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Old 08-25-2013, 10:25 PM
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Default so... what are you packin'??

for the kiddos lunch, that is.

i'm packing for two littles this year and am at a bit of a loss. we're only coming up on day 5 and i'm already getting the nixay on PB&Js. pbbt. i've done loads of looking on Pinterest and such for new ideas... but pbbt, again. i have a pre-K, semi-picky, 4 year old and a pretty well open to new things/but takes 90 minutes to eat a meal at home, 7 year old. i've been doing bento-ish style lunches for a few years now... but am stuck in a rut. i'd love to mix things up but i'm looking for stuff that "real" moms pack in their kid's lunches... not dreamweaver, high on household cleaners, trying to impress the world with their over the top awesomeness "moms". ain't nobody got time fo'dat.

so... whatchya got??

i'm outfitted with tons of cool cutters, egg molds, sandwich shapers and silicone cups... ready for you to hook me up with some of your faves!!
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:45 PM
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I made my kids a menu



At the bottom is Mac and Cheese, Quesadilla, Pancakes, waffles, breakfast burrito.

They get to pick 4 on Sundays, then I pre-make the harder things (or pull them out of the freezer if I have them)
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:47 PM
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My kiddo is easy, she will eat ham sandwiches with mayo every day if I let her. She buys two days a week and takes the other 3.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:54 PM
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oh i LOVE that, Traci!! so will your boys eat "hot" stuff cold then... like hot dogs and mac'n cheese at room temp?? i'm not sure i can sell that... but with a cool "menu" where they get to choose themselves, maybe i'd have more luck. how do you serve up/present the pancakes/waffles? fresh fruit toppings and??
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:01 PM
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yeah, they'll eat anything at room temp. I pre-cook the hot dogs.

I cut the waffles into strips and give them a little tupperware bowl (condiment sized) of syrup to dip. Pancakes I will pre cut and give them a bowl of syrup too.

I use divided boxes so I put some sausage links on the side and some fruit in another portion,
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:02 PM
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Mattie will take frozen taquitos/burritos/corn dogs/chicken nuggets/pizza rolls. I heat them up in the am and wrap them in foil. She doesn't mind that they aren't hot.
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carriesmom View Post
My kiddo is easy, she will eat ham sandwiches with mayo every day if I let her. She buys two days a week and takes the other 3.
my 4 year old is like that... he LOVES jelly sams... a different kind of jelly/jam on each slice of bread. BUT he always wants them open faced and i'm not sure how i'll pull that off in a packed lunch that i know will go through the wringer before he opens it.
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:14 PM
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Well Cheyanne isn't a "little" anymore 8th grade and she's packed her own lunch for years, but she takes leftovers from dinner the night before or soup. Every Sunday we choose 2 soups to make for both our lunches during the week. With the leftovers or soup she takes any of these: Hummus and vegetables, fruit, crackers, cheese, yogurt, apple/PB sandwich, celery with peanut butter or cream cheese, salad, popcorn, corn chips with salsa to name a few.
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:47 AM
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I only have 1 that eats packed lunches, and he's picky. Mostly he's anti-sandwich, though he will eat peanut butter. I rotate through these served with fruit. (I'd love to send veggies, too, but they just come home uneaten.) Hot foods I put in a thermos container.

Macaroni and bean soup
Pasta
Chicken (chicken nuggets or rotisserie chicken eaten cold) with bread and butter or a granola bar
Peanut butter on whole wheat
Beans and rice
Yogurt with popcorn or bread and butter
Turkey slices, string cheese, and crackers
Soy hot dog (eaten cold), cheese slices or a yogurt tube, and a granola bar

My other school-aged child likes to get the school lunch, but if there's a day he doesn't want it he almost always wants what we call Make Your Own Lunchable: Wheat Thins, meat and cheese slices, and fruit.

My preschooler only takes a snack, but if you're looking for sides to send some of her favorites are:
strawberries and a yogurt tube
carrots, hummus, and Wheat Thins
banana and graham crackers
grapes and cheese slices
cucumbers, hummus, and Goldfish crackers
raisins and bread and butter
mini bagels with butter and fruit
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:03 AM
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My kid will eat anything if it's on a stick... haha... he loves ham, cheese, grapes put onto a bamboo skew... I cut off the pointy end. I don't have to pack him lunch much - homeschool - but we have Classical Conversations every Tues where he will need a lunch and all meals have to be peanut-free in a group setting... bittersweet - kiddo LOVES peanut butter and will eat PB&J every meal if he could and now we found out that he is peanut sensitive... I have switched him to almond butter, but it's not going down the same...
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:21 AM
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My kids are completely boring when it comes to school lunches. They don't want dinner leftovers, no matter how tasty, and don't really care if I make it all flash looking or not. They're happy with sandwiches everyday. Their normal lunchbox looks something like this:

