what’s for lunch?

I have had several conversations with other moms recently about what I pack in the boys’ lunches for pre-school.  Dexter’s a bit pickier than Theo as he does not eat raw vegetables very well, but they both eat a wide variety of foods.

I have been discovering recently that the boys will eat an unexpected variety of foods cold. But it makes sense if you think about it…they goof off at mealtimes and by the time they get around to eating all of their food (especially their veggies), it’s all cold. Since their pre-school doesn’t warm up lunches, we have to get creative sometimes.  Here’s are some go-to items that I pack for them.


  • A small (taco size) tortilla with bacon or lunchmeat and shredded cheese. I’ll stick this in the microwave for a few seconds so the tortilla is more pliable and the cheese melts a bit and either roll it up or fold it in half.
  • To my dismay, bologna sandwiches are a big hit
  • Peanut butter & jelly of course!
  • Crackers & cheese or peanut butter
  • Cold pizza
  • Cold cheese or chicken and cheese quesadillas
  • Tuna or chicken salad and crackers/pretzels
  • Smoked turkey sausage or hot dogs, sliced into circles
  • Cold pre-cooked seasoned chicken or steak pieces (grilled at home or from the small Tyson pouches found in the lunchmeat section)
  • Cold breaded baked chicken nuggets (also found in the lunchmeat section)

Starch/Sides – if their protein isn’t accompanied by bread/crackers, etc.

  • Potato salad
  • Cheez-its
  • Goldfish crackers
  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • Nutri-grain bar
  • Ritz crackers
  • Oyster crackers


  • Grapes
  • Berries
  • Banana
  • Clementines/mandarin oranges (fresh or pre-packaged)
  • Small apple (& maybe some peanut butter)
  • Raw baby carrots or carrot chips & ranch dressing
  • Broccoli – cooked OR raw (Dexter won’t eat it raw)
  • Cauliflower – same as above
  • Edamame – shelled or in the pod, this is a favorite
  • Peas
  • Cherry or Grape tomatoes (another favorite), both yellow and red
  • Pineapple (pre-packaged or canned then put into small containers) – another favorite
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Chopped red or green peppers (raw)


  • String cheese or chunks of cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Cashews/Pistachios

I usually send about four items so a typical meal would include one thing from each section or nothing from the starch section and 2 things from the Fruits/Veggies section.  For example, chicken salad w/crackers, string cheese, grapes, and edamame would be pretty standard.  They put their leftovers back in their lunch boxes when possible so it’s fairly easy for this mom to determine how well they are eating and if they like what I am packing.  Although I sometimes feel like I am sending the same things over and over, they don’t seem to tire of repeated meals.

Do you struggle with ideas for packing lunches? Do my lists have anything unexpected or anything new that your little one might be willing to try?



catch the moment: week thirty-eight

We have been busy as little worker bees around the house. We got on a kick and are excited – for now  – about finally moving forward on some home improvements.  You can see some of the history of this process by clicking HERE.  While progress has been so, so slow, looking back at those older photos does help me see that we have made some big changes around here. Now to keep going with the momentum we have right now… That’s the tricky part.  Well, that and managing the kids while we are trying to work.  Oy.

Guess what? I’m linking up with these gals once again:

Here we go…

260/365: Wednesday, September 17th.  A quick trip to the park after school. Sad, sad, sad to see them in jeans and hoodies!  Bye-bye, summer!9-17-14

261/365: Thursday, September 18th. Just an after-dinner trip to the YMCA for a little run. Late in the day, I knew I was about out of photo ops for the day.9-18-14

262/365: Friday, September 19th.  Again, late in the day and I had not taken a picture yet. I’m slacking off!  But I snapped this around 11pm because I knew our accumulation of favorite school/babysitter art projects hanging in the kitchen was coming down the next day. 9-19-14

263/365: Saturday, September 20th. Did anyone watch Dexter? Creeeepy!  Haha – we painted our kitchen ceiling GREEN! 9-20-14

264/365: Sunday, September 21st.  You can see a tiny bit of the green ceiling and crown molding here but the point is that I spent ALL day Sunday painting this window and my neck has been sore ever since.  I’m not as young as I once was, but it will be worth it! The window looks SO fresh and clean. Now to paint the other 2 kitchen windows.  Ouchie. Oh, you can also see the gray we chose for the walls! Loving it so far and I’m so anxious to get it done.  Don’t worry, that light will go away too…9-21-14

265/365: Monday, September 23rd. What a nice break from working on the house – dinner with my lovely friend, Angie!9-22-14

266/365: Tuesday, September 24th. The boys waiting for their Flu Mist…you all?! It’s 500 times easier than the shot.  It was a breeze.  I just hope it works better than the shot did last year.9-23-14

This was kind of a weird week, as far as pictures are concerned.  Not much of the boys and a lot of randomness, but I like what it all represents.  Forward progress. Friendship. Health & fitness. Changing seasons.  I’m feeling a little introspective….there might be a big emotional post coming up soon about how all of these aspects of life are woven together.  Hmm.

What’s your favorite picture this week?  I like them all, but none of them are technically spectacular.  I’ll go with Angie – day 265 – for my choice this week because she’s pretty precious and I love our monthly mommy dinner dates.



catch the moment: week thirty-seven

Here I am again, linking up with Mindi, Sarah, and Stephanie for week 37 of Catch the Moment 365. I’m starting to get excited about the idea of condensing all of these CTM365 posts into a photo book at the end of the year. So excited that I might start working on it soon. Or soon-ish. What? We’re definitely transitioning into fall here and I’m trying to find things to look forward to so cut me some slack.

253/365: September 10th. After dinner at a local spot, Kacey’s.9-10-14

254/365: September 11th. Bedtime routine. 9-11-14

255/365: September 12th. Making enchiladas for dinner and thought this pepper was neat.9-12-14

256/365: September 13th. A terrible picture, but it doesn’t matter. Know why? I ran my first entire 5k race! 9-13-14

257/365: September 14th. Sunday morning cleaning while these cuties watch cartoons for a bit. 9-14-14

258/365: September 15th. Magic in the sky on my way to work.9-15-14

259/365: September 16th. The best I could get from them but they were showing off the tennis shoes that they each picked out.  Good taste, huh? And nice hair, Dexter. Don’t they look like such big boys?9-16-14

Easy choice this week – my favorite is that gorgeous Indiana sky on day 258.  Is it your favorite too?