What do you pack for your children's lunch?
My kids are 7 and 5. They are adventurous eaters, but I try to tame it down a bit for lunches as the other kids tend to ask a zillion questions and my son gets self-concious sometimes.
I use bento boxes and Thermos fun jar food jars for hot items. I don't cut my son's food into cute shapes anymore (Mommmm!) but I can still get away with it for my daughter who's 5. Her class is peanut-free so I can't send any peanut products, which is fine.
Typical main items%3
Ham and Cheese sandwich, cucumber and cream cheese sandwich, macaroni and cheese, pita with hummus, leftover grilled chicken cut into strips with ranch for dipping, mini tacos from Trader Joes with salsa for dipping, pasta with marinara and meatballs (cut into bite size pieces), cheese quesadilla with salsa for dipping
baby carrots, grapes, homemade banana chocolate chip mini muffin, pretzels, veggie stix (the crispy chip type), mandarin oranges, apple slices, broccoli with ranch, baked potato chips
juice/lemonade (in a thermos funtainer), and a snack like granola bar or fruit leather or granola bites
My son is 2 1/2 years old. The food his "school" serves is atrocious. He loves toasted whole wheat pita that we break into "chips". He dips them in hummus. When I'm lazy, he gets sunbutter with jelly on whole wheat. We always send fruit and veggies as well...usually carrot sticks and strawberries. Sometimes we send leftover dinner. Maybe a hard boiled egg.
My son (5) is happy to take leftovers, so he often has pasta, stirfry, quesadillas, soups, cooked veggies of all kinds, etc., which he doesn't mind eating cold. If we pack him a lunch he usually gets a mini bagel with cream cheese, a piece of fruit or applesauce, and yogurt or carrots or nori. Sometimes he has sliced turkey, rice cakes, a fruit and a veggie. And always his bottle of water.
My daughter (8) is extremely picky and wants the same lunch every day. She gets a mini bagel with cream cheese, applesauce and a small yogurt. She also gets a high fiber fruit leather, and a granola bar or cookie or something like that for additional snacks. She always gets water.
Next year, both kids will be in public school and able to buy lunch every day, complete with an organic salad bar and vegetarian choices. We have decided that once school starts, we will stop packing lunches. If either of them does not want the school lunch (some days admittedly sound gross, like vegetarian tetrazini) they can pack their own lunch from what we have in the house.
Mine liked tortilla wraps, (wrapped in colored plastic wrap twisted on both ends like a tootsie roll) Babybels, smoked almonds, greek yogurt, baby carrots, hard cooked eggs, trail mix, date nut oat bars,Nutella on croissants, frozen grapes. They are now 22,21, and 19 but I clearly remember packing 15 lunches a week and they usually customized their orders! I don't miss it one bit. I used every kind of bread for sandwiches for variety.