Whole grain sandwich (Marmite or PB&J usually)
2 to 3 servings of fruit/veges
Muffin or yoghurt
Crackers or biscuit
1 x treat item

Last edited by jacinda; 08-26-2013 at 05:24 AM.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:08 AM
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Fruit/vegetable juice
a single serve cup of peanut butter OR a sandwich (usually pbj or pb-honey)
fresh fruit
veggie (carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, mini bell peppers, etc)
yogurt or fruit leather (not "fruit" snacks!)
sometimes we add in some baked chips, pretzels, or a 100 calorie snack pack
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:11 AM
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I love some of the ideas here..... My daughter asked for these thermal container where you can put warm food so I got her one in Target. She wants rice and roni on days she will be bringing lunch from home.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:56 AM
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Today I was looking threw my email and came across this for lunch ideas. I don't have any kids in school yet

http://www.lilsugar.com/Peanut-Butte...tent=article_1
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:45 AM
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Yall are lucky. My two are so picky its pb&j everyday here. We pair it with chips or crackers, beef stick, raisins, string cheese, pizza sticks and a flavored water. I cut fun shapes in their sandwiches but that's the most they will let me do. They usually prefer to make their own lunches. My boy says any of the fun bento style stuff is embarrassing. :/
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:59 AM
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My son is beyond picky...last year he took salad everyday...the year before that salami & crackers...he now refuses to eat salami and I'm afraid that he's going to refuse to eat salad this year...I'm at a loss...
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:06 PM
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Wow, I am surprised so many of you can pack peanut butter in your lunches. Here mostly every school is peanut free, and nut aware. If I packed PB, it would get tossed and I would get a phone call!

My grade 1 kid is really picky. She would eat Tostidos and salsa every day if I let her. She also likes rolled up deli turkey (I try and buy the icky free stuff). We have been talking about what other options we can do for her, and the only thing we have agreed on is crab meat (the fakey flavored crab made out of fish).
The only sandwich she will eat is butter and pickles! And she wont eat my homemade bread, just store bought. Frustrating!!!!
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:42 PM
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Older son (grade 5) generally buys his lunch & that's ok with me as it mostly uses local foods & seems decent. Otherwise he'll have a PBJ or ham & cheese (both on potato rolls).

Younger son (grade 4) buys a couple times a week and takes ham & cheese or "triangle sandwiches" which are chicken & spinach stuffed pasties made with Pillsbury croissants.

They both get cheese cubes or string cheese, a fruit of some sort and maybe some crackers.

We do boring monotonous lunches because I am lazy & the boys like routine. Or possibly the boys like routine because I am lazy.
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Old 08-26-2013, 04:56 PM
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my 12 yr old wants peanut butter and mommy homemade jam every day, with a water bottle and then two snacks, one sweet and one cracker like.

the 15 yr old has turkey and havarti, a vitamin water and the two snacks one sweet one chip or cracker like.

Dh gets leftovers lol.

That is as fancy as I get yo!
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:07 PM
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I started making my kids plan out their own lunch menus (they are 11 and 14) and then add anything they need to the grocery list. So far they have been really good about packing their own lunches and sticking to their menus.

My mom bought my little one a bento box with three sections. They take turns taking that to school with their lunch in it.

They do sandwich roll ups. One slice of bread with the crust removed, butter, lunch meat, cheese and then roll it up and put a toothpick through it. Cut it in half for smaller bites.

Make your own lunchable - cut up lunch meat, cheese, turkey pepperoni, crackers, carrots, cukes and a little ranch dressing. They also cut up kiwi, strawberries, cantaloupe and/or watermelon and make a little fruit salad to go with that.

Ceaser salad is a big hit this year.
My oldest loves wraps. Salad with dressing, or meat and cheese in a tortilla all rolled up and then cut in to pieces (if it looks cute then she will eat it).
Hard boiled eggs.
Peanut butter on whole grain Ritz crackers served with a whole apple.
Greek yogurt with fruit
When my youngest was in elementary I made her sandwiches (PB&J or Ham and Provolone) and cut them with big cookie cutters in different seasonal shapes. those were always a hit until she stopped eating PB&J - got sick of it after eating it for 2 years straight.
Neither kid will eat leftovers cold so my husband and I take those or leave them for snacks then the kids get home. We don't eat until 7 so Dh can sit with us.

