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Day Care Lunch: Really Need Some Help

I have a 16 month old that attends daycare. We need some new lunch ideas. She is generally a very good eater and will try most thing but I think she has gotten bored. I do not have a way to heat things up. Lunch goes in an insulated lunch box and I have a thermos. If it is a hot item, I generally heat it up in the microwave that morning and put in a baggie and then put in the lunch box. Lunch is eaten at around 11:30 so things are not in the box/thermos for too long.

Anyone have any ideas that they can share. I am really getting desperate. The only thing she cannot bring is anything with nuts. Thank you thank thank you in advance.

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  1. Can you give some ideas of her favorite foods, or stuff that she will eat easily, so that we can build from there?

    1. Whta does she like? A cold pasta casserole or even mac and cheese can go over big. Of course there is PB&J and all sorts of other sandwiches. There are a lot of dye cutters out there for cute shapes, so even if the food is the same old stuff, the shapes may excite her. If she likes rice, then a little rice with a protein can be a good thing, some chicken or steak stripes with grilled green peppers over the rice... that sort of stuff. If you are in to stews, those go great over rice as left overs.

      I like the squishable containers they have for apple sauce and apple sauce with other fruits. Easy to eat and relatively healthy. Small quantities of chips, cookies... are always welcome. make them a sometimes thing so when she gets the carrots or grapes instead, she also sees those as treats.

      1 Reply
      1. For the thermos, chicken noodle soup, vegetable soup, pureed bean soup, squash soup...
        For the box, small crackers and cheese cubes. Meat cubes or sticks if she likes them.
        Again thermos, cottage cheese, egg salad (super-easy mayo - can use a bit of yogurt) yogurt with fresh fruit in the box, Melon cubes, veg sticks (blanched, if they're too crunchy), You could even do hot cereal and milk with the thermos, or mac and cheese. Spaghetti, cut small, in the thermos and a muffin in the box.
        Enjoy. this time passes so quickly.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mamachef

          great ideas, as always :)

          - egg muffins with cheese (aka frittata bites) would be fun, and they're great at room temp. make them in mini muffin tins so they're a toddler-friendly size.
          - you can find out if sunflower butter is an exception to the no-nuts rule - that would give you more sandwich options (banana slices are terrific with it, as are most fruit jams/preserves).
          - string cheese is always a good snack
          - if she likes hummus, you can use it as a sandwich filling (spread on a wrap or stuff into pita pockets with veggies) or as a dip
          - zucchini bread with a container of her favorite yogurt

        2. Bento is a possible solution. It can be as fancy as you want.

          http://lunchinabox.net/
          http://justbento.com/

          1. Absolutely no criticism meant, but I had to chuckle at the idea of a 16 month old being "bored." Jaded palate at less than one and a half, it's going to get tougher from here on out.