Back to School Lunches for My Picky Eater

I have been searching far and wide for recipes for my son’s lunch.  His food choices are more limited than the average kid’s.  I typically have to send lunch with him 3-4 times a week.  My friend Suzanne started me thinking about this.  After I read her blog entry about lunches this summer, I realized I send Uncrustables almost every day he takes a cold lunch.  I say ALMOST.  I did send a few other things, but not many.

So I have been doing some research of some lunches my boys would eat.  Here is what I have come up with.

  • pizza bread cut to fit in a thermos
  • chicken nuggets
  • ravioli
  • grilled cheese cut to fit in a thermos
  • pinwheel tortilla sandwiches (I haven’t tried this yet.  It could go both ways.  I will start with pbj).
  • dip (I didn’t think of sending dip with his veggies–again peanut butter or catalina dressing.)
  • bugs on a log (E won’t eat raisins, but he will eat choc chips on it.)
  • Meatball sandwich (put meatballs in thermos, so bread isn’t soggy)
  • macaroni and cheese
  • yogurt with vanilla wafers or animal crackers to dip in it
  • Anything resembling pizza–pizza quesadilla or pizza pita
  • ramen noodles (older son only)-put leftover chicken in and veggies
  • cold meat sandwich
  • hot dog
  • banana dog-pb on a hot dog bun take a banana and put it inside (shocked me that he would eat this)
  • spaghetti

There were a lot of ideas that basically were about presentation.  Cutting the sandwiches with cookie cutters or into puzzle pieces.  Getting fun napkins on clearance from Target or the party store.  Using stickers on their bags.  I have used this book, Lunch Box Letters, since kindergarten to send little notes in the lunch.  My kids love it because it comes with a joke.  We have went through two of these books. 

As I write this I feel as if I am possibly opening up myself to some criticism.   I am a little granola crunchy, and have long given up the complete healthy and organic menu for my kids.  The reason?  E wouldn’t eat.  I mean truly wouldn’t eat even though he was hungry.  He has sensory issues.  Lots of people write his response to things as him being a spoiled brat.  Sensory issues are very real and often physically painful to the children that have them.  His motor development also changes his diet.  His chewing muscles aren’t quite as developed as most.  He tends to choose softer things.  Not always, but he will never choose a chewy piece of meat.  I have to insist.

My kids seem to like their new menu this year.  I will add new things when I find them.  If you find something yummy, let me know!

Resources I used:

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2 thoughts on “Back to School Lunches for My Picky Eater

  1. Hopefully no one takes you to task. I DON’T have a child with sensory issues, AND he’s picky. Hell, I had to BRIBE mine to try new foods.

    I’ll be stealing from your list to supplement mine. However, most of the time, Keb eats school lunch. Then again, given that he has 5 choices EVERY day, plus unlimited fruits and vegetables (which he NEVER takes), it works out well for him.

    Hey, have you thought about PB for apples or fruit dip for strawberries or other fruit? I also think a bagel/cream cheese would work IF he likes them (I can see the bagel being hard to chew).

    Good luck on the lunches.

  2. Sometimes I’ll pack “breakfast” for Nic’s lunch. It usually consists of cereal (I give him money for milk), fruit, yogurt or a granola bar, and some type of juice.

    He also likes when I make salads for him. I put the lettuce mix in a seperate container from the toppings and dressing in order not to wilt the lettuce. For variety I do fruit salads, too.

    I also like to make sandwiches on different types of bread–pita pockets, bagels, mini-bread, english muffins, croissants, ect.

    Chips and salsa are good to pack.

    Soup in the cooler months is a hearty choice.

    Nic loves the “walking taco.” This is when I put taco meat in his thermos, a bag of dirotos, and other taco topping.

    Your son might like hard-boiled eggs and it will give him a protein boost.

    Finally, I like to put little treats in Nic’s lunch–small things such as hot wheel cars or mini-puzzles.

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