. It makes life easier on me, and she can’t complain about what’s in her lunch, either (and since she can complain about ANYTHING that makes my life easier, too!)


Comment by Sophie, Inzaburbs.

I have seen our school lunches. They are disgusting. My children want to eat them on the days they get !fries! which is actually about one day in two. I figure it can’t do much harm and on the other days they get what is basically a bag of snacks. I gather up all the healthy snacks they will consent to eat, add something less healthy, check there is some protein (I have been known to throw in a slice of ham in a sandwich bag) and forget about it. I gave up experimenting when I realized my carefully packed, well-thought out lunches were going straight into the trash.
Oh, and I have been the ravioli in a thermos route, let’s not talk about it 🙂


Comment by LadySteele.

My Kindergartener’s lunch is a conglomeration of pre-packaged foods. She gets an uncrustable sandwich, and two 100-calorie treats of her choice. She usually goes with baked Cheetos and Oreo thins. I make her take an applesauce or mini carrots, but I’m pretty sure she never touches the healthy stuff. Like Sophie, I figured out early in the process that it doesn’t matter what I pack or how creative the sandwich is, most of it doesn’t get eaten anyway. Lucky for me, my kid could eat the same thing five days in a row and not get tired of it. She gets that from her Dad. Thank heavens I married well!


Comment by the mama bird diaries.

mini whole bagels with butter or cream cheese
mini yogurts
cut-up apple
string cheese
turkey and cheese roll-ups

Heather Reply:

Kelcey, I guess my kids will see your kids at Harvard, no?


Comment by Erin at Im Gonna Kill Him.

I try to encourage repetitive eating so that I can enjoy the many benefits of bulk cooking and leftovers. I want Kelcey as a mom, I know that much. That’s some awesome lunch. She’s raising Fruitarians over there. I am a big fan of lightly salted Edamame as well as avocado slices (though these can go gnarly if exposed too long).


Comment by Mommy on the Spot.

I think anything in a roll up is a great change of pace. my kid LOVES peanut butter and banana roll ups.

Take a whole wheat tortilla, slather peanut butter, put in a banana, and roll up.


Comment by Pollyanna.

Who cares if your kid likes to eat PB&J everyday? Mine does and I don’t argue. I mix it up with different varieties of fruit, alternate between yogurt & string cheese, and occassionally throw in some cheese-its or popcorn. And don’t forget the mid-day Kiss. I once forgot and did I hear about it when she got home. I never knew chocolate withdrawl mood swings would start so young.


Comment by Role Model for Hire | Queen of Shake Shake.

[…] even more of my advice (and it’s free!), check out my post today on The Mouthy Housewives. How to pack your kid’s school lunch to ensure a Ivy League college […]


Comment by amy.

HA! Gloating over here as I have my two trained to make their lunch themselves the night before. They are 12.

OK, it MIGHT have something to do with the fact that their mother (ahem, me) finds it excruciatingly painful to do anything but slurp coffee while they are preparing for school. And I got tired of ‘too much mayo!”, ‘I don’t like…’ etc.

They also help grocery shop so pick things out weekly. Helps shake things up a bit. They are currently into bagels, fruit, and a snacky thing. Some days they even take SALADS!

(Yeah, still wondering if there was a mix up at the hospital but I KNEW I was the only one that had twins that week..)


Comment by Bejewell.

Wait. I’m supposed to be sending LUNCHES? Oh, dear.

Heather Reply:

Gosh, Bejewell, I guess this means yours will *maybe* make it through high school?


Comment by Lisa.

I agree that a 5-year old can be helping out with lunch packing, if not taking it over. And yes, what’s wrong with PBJs every day?

And I’d advise checking out that show Food Revolution or do some checking on what they put in school lunches. It oughta be criminal, really. All the salt and fat and processing – fries are considered a vegetable – kids are really being set up for a lifetime of obesity, heart problems, diabetes. Their taste buds are getting trained to like and crave only the crap.


Comment by MommyTime.

I’ve been meaning to post my list of lunchbox faves for a long time. I have a kid who doesn’t really like sandwiches, and a school that has a no peanut butter rule. This has inspired me to get off my duff and put up the list already. It has 50 ideas in it. I swear, this comment isn’t spam, but click over if you want more ideas. (I’m too lazy to retype them all here.)


Comment by dusty earth mother.

For the simple fact that my daughter attends a “no-peanut zone” school and would be kicked out for bringing a PB and J, I let her eat the nasty school lunch. Because, seriously, if you take PB and J out of the picture, your options go waaaayyyyy down.


Comment by Karin.

so glad that my kids’ school isn’t peanut free but just this last week, my kids have started disliking PB sandwiches (none like the J with the PB) – it was the only sandwich they would eat. I think I’m going to buy bagels over the weekend and send them!
I have a checklist for lunches – 1 protein, 1 fruit, 1 carb snack, 1 sweet snack and 1 drink. They pack their own snack…


Comment by anon1.

thanks for the link for the fresh & fit! my little one is not even 2 yet, but i am glad to have some option for the future… i worry about packing anything cold for myself or my husband, so this will definitely come in handy.

mommytime- THANKS for your post. i can’t wait to read through it. i am wondering what other things to give little one to eat for lunch in general. i don’t want to give her packaged meat (turkey, bologna, etc….) daily- what with all the crap in them.

i, too, have gotten suckered into tivo’ing the Food Revolution. i loved when Shaq took on this challenge last year or so, and now Jamie Oliver is doing a good job. it would be fantastic to see some changes happen in school lunches.

She’s only 2, so i hope there’s time!

thanks for the tips, y’al!


Comment by Momof4Luds.

I had one who DID NOT like sandwiches of any kind. I used to mix up pasta (usually leftovers) with chopped up sandwich meat, cottage cheese (which he liked and eats to this day at age 21, but a little mayo or sour cream or something would also work) and maybe some carrot. I used a thermos but that fit and fresh thing sounds like it would work.


Comment by wendy.

My youngest loves his rut, so lunch is always half of a turkey sandwich, yogurt, crackers, cheese, juice, and some sort of treat (this week it’s cinnamon graham goldfish crackers). If I deviate too much, the world explodes and we all die in fiery chaos.


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