Lunchbox Magic: DIY Lunchables

7 Apr

How many of you, now that it’s April, are in a lunchbox rut? How many of our kids are starting to scowl when they eye their lunches on the counter before school, knowing it’s the same old sandwich or Thermos o’ pasta in there? And how many of us could use some new ideas?

Can I get an “Amen!”?


My kids are forever begging me to buy Lunchables. I am forever refusing (have you ever read the ingredients in those things?  Or figured out the price-per-plastic-package? *shudder* No thank you very much.). The concept, though, is a great one. They do make lunchtime more fun, in theory. And there’s a super-simple solution to both giving in without really giving in and in shaking up the lunchbox a bit.

Make your own.

I’ll admit I was a little nervous the first time I cut up some meat and cheese, bagged the slices up with some whole-wheat crackers, and sent them in my daughter’s sandwich box. (I have a Bento box on order to ditch the baggies before the Green Police come after me.) DIY anything was a terrible social sin when I went to grade school, and I was slightly afraid she’d catch an earful from her table-mates.

Know what the first thing out of a child’s mouth was?

“You are SOOO lucky.”


I like this because I control the ingredients, and I can use up the little bits of lunch fixings that are left at the end of the school week. My kids like it because they get to “make” their own lunch, playing with different ingredients and eating with their fingers (bonus!) Today’s DIY Lunchable has one slice of bologna, cut into sixths; three slices of turkey, cut into thirds; and a slice each of American and Muenster cheese, quartered; plus some wheat crackers. This works with any meats, cheeses, or veggies you have in the fridge.

Healthy, easy, economical, fun, and not the same old thing. It’s a winner.

3 Responses to “Lunchbox Magic: DIY Lunchables”

  1. Laura B April 7, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    Yep, this is the only way my daughter eats lunch too! She’s never liked sandwiches, so we do a meat/cheese/fruit/cracker combo in a bento. A woman in my neighborhood had a blog that has some great bento box ideas (but a little fancier than what I’m doing – think caprese salads on toothpicks…).

  2. Heidi April 8, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

    Good for you!!! I am a teacher and when I do lunch duty the Lunchables horrify me.

  3. Ali April 11, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    Love it – what a fantastic idea!

    Enjoy the Bento when it gets here. I bought some this year for Matt and I’m loving them!

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