My 10-year-old son is a picky eater. He will only reach for those pre-made lunches at the grocery store. You know the kind – pizza in a box, crackers topped with ham and cheese slices, etc. So I thought I would make my own version of these meals instead. Turns out the homemade variety is not only tastier, it’s cheaper too.
First, I bought two packages of the new zip-top containers with three separate sections, that way I could create and pack four lunches for the school week. For the pizza (my son’s favorite) I started with a package of refrigerated biscuits. I flattened them out first and cooked them according to the instructions on the label until they were golden brown. Voila, pizza crust. If you make the whole package of biscuits, you’ll have enough crusts for two weeks of lunches! The rest is just assembly: I placed the biscuit crust in the large compartment, filled a zip-top bag with pizza sauce and put that in there too, and then arranged baby pepperoni slices and shredded mozzarella cheese in separate cupcake liners. One lunch down. And for the rest of the crusts, you could switch the pepperoni out for other pizza toppings that your kids like.
More lunch combinations: My favorite part about these homemade versions of pre-packed lunches is that you can customize them to your little one’s tastes. I like to mix and match different cheeses, lunch meats, and crackers in fun shapes throughout the week. I’ll also include my son’s favorite dessert: chocolate peanut butter (which already comes in small cups) with animal crackers. If you want to pack a healthier lunch, fill each of the small compartments with small, cut vegetables, like carrots or celery, and include a packet of ranch dressing. There are so many shelf staples that already come in small sizes and fit perfectly into each of the divided compartments. Drop one of these into the lunch box with a bottle of water or juice box and you’re set. You’ll save money, the containers are easy to clean, and you can get a whole week of meals prepared on Sunday.
There’s no need to splurge on pre-packed lunches when you can make them yourself. And being able to fill each compartment with your child’s favorite things means no more boring lunch box.