As the school year was coming to a close in June, the month of August looked a lot like the Illinois horizon – stretching on forever without many points of interest. Color me shocked that it has flown by so quickly. I guess an unexpected change in jobs and a big road trip helped repaint the landscape a bit.

The big kids start school next week and I’m trying to reform the way I deal with lunches. I hate to admit that the kids ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, carrot sticks and a piece of fruit for 90% of their lunches last year. I’m not one to make lunches the night before. I really don’t like the texture of sandwiches that have been in the fridge, so I never think to make them for my kids. After reading about Melissa’s plan for school lunches, I was inspired to expand my lunch-making repertoire this year.

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After dispensing far too much mental energy (with a hefty dose of financial guilt), I went ahead and ordered LunchBots. I got an Uno and Duo for each. They are really nice. The Uno is the perfect size for a sandwich. The Duo just right for a couple of sides. They both fit in the kids’ lunch bags, with room to spare.

But what about what goes in the bags? Good question. We made a list of main course ideas. Some of the kids’ choices, like tuna salad sandwiches, will need to stay cool.  The lunch bags we have are insulated so I think we can handle that. We’ve included rice and tofu as an option.  We’ll have to see how the kids like eating their rice at room temperature. Given their crazy love for rice and tofu (including a song and dance) I am guessing the temperature should not pose too much of a problem.

I’ve also been trying out some recipes for treats that might find their way into lunches. So far we’ve tested and approved PB balls and homemade Lara Bars. Next up on the to-try list is baked oatmeal.

We went to back-to-school night and saw the new site.  The kids were excited to see teachers and friends and the school looks great.  They are so ready to be back and I am looking forward to the return of routine.  Let’s hope I can get the hang of a new lunch routine, too.

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