Unpacking the Bagged Lunch

January 30, 2010

I learned early on in my lunch-packing career that sending a nice, shiny apple in my kids’ lunches was simply sentencing that apple to a day of rolling around in a lunchbox only to return to me in the evening bruised, unappreciated and ready to become applesauce. Sometimes I dream of moving  to a tropical island, where I would send fresh kiwis and mangos with my children to school, and maybe even little coconuts with straws!  But, alas I live in Ithaca, NY, where apples are just about the only fruit that I can count on being able to afford year round.  Because of this, my household eats a lot of apples.and here’s what I do with them when I pack them in lunches. 

* Slice them and put them in a bowl (an apple slicer is very handy for this)

* Toss them with enough bottled lemon juice to cover the apple.            

* Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on them (make the cinnamon sugar up ahead of time and keep it in a shaker). 

* Put them in an air tight container and send them off!

Do you have a simple, healthful, lunchbox suggestion to share? The more ideas we can exchange the more we can collectively avoid those annoying lunchbox item boycotts!  To get you started, here is the short list of currently accepted lunchbox fare in my household:

*Peanut butter and banana sandwiches

*Peanut butter and honey sandwiches

*Hard -boiled eggs

*Tofu Kan

*Tofu pups with melted cheese and ketchup, wrapped in a tortilla (yes, they’re cold by the time they eat them)

*Homemade cookies that I freeze (see School Cookies and Lisa’s Sunflower Cookies)

*Dinner leftovers often work for one child, but not the other

*Tuna fish works for one, but not the other

*Veggie Stix (Good Healthy Natural Foods)

*Kashi TLC Cereal Bars

*One of my kids is a vegetarian now, so this isn’t exactly “currently” accepted, but turkey luncheon meat and cheese rolls used to work

Please help me add to this list!  My girls cannot live on cinnamon apples alone.  Leave your suggestions in the comments below, and then bask in the gratitude of lunch-packing moms everywhere.

-Kelly at the Goose


From Laurel’s Kitchen. Try freezing these and throwing them in packed lunches. They’re so filling, your child may not come home starving! If you want to make everyone really happy, substitute chocolate chips for raisins.


  • ½ cup butter (1/4 lb)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 lightly beaten egg
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup toasted wheat germ
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • ¾ cup chopped walnut or toasted sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

Add egg, vanilla and salt and beat well.

Stir flour, baking powder, wheat germ and rolled oats together with a fork.

Blend well with other ingredients, adding a Tablespoon or more of water if necessary to hold the mixture together.

Place by Tablespoonful on greased cookie sheets. Flatten them slightly.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Makes 24.

nov 1 2009 023

Oatmeal School Cookies


-The Geese at The Goose