It's back to school for my kiddos (yes all three of them this year!) and although I know our school system does a great job with healthy lunches for my kiddos - they are $2.50 per kid/per day - which means it costs us $7.50 a day for lunch. Trust me when I say I can do lunch most days for much less.
At the end of last year I had started to really get into the Bento Box mindset of lunches. Not the super elaborate, spend 30 minute on lunch time kind of thing (which is so cool if you like that kind of thing - but I do not - especially not at 7am). Although my kids love a good sandwich, they are more the snack-y kind of lunch kids. I throw a lot of little servings of a variety of things at them and I find they eat better - and more of the things I want them to eat. :)
The system that works for us includes these handly little ziploc divided containers. Although they look large/I find they fit in all three of the lunch boxes my girls have.
Now - at $3.49 for 2 of them - this is definitely in my budget.
Emma went with this style lunch box this year from L.L. Bean.
We also found a great re-usable sandwich bag too, at L.L. Bean - but they don't carry them online for me to direct you to them.
Instead, I found this fun option from Snacktaxi.
There are lots of terrific sites for inspiring fun lunches. I was looking for fast, cheap and healthy with a side of interesting thrown in.
I created a list that I could print out and put inside one of my cabinet doors with fast lunch fillers that I know my kids like (a few examples: hard boiled eggs, grape tomatoes, cheese sticks, yogurt sticks (love Simply Yoplait and Stonyfield Farms!) chips and salsa, veggies, baby pickles, popcorn).
I usually pick 2 or 3 of these options and tuck them in. Now, these can be sides for a sandwich, but Julia just doesn't like sandwiches anymore - so I've become more creative.
Things like wraps and rolls, pasta salad, homemade lunchables (crackers, turkey and cheese), mini cucumber sandwiches are a big hit.