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Moms Talk: Spicing up a Brown-Bag Lunch

If you pack a lunch for your kids to take to school, check out this Moms Talk update to get a new take on the traditional brown-bag lunch

We're going to have to face it: It's been a long time since we've carried a brown-bag lunch to school, right? But if your kids take a lunch to school a few times a week or even a handful of times every month, those cold, lifeless lunches may be getting a little drab.

Let's try to spice'em up a little bit.

We're calling on all the parents out there who've got a couple tricks up their sleeves when it comes to adding some pizzazz to the ham and cheese sandwich, some panache to the PB&J, some ... All right, you get it.

So tell us, what do you do to add some oomph to your kids' lunch boxes?

(And if you want to add a tip like hiding a little pick-me-up note in there, that's fine too. What kid doesn't love a note letting him know his parents are thinking of him? We're open to all suggestions!)

Emily Chesnic September 21, 2011 at 01:18 PM
My daughters are preschool-aged and not yet carrying a brown bag lunch. However, I have to keep them interested in food to get them to eat almost every meal. Some tips for lunch: I use cookie cutters to make them some cute sandwiches, be it PB&J or ham and cheese. Their favorites are their princess crown sandwiches and heart sandwiches. Also, my oldest daughter hated drinking milk, until I turned it pink, which is her favorite color. By adding just a little Nestle strawberry syrup to the milk, I can get her to drink the entire glass. My girls also like when I mix up lunch a bit by giving them a banana hot dog, which is a banana sliced in half and served with peanut butter in a hot dog bun. They also like to dip "mini-trees" (broccoli cut very small) in ranch dressing! I am interested in hearing what other moms serve for lunch.
Kristina Bunnell September 21, 2011 at 02:17 PM
To get out of the sandwich rut I have a small thermos that I can put soups or chili in. He loves having a nice warm bowl of chili at school on the cold days. I've also sent hummus with flat bread and carrots or crab sticks with a side of soy sauce for dipping.
Meegan Massello September 21, 2011 at 04:12 PM
Something my son loves instead of sandwiches are wraps. The best thing about a wrap is that anything can go in it. The tortilla holds up much better against liquids that bread. We love to make pizza wraps; a little sauce and cheese and they are ready to go. One other thing he loves in his lunch are fruit and vegie skewers. No I do not give my first grader skewers to take to school:) I use toothpicks and put chunks of fruits and vegies on them. They are fun to look at and to eat. He always says his friends are jealous of them. Plus on the toothpicks they are short enough to fit in a Ziploc bag or a small plastic container.
Lisa Lynch-Frank September 22, 2011 at 12:52 AM
Meegan, I use a lot wraps, and we get creative with them such as pizza wraps, tuna wraps with chopped celery and kalamata olives (so small she can't really tell), and I also do a lot of fruit salads with a bit honey. Emily, I love the 'tiny tree' idea! Great ideas!
Kristina Bunnell September 22, 2011 at 05:31 PM
Oh I never thought of wraps! And the toothpick idea is super cute too. I'm so stealing it.

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