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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): The Lunch Riot

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Lunch Riot

My kids this morning shouted "No more!". It seems we had gotten into a lunch runt. If it wasn't PB&J, it was turkey on cheese. Yes, every once in awhile I packed them a different kind of sandwich, but for the most part...the stuff was incredibly boring. Are you in the same shoes? Here's how to rev up your lunch fare, and avert the next lunch riot.

Start thinking outside the box. Instead of a sandwich, how about this fare:

  • Sandwich wrap. Get those flour tortillas and spread them with mayo or cream cheese. Put on your favorite meat choice and add sprinkled cheese. Roll up and wrap with plastic wrap. These also make great party food, either cut into slices (so you have nice spirals) or cut them in half (thru the plastic) and lay them in a dish at an angle.
  • Chicken strips. Cut leftover chicken into strips. Pack something to dip them in such as ketchup, BBQ sauce or ranch dressing.
  • Hotdog poppers. Cook a hotdog or two in the morning. Cut it up. Use those ketchup packets from the fast food joint. Let them dip their hotdog chunks at lunch.
  • Soup. I bought a few small Thermoses a few weeks ago. The little one likes the change of pace with chicken noodle. Heat it up in the microwave that morning.
  • Homemade Lunchables. Use your own crackers, cut up lunchmeat and cheese so kids can make their own stackers.
  • Salami/pickle rolls. Spread thin slices of salami with mustard, lay a pickle spear on top, then roll and secure with toothpicks.
Sometimes, it is just the presentation that is "off". How about presenting the same things a different way?

  • PB&J on graham crackers instead of bread.
  • Instead of PB&J, make a sandwich with bananas and honey.
  • Use a different kind of bread for that sandwich, such as some of the Italian varieties, sourdough, different grains, Hawaiian bread or a nice hoagie roll.
  • Use frozen waffles (toasted) instead of bread slices with PB&J.
  • If your child likes salads, fill a pita pocket with the ingredients and then send in some salad dressing, so they can pour it over the ingredients themselves.
What else can you put in that lunch to make it special?

  • Baggie of cereal. The kids love it anyway, so why not indulge them every now and then.
  • Bag of dried fruits. You can get the large slices and cut them up with kitchen shears and put 'em in a bag. The more colorful, the better.
  • A hardcooked egg. Make it pretty by slicing it almost all the way thru with an egg slicer, so the pieces look like an accordian.
  • Use colored plastic wrap during the holidays.
  • Cereal bars are okay, and even a Pop Tart every now and then is okay too.
  • Don't forget to add a special note, joke or thought. We like to add sayings, such as the ones mentioned in this article.
Here are a few more ideas:

What do you do to make your child's lunch special?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm going to try those tortilla things. I thought they were just for mexican food.

November 14, 2007 at 1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sent my kids to school today with a PB&J sandwich, apples, frozen gogurt tube, and mini can of V8. I rarely make sandwiches.
I apologized to the kids for how boring the lunch was since I am used to making bento box lunches. Two of my favorite bento sites:

Now that you have thermoses-think about using your children as an easy way to get rid of your leftovers! With the hubby deployed and me still wanting to cook there are a lot of leftovers. Recently the kids took leftover meatballs, potatoes, and gravy (warmed in the microwave in the morning, placed in a thermos pre-warmed with hot water left in the kettle from my tea) with some ligonberries in a side dish container. If you've ever eaten at IKEA you'll know what I'm talking about.

If you make smoothies, freeze the leftovers in small Glad containers and throw one in (plus a spoon or straw depending on your child's lunch period).

I could go on and on . . . I love to make lunches. It's weird I realize, but at least I don't vacuum air . . .

November 15, 2007 at 8:44 PM  

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