Last year toward the end of the year, my son fell into a lunch rut.  He only ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  While there is no arguing that peanut butter and jelly is a tasty, fairly nutritious sandwich, eating it every day leaves a bit to be desired.

Recently, Kiwi Magazine (one of those great magazines I got for only a few bucks thanks to a Mamasource deal) featured a chart for children’s lunches.  Simply list 5 to 10 main meals your child can choose from daily and then list two sides.  My son and I filled out his chart this weekend and came up with main meals such as peanut butter and jelly sandwich (of course!), tuna salad and crackers, hard boiled eggs, egg salad sandwiches, tortilla wrap sandwiches and spaghetti.  We bought a decorated thermos through another Mamasource deal, so he will now be able to take hot foods to school.

For snacks, we ended up with some homemade choices such as granola bars, homemade fruit leather and veggie sticks and some store bought ones such as veggie stick chips and pita crisps from Costco.  The other side is fruit, and I made sure to ask him what his favorites are.  We ended up with grapes, apples, strawberries and blueberries making the cut. 

Even though evenings are crazy around our house, I plan to have him help me make his lunch each night.  I am hoping having him further invested in his lunch will help ensure that he will actually eat it all and fill his body with the nutrition he needs to make it through the day.

I plan to bring back last year’s series, What’s For Lunch next week.  Meanwhile, for more lunch inspiration, feel free to look through last year’s What’s for Lunch series.

What’s your favorite food to pack the kids for lunch?  How do you keep kids excited about their sack lunches?