Brown bag school lunch ideas are something every
parent that packs a school lunch will find useful. If your child buys lunch
now, I encourage you to examine the cost. The average cost for a school
lunch across the United States is $1.85. This adds up to $9.25 a week
per child (nearly $30 a week for three children)!
Of course, if your child qualifies for a free or reduced lunch, you may still be better of financially going that route. However, if not, you will definitely save money packing your child’s lunch. Also, another good reason to pack your child’s lunch is because you can pack a HEALTHY lunch.
Here are some fun lunch ideas for your child:
1. Make your own pre-packaged lunches like the ones in the supermarket. Children think these are fun. Get whole wheat crackers and pieces of lean meat and cheese, so they can make their own “cracker sandwiches”. Then, add a piece of fruit or a cookie and some juice. To save money when buying groceries try cutting coupons each week.
2. If your school has a microwave, Ramen noodles are an inexpensive lunch. These are not very nutritious, but you can find natural/organic alternatives, or include vegetables and dip with the lunch.
3. A variety of fruit and vegetables (cut up) with dip is a fun lunch. Try baby carrots with vegetable dip and apples with caramel dip.
4. Use cookie cutters to cut your child’s sandwiches into fun shapes. At Christmas time, cut a peanut butter sandwich into the shape of a snowman or Christmas tree. At Valentine’s Day, your children may enjoy heart shaped sandwiches.
5. If you had tacos for dinner, try packing a taco salad lunch. Put some meat in a
container, and then add a container with lettuce, cheese, and olives. Then
include a bag of chips. This idea is more for older children.
6. A cereal or granola bar with some fruit can make a fast and tasty lunch. If you are short on time for packing lunch, this is a easy and creative idea. Granola bars are very inexpensive at discount stores like Aldi Foods.
7. Make mini bagel sandwiches. Buy mini bagels and put your child’s favorite sandwich toppings inside.
8. Try pasta salad or potato salad. If your child enjoys these salads, they make a different and delicious lunch.
Remember, all of these brown bag school lunch ideas need some additions like fruit cups or veggie sticks, and beverages. For beverages, it is much more economical to pack a thermos of juice than it is to buy juice boxes each day. Another thing to keep in mind is that your child will probably have only 20 to 25 minutes of time to eat his or her lunch.
Brown bag school lunch ideas can be made more economical by getting rid of the “brown bag”. In other words, save money by buying an insulated lunch sack and reusing it, instead of constantly buying brown paper bags.