Summer’s finally here and we’ve decided to continue school sessions for our daughter since it seems to be going pretty well lately. She enjoys all the activities they do and has made a few friends. (Granted, her closest friend is not attending summer sessions, but there are others.) Recently, we decided to switch one of her days to Wednesday. We did not realize that requires us to stick to fully disposable brown bag lunch ideas. This might have been a huge mistake so we’ll see if we decide to keep going with it.
On Wednesdays, the kids are required to wear their special school t-shirt. (That means you better not fall behind on laundry or misplace the shirt!) They are also required to pack fully disposable brown paper bag lunches with no heat-ups. The point is to get them into a habit for when they go on field trips when they are older, since they won’t be bringing their lunches home. I get the point of fully disposable brown bag lunch ideas and I understand it’s probably a good thing. This is just tough since my toddler is picky and doesn’t tend to eat sandwiches, unless they are made on pretzel rolls, and even then it is a 50/50 chance you’re taking.
I learned today that they will refrigerate the bags if something is at risk of spoiling. So that’s good. But packing a school lunch is hard enough when you have a picky child. Now we have to avoid anything that needs to be stored and served in a container or heated up. Also, any unfinished foods are tossed in the trash, so there goes my strategy of packing an extra item or two so my daughter actually eats something. No sense in feeding the trashcan.
Last night we got home around midnight from a quick trip to Cape May, N.J. with Natalie’s cousins and some of our family. Disposable brown bag lunch ideas were the furthest from my mind. Today we had to not only scramble to pack our first fully disposable, non-heatable, brown paper bag lunch, but also had to prepare for summer class picture day 1. Tomorrow is individual picture day, so I imagine it will be a similar scramble but at least a well-rested one.
In the quick scramble, I drew a beach scene on Natalie’s lunch bag. (I am no artist!) I sliced up half a pear and tossed a few chicken nuggets in a bag. She likes them cold. I also packed Fritos, which she recently found a fondness for, and a homemade sugar cookie shaped like a seashell from a batch we made together. Not the healthiest lunch but what are ya gonna do the morning of, after a long drive and a weary sleep, with numerous rules to follow in packing said lunch… I partially froze her juice box to help as an ice pack until she was ready to drink it.
Some Fully Disposable Brown Bag Lunch Ideas
- Chicken nuggets, tenders, or chicken bites
- Chicken drumsticks
- Leftover pizza
- Sliced fruit
- Raw veggies
- Sandwiches, if your child will eat them
- Homemade trail mix
- Crackers with cheese, if agreeable
- Soft pretzel
I’m anxiously awaiting pickup to see how she did with her lunch. Of course, I may never know since anything left over gets thrown out. I will continue to build out this list of fully disposable brown bag lunch ideas as I discover more things I can pack in plastic bags or wrap in foil or plastic wrap for safe, unheated consumption. It feels a bit stressful now but we’ll see in a few weeks if it gets easier, if we last that long.
Is anyone else struggling with fully disposable bag lunches? Please share your frustrations, your tips, or your thoughts in our comments below!