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Lunches, Lunchboxes, and Lunch Resources: A Local Moms Guide

Back to school is always the time when we start thinking of ideas for healthy snacks and school lunches. If you're like me, you can never think of what to send for lunch or snack. My local moms group is always asking this same question! I decided to compile a list of their ideas for non sandwich snacks and lunches. As you can see, many are not from Florida so the theme was how to keep Florida lunches cool. Read on below for non sandwich lunch ideas, the best lunch boxes and ways to freeze items to keep lunches cool, and their favorite lunch websites!

Non Sandwich Lunch Ideas

1. Apple, healthy granola bar, veggie chips etc. with freezer packs.

2. Freeze smoothies and the yogurt pouches. By lunch time it is thawed. 

3. Carrots, cucumbers. 

4. Chips and salsa, mini bagels, most fruit, frozen yogurt tubes that dethaw by snack/lunch, edamame, tortilla roll up with peanut butter and honey (if nuts are ok), cold kernel corn, homemade healthyish muffins, cucumbers, carrot sticks or broccoli (with single serve ranch pack), dried cranberries and popcorn, black beans and rice in a thermos, or soups in a thermos. Hard boiled eggs, or mozz cheese sticks, both good protein.

5. I buy the single servings of hummus from Costco and freeze them. They are thawed but still cold by lunch. Same with applesauce and juice boxes.

6. Frozen yogurt pops, hummus and cheese tortillas, Cheese sticks, Veggie sticks, Pirates booty, Z bars, applesauce/apples with peanut butter.

7. Freeze the juice box and use that as the ice pack!

8. Freeze a GoGurt and it will stay nice and cold just in time for snack. Grapes, strawberries, blueberries, crasins, raisins or edamame. I have a soft ice pack and I sometimes wrap it around a cheese stick.

9. I buy the individual cups of guacamole & hummus at Costco for dipping veggies/pretzels.

10. Raisins and cranberries. I'll make a mix sometimes too with cheddar bunnies. They seem to like the sweet and salty together.

11. We do rice cakes with peanut butter. Or Apple sandwiches, which is super thin cut apples round with peanut butter in it.

12. Fruit kabobs - or anything in a kabob my kids will eat anything on a stick.

Lunch Box/Freezer Pack Ideas:

1. Lunch blocks (they sell it at publix) and it has a nice sandwich container that has a ice pack that snaps on to it. Sometimes she wouldn't eat all of her ham and whenever I would clean out her lunch containers after school her ham was still very cold. I was impressed.

2. We use Pack It lunch boxes which has multiple freezer packs built inside lunch pack, you find it up in freezer each night and everything stays cool until lunch time.

3. Potterybarn Kids lunchbox with an ice pack and the ice pack is still partially frozen when I unpack it, in use for almost 6 hours.

4. Pack-it freeze and go and put a bento box inside.

5. freeze a small water bottle and that worked as an ice pack.

6. Buy cheap sponges. Freeze them wet and stick them in baggies as an icepack.

7. Yumbox and Planetbox. We purchased Planetbox, but Yumbox might work for a younger kid, and is less expensive!

Website resources for school lunches:

1. http://www.whatlisacooks.com/no-sandwich-lunches/No Sandwich Lunches! 

2. http://whatlisacooks.com

3. http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/category/children-adapting/school-lunches/

For all the back to school events, specials and deals, visit www.fun4firstcoastkids.com!

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