Thursday, September 13, 2012

Back To School Lunches

One of the tasks I love to see go away at the end of the school year?  Packing lunches.  I don't know why this gets so tedious, but it just does.  Now here we are, fully back at it again.  The fall is especially crazy around here, so I've been trying to streamline our lunch-packing process.  The kids now pack their own lunches for the most part, and anything I can do to eliminate kitchen chaos makes my life calmer.  So I've found a couple things that my kids L-O-V-E, and I've made them in bulk and pre-packaged them.  Everyone's life is just a bit smoother.  At least in the lunch department.

Snack-sized zip-loc bags are my friends, and the snack-sized zip-loc containers are a must for this too.  A tiny chunk of your Sunday churning these out means a lot less thinking on school days.  Gotta save that thinking for school!

Frozen Fruit Cups

2 large cans fruit cocktail, drained well
1 large can pineapple tid-bits, drained
3 bananas, sliced
5 kiwis, peeled and sliced
Frozen blueberries (about 2 cups or however much you like)
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 can frozen juice concentrate: any tropical fruit variety

Mix everything together gently in a large bowl.  Obviously, the fruits are to your taste.  Add more or less or different, just whatever the family likes!

Scoop into small zip-loc containers, leaving a little room.  Freeze.  Put into lunches frozen and by lunch time they are a slightly-slushy fruit cup!  Great little dessert for lunches!


These next yummy little treats came from one of my little friends at school.  They are so very yummy.  A little like Chex mix, but you don't bake it.  One of the big benefits to pre-bagging these is that it slows down the biggest kid in this house from eating the entire batch in a couple handfuls.  Paces him.  Saves him from my "WHERE did all the food go?" rhetorical questions.

Seasoned Pretzels

2 16-oz. bags mini pretzels.  (I used a third of the giant bag from Costco)
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix (original)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 TBSP dill weed
12 oz. Orville Redenbachers Popcorn oil

Mix together everything but the pretzels.  Pour over pretzels in a large bowl.  Stir well, then stir every 30 minutes until the pretzels start to look dry.  (They will look very wet at first, bu the pretzels absorb the oil and they do get dryer!) 

Out of time for today!  I have also frozen breakfast sandwiches, pre-bagged popcorn, made 3 batches of mini-muffins (pumpkin and banana) and frozen those in snack-sized baggies.  Lots of easy choices for the kids to grab and add to their lunches!

Almost Friday of the first FULL week of school!  Amen and hallelujah.

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