Sunday, August 22, 2010

Back to School and Blogging

Tomorrow is the first day of school and we are ready!  Supplies, check!  First day of school outfits, check! School lunch, check!

On the subject of school lunch and breakfast:  in the past I have relied heavily on the availability of cheap food from our local elementary program.  I can now confirm what everyone already knows:  the food is cheap, because the calories are cheap (read worthless) fat, starch, sugar, and salt incarnations that the kids don't really like anyway.  Also, with four little ones in school I was horrified to calculate that it would cost me at least $100 a week for these kids to eat what the State provides.  That is half of our grocery budget and totally ridiculous.

So this is what we devised:  I asked the four going to school to name me two fasting and two non-fasting lunches they would be willing to eat.  This is what they came up with:

Teriyaki chicken bowl with rice and veggies
(this is as far as he got before getting distracted and wandering off)

Ramen Noodles with veggies (no broth)
Inari Sushi with fruit
Gyoza with sticky rice and veggies
Tuna Fish salad with grapes and pretzels

D. (d is for difficult eater)
PB&J with fruit and pretzels
Dip Lunch (fruit, pb, cheese, crackers)
Mini pizza with fruit
Ham and Cheese roll ups (chips n' fruit)

Pb&J (popcorn and fruit)
Tostados with beans and mild salsa
DIY 'Lunchable'
Pizza Sandwich with fruit and pretzels

To this I plan to add reinvented leftovers and some new ideas.  I am happy so far with our choices.  A can of Inari sushi wrappers is $6.  A package of 25 chicken and vegetable gyoza is also about $6.  Rice is cheap, fruit can be stretched (cut it up, and giant bags of pretzels can be had for a couple of dollars.  Which means:  I can feed all the kids for less than a dollar each, half of what a hot lunch costs at school and way more healthy.

Day one maybe overkill, but they won't have a reason to be hungry.  I am packing bento-style.  I got these little containers at Albertson's for $3.99 each.  Not Cheap, but certainly cheaper than the $24.99 (plus shipping) Laptop Lunchboxes that are all the rage now.  Have a great week, and God bless!