I also keep snacks (chex mix, pretzels, goldfish, chips, little pickles, carrots, little cukes, small sweet peppers) and sweet treats (cookies, fruit snacks, pudding) in the pantry, but if they run out and they don't put it on the list I've stopped re-stocking it. I want them to become responsible.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:07 PM
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We only pack lunch maybe 2 times a month, otherwise he buys lunch at school. His favorite though when I pack is some sort of meat (pepperoni, turkey sausage, etc), string cheese, crackers, go-go squeeze and yogurt covered raisins.
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k23m View Post
Wow, I am surprised so many of you can pack peanut butter in your lunches. Here mostly every school is peanut free, and nut aware. If I packed PB, it would get tossed and I would get a phone call!
DD has lucked out and has never had a kid who is allergic in any of her classes from K-8. They do have peanut-free tables in the cafeteria but she said no kids have ever had to use it so I guess we have always lucked out. I know my niece has a kid who is allergic to tree nuts in her class but not peanuts (because of course they are very different nuts!) So her classroom is nut free to be on the safe side.
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:29 AM
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I wanted to add that we have also been using the Dole Smoothies from the freezer section. They come with the fruit in them and you just add juice and shake. Those are a huge hit with my younger one. She just takes the juice in a refillable water bottle, pours it in and shakes at lunch. I make sure I put an ice block in the lunch box, around the bottle to keep it cool. She has first lunch so the wait isn't more than a three hours so it's been working really well.

Now I just need to figure out how to make my own version of these to save myself some money.

Also on the peanut allergy. My DD has a fellow student that is allergic to nuts in her PE class. They allow snacks in 6th period (when DD has PE) so no one in that period can bring anything with nuts and they are super, super vigiliant. To the point that they asked the kids to bring mouthwash to use after lunch if they have anything with any kinds of nuts. They have to wash hands and either brush or wash out their mouths before going back to class. I thought that was interesting because I wouldn't think mouthwash was something they'd want middle schoolers to bring to school.
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:47 AM
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THANK YOU for posting this because I've been trying to boost my lunch ideas too. Traci, I had seen you mention your "mom"ables lunchables on FB and I am totally stealing that idea!

I've been cruising pinterest and I did find a couple cool ideas. Fruit + yogurt smoothies can be frozen and served later. A sandwich can be frozen, and if you want mayo on it, just put it between the meat & cheese so it doesn't make the bread soggy when it thaws. So basically a kid can pick a sandwich from the freezer and by the time they eat lunch it will be thawed enough. For those whose kids do like PB&J, I found this nifty gadget to make homemade uncrustables

My kids also like stuff like chicken salad, tuna, anything with cheese, some fruits and veggies. I've done soup, but the thermal containers I bought last year didn't hold up and started leaking.

Since I will be at work before the kids get up though, I thought it was best to do things that we could get ready the night before. This dad guy here is just not good at this stuff and will pack crap in their bags. On Sundays I'm going to get enough meals/options ready for the week, freeze what I need to, and then let the kids pick which things they want. They only have to pick from what I've made and that's it. So they get a choice, but with limitations. They can get their bags ready in the evening and put them in the fridge so they're ready to go in the a.m. I saw somewhere else, FB or pinterest, about having a freezer bin, a fridge bin and a dry bin. And that's exactly what I'm going to do. They'll have those three places to choose their choices from each day. The extra stuff that I've stocked up on is stored up out of reach. I'll also have after school snacks in the fridge and dry bins too.

Anyways, I'm really excited. The whole packing lunches thing went downhill for us last year and it got very unorganized. Part of that was due to me working til late at night and then being up like a zombie early to get them up in the morning....I'm on a totally different schedule this year. So these little domestic niceties I get to partake in make me happy <3

K, sorry for the novel! Did I say I was excited??
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:56 AM
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Oh I almost forgot! A very important staple for my kids is vanilla yogurt. They love it. They don't like fruit chunks in their yogurt so the big containers of this stuff are a must for us. But for other kids who do like fruit in their yogurt, it could be mixed up and served in different ways, with fruit, in smoothies, etc. I'm gonna have to puree the heck out of any fruit I use to make smoothies lol.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:58 PM
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My son is the same way, eats tons and tons of vanilla yogurt, but doesn't want any chunks in it. He did, surprisingly, decide that he actually likes Greek yogurt even more than normal recently though.
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:26 PM
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Avery has sensory and texture issues with food..so he basically eats the same thing every day.. pb&j, apple slices, some type of cheese, yogurt, pretzels and a cookie for dessert.
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:03 PM
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For those who are looking for healthier nonprocessed options, this site has some good ideas. Of course not all of them are quick and convenient and they require baking some things ahead of time and freezing them for later but there are some different ideas- just thought I'd pass it along

She also posts her kids lunches on FB every day - same name on FB as the web site.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:28 PM
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This is my first year packing lunches and I have to pack for my 4 oldest kiddos!!! I made up a menu for an entire month and I usually choose 2 to 3 "meals" for a week and then alternate them. Then the next week I chose 2 or 3 more!!!

