To ask what I can do for packed lunches for kid who 'doesn't like sandwiches'(118 Posts)
Self-employed and haven't had work for almost four months due to family upheaval/several home moves so absolutely skint, surviving on loans from my dad when he can afford.
Have decided need to do packed lunches for DD12 as constantly having to top up ParentPay and can't afford. Object to paying over the odds for crap, low nutrition school food (DD usually gets muffin, cookie, cheesy panini or pizza, bottled drink even though should take her water bottle and refill at school).
I could do healthier packed lunch for cheaper. But she 'won't eat sandwiches', hates veggie food, in past has left most of lunch that requires any effort to eat, ie cutlery, as she's more bothered about hanging out with friends at break than eating lunch.
I'd do chicken wrap or something similarly quick and easy to eat but it would be hanging around in her school bag until lunchtime which isn't really safe for meat.
Could say 'tough shit, it's sandwiches or nothing' but I'd be chucking them away at the end of the day. Aside from hating food waste, I can't afford to be throwing food away.
Wish schools still did sit-down, cooked meals. Ours were a bit gross but we'd be so hungry by lunchtime, we'd eat it. I hate the ParentPay system as you have no control over what your kid is buying, they don't know the price of what they're buying and it's a minimum top-up of £10 each time. And the food available is crap despite Jamie Oliver's big school food crusade several years ago.
Anyone had similar problem? How do you get around issue of not being able to refrigerate food until lunchtime? Is it ok to give DD food she probably won't eat and make her go hungry until evening meal?
(I know it's ok to provide her with nutritious food and her lookout if she's too picky to eat it but I just need some reassurance that I'm not a shit, neglectful parent)
Buy those little ice blocks to go in lunch box and keep food cold? As she is 12 she should be involved in her choices?
Freeze a juice or a frube to keep the lunch cool? Or buy an insulated lunch bag TK Maxx sell them.
Just do pizzas at home in the oven, then send her in with a cold slice everyday.
Veggie if you’re worried about meat spoiling.
I went through a phase of making sensible lunches for DD1 to eat, but they all ended up rotten and mashed to the bottom of her bag.
Don’t make life any harder than it needs to be.
It's perfectly safe to make a chicken wrap for lunchtime. It's been done from before we had fridges and the human race has survived. Or you could use ice blocks in the lunchbox (which I did on really hot days).
You could try cubes of cheese, cocktail sausages, crackers, breadsticks, dips, savoury muffins.
I’m in Australia and it’s normal for kids here to take a small cooler bag with their packed food for school. In that you enclose esky bricks or a frozen popper. Schools don’t do school lunches either.
My mum used to do me crackers with butter on and some cheese and ham, put into separate freezer bags. I’d usually have some grapes and cheap crisps as well, also an extra piece of fruit for snack. I was a very fussy eater and she struggled with me loads (I still am) You could do a yog as well if she likes them.
I had some sensory issues as a kid I think, probably still do now. Just cannot abide soft food, sandwiches and yogurt turn my stomach unless there’s a ‘crunch’ in there etc.
DS doesnt eat bread so I make up a batch of little crustless quiches in Yorkshire pudding tins on a Sunday night. I use chicken or ham and lots of veggies like onions, diced peppers and mushrooms. I make up 12 as I use 2 x tins of six. They keep well in the fridge.
A chicken wrap in her bag until lunchtime will be perfectly ok. Millions of children over the years have taken chicken/ham/tuna sandwiches to school for lunch and have lived to tell the tale!
If you’re worried then pop one of those cool packs from the freezer in her lunch bag to keep the wrap cold.
You say she eats a panini or pizza at school. There’s nothing to stop you doing your own version of these for her to take. Cook the pizza or panini at home and pop it in her lunchbox. It’s fine.
Surely a cheesy panini is both vegetarian and a sandwich? Send her with that if it gets her into the packed lunch routine.
I still take meat sandwiches for my own packed lunch and have never found it to be a problem, insulated bags help keep them fresh. I used to put cold sausages in finger rolls for the children sometimes as 'hot dogs', they were popular. Pasta salad is nice and filling too.
As an adult who can never be bothered to make sandwiches for lunch, I'll have leftovers. Most dinner leftovers make good lunches, anything with pasta is great cold imo and you could easily batch cook it just for lunches.
