The Secret to Packing School Lunch

In a word?  Leftovers.

On occasion, I show glimpses of a type A, “Mother of the Year” persona and whip out lunch box specialties, but honestly, it’s usually about what’s handy.  And what’s at hand is what we ate for dinner the night before.

Soups, spaghetti, grilled chicken, even salad.  It all goes in if I’ve got it in the refrigerator.  If it’s meant to be hot, I might warm it up before packing so it isn’t stone cold.  Sam is happy to eat normally hot foods at room temperature (and so am I).  It’s along the same line as cold pizza.  Sometimes it’s just as good that way.

One family dinner that translates well to school lunch is the slow cooker Hoisin and Ginger Shredded Pork from the Kitchn.  It’s great on so many levels: easy to make (love my crockpot), flavorful and super lunch friendly.

Served over farro with salad and broccoli.

Served over farro with salad and broccoli.

I always sleep easier knowing that lunch is practically made.  And with a whole wheat tortilla, some leftover salad and few sprigs of cilantro, this pork wrap comes together in a minute.

006Add in leftover pan cooked broccoli, a sliced blood orange (Jim brought them home from a colleague’s tree) assorted nuts and, voila, a healthy lunch from home.

The lunch that prepares itself!

The lunch that prepares itself!

Do you send leftovers for lunch?  Which ones pack well for school?

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6 thoughts on “The Secret to Packing School Lunch

  1. I completely agree that good leftovers are the best to pack for the kids’ school lunch the following day. One of my girls’ lunchrooms has a microwave for kids to use, but I’m not excited about microwaved food, so I invested in a durable thermos for her and, as you said, warm leftovers on the stove at home in the morning and send her off with a full thermos.

    At the same time, I find myself torn because I want to support the improvements being made in the school’s lunch program. By buying lunch for my kids, I’m voting for the local, fresh foods now being offered, and adding a bit of desperately needed financial support.

    Do you ever buy school lunch for your children?

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