Tue: PB&J, Ham/pineapple kabob, 1/2 kiwi and trail mix
Wed: Mac & Cheese, Apple with dip, granola bites & carrots w/ranch
Thu: PB&J, Ham/pineapple kabob, 1/2 kiwi and trail mix
Fri: Mac & Cheese, Apple with dip, granola bites & carrots w/ranch

Sept 3 thru 6
Tuesday: Meatball w/ roll, bean/cheese quesadilla and grapes
Wed: Italian Meat "sushi", cinnamon pita chips & clementine
Thru: Meatball w/ roll, bean/cheese quesadilla and grapes
Fri: Italian Meat "sushi", cinnamon pita chips & clementine

Sept 9 thru 13
Mon: PB&J, Pretzels, grapes
Tues: Meat & Cheese tortilla, goldfish, peaches, fruit snacks
Wed: Scrambled eggs, sausage, cinnamon pita chips, clementine
Thru: PB&J, Pretzels, grapes
Fri: Meat & Cheese tortilla, goldfish, peaches, fruit snacks

Sept 16 thru 20
Mon: Hard boiled egg, crescent roll, carrots w/ ranch
Tue: Mac & Cheese, granola bites, apple w/dip
Wed: PB&J, Pretzels, grapes
Thur:Hard boiled egg, crescent roll, carrots w/ ranch
Fri: Mac & Cheese, granola bites, apple w/dip

Sept 23 thru 27
Mon: PB&J, chocolate pudding, gold fish, grapes
Tue: Pizza bun, carrots w/ dip, baby oranges
Wed: Meat & Cheese kabob, grape/pineapple kabob, gold fish
Thur: PB&J, chocolate pudding, gold fish, grapes
Fri: Pizza bun, carrots w/ dip, baby oranges

30th
Mon: Scrambled eggs, sausage, cinnamon pita chips, clementine

And everything is "homemade", I'm not buying any processed food so the goldfish, granola bites, fruit snacks dips are all being made whish is why I needed to plan a month at a time!!! Here is my school lunch idea Pinterest board.
http://pinterest.com/mummytothree/school-lunch-ideas/

I also created new boards for each month and "re-pinned" any thing that had a recipe that I will have to make so I can find it easily!!! I also have a few ideas on my snack board!!!
http://pinterest.com/mummytothree/food-snacks/
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:34 PM
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and on the PB issue - our classrooms are peanut/nut free but our lunch room isn't. They have a nice section set up that is though - 2 tables. But I know from all my years in school (my oldest is 15 so 11 years and 4 kids worth) we only ever had 3 kids with a peanut allergy - so we have all been very fortunate!!!
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacinda View Post
Their normal lunchbox looks something like this:

Whole grain sandwich (Marmite or PB&J usually)
2 to 3 servings of fruit/veges
Muffin or yoghurt
Crackers or biscuit
1 x treat item
This is a lot like how my girls' lunch boxes look. Sometimes I'll switch up the sandwich and give them a mini bagel with cream cheese and ham or a slice of leftover pizza if we have it. Now and then I'll do lunchables and pack some fruit and a treat with it. They almost always have a Gogurt or string cheese. We keep the school menu on the fridge and they write their initials on the days they want to buy lunch at school (which isn't often lol).

I've seen other kids bring things like burritos wrapped in foil and never thought to do that for mine. I should ask and see how they feel about that. lol
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:13 PM
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This is a great list ladies...I probably need to save this thread in a PDF. This is the one part of school that has me worried the most. I had been all over Pinterest too but it wasn't helping much with my picky eater. We did make a list together and I got her a small thermos for warm food and some small ice packs if anything needs to stay cold. Our school is also not peanut free which does not help my worrying.
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:27 PM
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Feel free to send along your homemade leftovers to us, Elizabeth!
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traci Reed View Post
I made my kids a menu



At the bottom is Mac and Cheese, Quesadilla, Pancakes, waffles, breakfast burrito.

They get to pick 4 on Sundays, then I pre-make the harder things (or pull them out of the freezer if I have them)
This is genius!
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