Today I have leftover quiche and salad and other days I've had leftover rice and veg with chicken or whatever protein we've had with the dinner.
Granted I have a microwave and fridge at work but an ice pack would be sufficient to keep things cold for a few hours and they don't need to be reheated.
My dcs don't eat sandwiches. I make cheese straws, except they're called cheesy circles as they don't like cheese straws. I also make sausage rolls which are made with pork mince as it's not a processed meat like sausage meat. Also mini chicken and vegetable pies in a muffin tin. Pizza pinwheels, with pizza dough. They want me to make scotch eggs. Again I'm going to make them with mince. I also do breadsticks/carrots with homous for ds2, ds1 doesn't like that. I also put packet meat/ cocktail sausages for the odd treat with a pot of ketchup or bbq sauce. Ds1 will not eat this, so I do a mugshot pasta for him with the packet meat. I also make cakes as they are cheap.
I was a kid who didn't like sandwiches.
Wraps, definitely - they will still be safe by lunchtime, but use a coolbag if you're worried.
Pasta was a real lifesaver for my mum back when I was a kid - a tupperware full of pasta and tomato sauce, which I could eat cold and was so much happier because it was very much not a sandwich.
Carrot sticks and hummus.
Cous cous was another lifesaver for my poor mum (e.g. those flavoured cous cous sachets you get, and you can add some protein)
A rice dish
I have a son who won't eat sandwiches... or cheese 🙄 I get those choc chip brioche rolls, crackers and butter, croissants. Will be giving the cold pizza a try though xx
Actually my favourite lunch was when she’d chop up cherry tomatoes, cucumber, cheese, grapes and red pepper into a box and send me with that. Sometimes with a meat in but most often with a couple of breadsticks separate in a freezer bag and a pot of hummus. With two sweet clems, still eat it to this day.
What about some pasta with toppings? 20p for a bag of pasta in Aldi and could top with some tomatoes, tuna, chicken, cheese, whatever she likes. Would keep easily enough. Chicken wraps should keep totally fine for the morning as well.
She’s 12. She’s old enough to understand your family’s financial reality. And the no sandwiches is her bring difficult if she’ll gave a panini at school!
Get her to meal plan and make them.
My younger child has periods of being bored with sandwiches. Alternatives are:
Pots of cold pasta
Soup (you can get a thermal bowl for £6)
Curry and rice - in the thermal bowl
Wrap (often acceptable when sandwich isn’t!)
Protein pot type thing - cheese, tuna - without the bread round it!
Turn a blind eye to it coming home uneaten for a while, serve a normal dinner portion, and if she’s hungry - offer her lunch leftovers as a second course.
I make up a batch of ham wraps on a Sunday evening and put them in the freezer. Lift one out every morning and put it in the lunchbag. By lunchtime it's defrosted.
Don't make life harder than it needs to be.
Get an insulated lunch box and stick an ice block in it. I do that for my kids and by lunch time, it's still cold and good to eat.
Then you can do chicken wraps, cheese wraps, filled pittas etc.
I don't like cold sandwiches, so when I started high school I made my own lunch. Wouldn't it be easier if she sorted it out herself?
My dd has been taking in cold sausage rolls/ scotch pies alternated with wraps with Philadelphia and slices of ham. She's not a fan of sandwiches either. They're only in her bag for about 3 hours before eating
Chicken in a wrap will be fine. I used a frozen Froub when its warm to keep it cool.
Cold pasta is always a winner. Dd1 hates sandwiches so will have pasta or homemade soup (kept warm in a thermos). Cheese and crackers or dip-its go down well too.
Tortellini (or just plain) pasta salad.
Couscous with roasted veg and feta.
Crackers and Cheese.
Pizza Rolls (see here).
Thanks for your replies. Some helpful suggestions which should have been obvious, easy solutions for me to have done already. I've just been so stressed with having no income, looking for work, having to ask my dad for loans knowing he doesn't have much spare left... So when I tell DD she has to have packed lunches, ask her what she wants (that she'll actually eat), get 'I don't know' as a response and then 'no' to all my suggestions, I feel like screaming. I just need to get a grip and toughen up.
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