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The First Five: School Lunch Updates, Celebrating One Full Week!


We survived our first week! Surprisingly well, I might add. Well, at least when it comes to lunches… we are figuring all the rest out, too. I received a couple of requests for an update when I had some lunches under my belt… well, the kid’s belts anyway. JK, kid’s don’t wear belts. Or at least mine don’t… except for seat-belts, obviously. I hope that was obvious. Anyway, I feel completely off track now.

Here is a break-down of what I put together for the first five days, and at least for the most part they seem to have been a hit with both kids! That almost qualifies for a miracle.

BTW, I’m using Easylunchboxes brand boxes and loooooove them! The Mini-Dipper containers are pretty nifty too. (Those are Amazon affiliate links). I’m not paid or perked to say nice things about them; they are just working out really well for us!

Day 1: Monday

School Lunch Idea, Day 1: Cheese, crackers, watermelon, muffin, dried mango | Painting Sunny

Cheese, crackers, watermelon, dried mango, and an apple-cinnamon oat-bran muffin

The muffins… well, did not turn out well. I went back and read the reviews and apparently the original recipe left out a couple things that would have helped, so I’m determined to try again. Also, notice those snacks set out along the side? My daughter needs two snacks sent along for her day camp, too. Those are a fruit & grain bar (generic brand) and some goldfish crackers/pretzels mixed together.

Day 2: Tuesday

School Lunch Idea, Day 2: Tortilla chips, salsa, berries & grapes, yogurt, dried mango | Painting Sunny

Tortilla chips, salsa (hidden in the little dip holder), berries & cut-up grapes, Greek yogurt, dried mango

I love those Chobani yogurt tubes, and so do the kids – and honestly, if they are on sale they can be more affordable than regular yogurts. I buy the big 16-pack at one time. They just barely folded in half to fit in the boxes!

Day 3: Wednesday

School Lunch Idea, Day 3: Mini Bagel, hummus, apple, string cheese, carrots | Painting Sunny

Mini Bagel, hummus (hidden in the little dip holder), apple, string cheese, carrots

So, I read a few somewheres that if you tossed apple slices with orange juice until they were lightly coated, they would not brown. I wasn’t there at lunch time when the kids got them out, but I can vouch that it appeared to work in the morning; I tossed the slices in the juice and they immediately stopped browning an stayed fresh looking through the entire packing process. Cool, right?

Day 4: Thursday

School Lunch Idea, Day 4: Quesadilla, watermelon, peas, muffin | Painting Sunny

Cheese quesadilla, watermelon, peas, muffin

This was a quick one to make! The kids had watermelon and peas for dinner the night before, so it was easy to put some in the lunchboxes at the same time I added it to their dinner plate. They don’t mind eating any of the stuff cold (they can’t heat their lunches at school, so it is all straight from their cooler bag). I made the quesadilla the night before with just some shredded cheese and a tortilla, and they each got half of one.

Day 5: Friday

   School Lunch Idea, Day 5: PBJ (or nut free butter), string cheese, apple, carrots, red peppers | Painting Sunny

PBJ (or nut free butter), string cheese, apple, carrots, red peppers

Lo’s has a blue note visible in the photo (later stuck to the top of the lunchbox) explaining that it is not peanut butter but “No-Nut” brand butter made from peas. I know, crazy, right? We will see how he likes it… I’ve never used it before! His preschool is nut-free, so I wanted to try out an alternative. The jar is expensive, but it is only him eating it for an occasion lunch, so I think it’ll be alright. Haven likes red bell papers and Lo doesn’t (honestly, I can’t stand them either) and since we had half of one in the fridge I added that to just hers.

You might notice that there is no meat in any of the lunches; Haven doesn’t eat meat (her own adamant choice when she was five) and Diallo does, but it is just easier to pack the same lunch for both of them. He can have meat at dinner, and I don’t think he really needs it more than when he is at home. It’s mostly just because it’s easier this way, and he doesn’t seem to miss it.

Anyone else trying out peanut-butter alternatives? Heard of this apple-dipped-in-orange-juice phenomenon? Hate a food that your kid loves? Please, share any other lunch ideas! I’m bound to run out eventually…

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Links to products on Amazon may be affiliate links. Keepin’ it real.


Author: Dani @ Painting Sunny

Hi there! I'm Dani, and it's lovely to meet you. My little family just moved to the quaint little college-town of Ithaca, NY and are loving it. Come hang out with me and talk about food, books, art, and other odd little things.

16 thoughts on “The First Five: School Lunch Updates, Celebrating One Full Week!

  1. Congrats on your first week Dani!! Now you’re just an old pro like the rest of us ;) Thanks for all the great pics!

  2. You can also dip apples in sprite or 7up to keep them from browning

    • Oh, that is good to know! My husband loves Sprite, so there is a good chance someday we will have that in the house and not orange juice – thanks for the tip! Xo, Dani

  3. I think pineapple and apple juice both work for apples. I heard yiu can do this with bananas too.

  4. We use I.M. Healthy Soy Nut butter with honey creamy. I went through a ton of jars finding a nut free butter when my oldest started preschool 6 years ago. The only food she ate was PBJ and they forbid it. I still pack it for her even though its not required. She loves it and we all thing it tastes pretty darn close to peanut butter.

    • I’ll have to see if Wegman’s carries that one and try it next! Lo loves PBJ too, and I just can’t imagine never making it, so we definitely are in the market for a good alternative, thanks! Xo, Dani

  5. Looks like you did fantastic. My kiddo is in a preschool that is nut free this year too, so will be looking at new alternatives. I was not a fan of Sunbutter, but was going to try Wowbutter. Would rather have something that wasn’t soy based though. I digress. Great lunches.. glad you shared! Come visit sometime at

  6. Pingback: Let’s Do Lunch Again Sometime | painting sunny

  7. We LOVE Sunbutter! We also do almond butter, yummm

    • This Sunbutter is getting rav reviews from people! That and Wowbutter have both been recommended now – I may have to see where it town sells this stuff. :) The peabutter is alright, but somehow Sunbutter sounds tastier… xo, Dani

  8. Pingback: The School Lunch Round-Up: End of Summer Fast Approaching | painting sunny

  9. For my son’s lunchbox apples, I sprinkle cinnamon on them. That way, he cant tell if the apples are brown. He loves them and his friends are jealous. As a gluten free kid who cant have the treats that other kids have, this is really special to him.

    • That is such a great idea! Since all our school lunches end up being vegetarian, I know what you mean about making other things special for them! I love cinnamon on apples – can’t believe I never thought of it for their lunches! Thanks :) xo, Dani

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