My Aunt send me an email with a great way to give cold lunches a new life!
Have you heard of Bentos? They are Japanese style, creatively packed boxed lunch. The great thing about Bentos is that it helps you to think outside of a sandwich and make lunch time more creative and healthy.
The first thing I did is make a list of items in every food group that we could have on hand for lunches. I have a "bentos chalkboard" in my kitchen.
Then I went to the local Grocery Store (couldn't find them at Walmart) and picked up some new containers for our lunches. (The containers are Ziploc brand and were only a few dollars). When you consider the cost of ziploc bags or prepackaged foods it saves a lot of money.
The third step in improving our lunches was to assign our 10 year old to help with lunches each morning! During the summer we make Bentos lunches in the morning (when the breakfast mess is out) and then if we decided to go to the park we already have lunches ready to go. It also saves on clean up time after lunch. (once I get little kids down for naps I would rather not spend the afternoon doing dishes:)
There are many great websites that offer ideas and of course Pinterest has a lot of great pictures!
I like the bentos ideas on this blog Thoroughly In Earnest
here are some of her pictures:
*I also bought little ice packs that I stick in their lunch bags with the bentos.