Works For Me Wednesday- I Gots a Kindergartner!!

  Shannon has declared it backwards day, so backwards day it is. I so am not tispy from opening a bottle of wine after a particularly trying day with my children. See…backwards day.

So my question for you is this: Wednesday, I enter I new phase in life. I am the mom of a Kindergartner. As we speak her little backpack is packed and sitting by the front door. Is there anything more precious? She is so excited. I am hoping to not become a blubbering mess. Then again, maybe God gave me today so I wouldn’t be so sad :)

So my question is this. What do you pack for lunch? PB&J everyday? That seems lame. Help me out. And any other Kindergarten wisdom would be much appreciated. Especially how not to go into the ugly cry :) Wish me luck!!


  1. YEAH! Kindergarten is the best! We do some PB&J, but we also do leftover pizza, hot dogs, soup in a thermos and once a week, I pack a lunchable for a treat!

    We are THAT familys last blog post..The Nest

  2. Noooo, you’re not tispy at ALL.

    My advice is to consult her on what she would like to eat (within reason of course) ‘cuz if she don’t like it, she won’t eat it. “What healthy foods would you like me to pack?”

    It is difficult to get out of the PB&J rut. My girl likes pb/banana & salami sandwiches, but would you believe she is reluctant to take these b/c their odor, it doth offend. sheesh.

    yogurts. carrot sticks. apple slices. I am not a found of wisdom. I HAVE found that I need to pack less than I think I do in order to avoid seeing it still in the lunchbox when she gets home. A sandwich. One side item. And a teeny tiny sweet is plenty.

    Elaine@bloginmyeyes last blog post..Works for me Wednesday – I’m the boss of my floss

  3. This summer I wrote a series on lunchbox ideas for the Happy to be at Home blog. Here’s a link to the first in the series:
    (the last entry has my cheat sheet list of ideas I refer to every night as I plan.)

    Hope this helps!

  4. There are tons of cute ideas for Bento boxes – google should be all you need!

    When my kids went to school, I made a big box full of “treats” (cracker packs, raisins, what have you) and let my kids pick which thing they wanted. They also picked out what kind of fruit they wanted.

    One of my kids won’t eat bread, so he got cheese sticks and “meat rollups”.

    I also made homemade lunchables for them.

    Milehimamas last blog post..Obama Campaign Sign

  5. I homeschool but my two oldest (2nd grade and kinder) go to a charter school’s workshop day (wednesdays) and so I pack lunches for them once a week. Granted, it’s not daily like your dilema but this is what I do. I do one or two fruits (like a sliced apple and a box of raisins), a starch of some kind like pretzels, chips or crackers, a small dessert (like a smarties or small pack of m&m’s) and then I rotate the “main dish”. Sometimes it’s pb&j, sometimes cheese and lunch meat. My kids love yogurts so I put a little container of vanilla in there and they can add their fruit in it. Or dip their crackers. And for special treats I’ll give them a lunchable. They think those things are a big deal. Hope that helps. You can also pick up on her comments about other lunches that her friends have. She’ll give you lots of clues to follow I’m sure. lol. =0) And don’t worry about crying. It’s our right as moms.

    Runningamucks last blog post..Works For Me Wednesday 9/3/08

  6. my son has practically lived on cucumbers and apples the last three years, so if it ain’t broke don’t fixit. he gets cuke, cut apple with lemon juice and bread and butter. when he has more appetite i’ll add lunch meat. when i pick him up i always have a homemade energy bar to give him strength till we walk home.

  7. I taught greade school before I had my kids, and lunches are always hard for kindergarten parents! It actually sounds pretty daunting to me too now that I’m out of the school systems! But, let me think… PB & J is perfect, or if she likes any kind of ham/cheese, turkey/cheese, etc. that would be good. You could use wraps, pitas, or other types of bread with the sandwich, to change things up. Once it’s little colder out you could do soup in a thermos, and tomato is always a favorite with kids year round. A piece of fresh fruit is also great, but change that up too, if you can. Grapes seemed to be a favorite with my students, but were rarely sent in lunches. And always include a SMALL sweet treat (because, trust me, they’ll get some from other kids if it’s not in their lunch).

    Just be sure that your school isn’t PB free. The neighboring school to ours was, because of peanut/nut allergies. Some schools also isolate PB lunch kids from others, rather than banning PB, which can be hard if your daughter’s “latest best friend” has nut allergies. Just check with the school policy, if you don’t know already.

  8. Oh, forgot to say, cut up the grapes if you think of it… kindergartners are prone to talking/running/etc. with food in their mouths for awhile!

  9. hard boiled eggs
    cereal and milk
    breakfast bar and yogurt
    banana on a hotdog bun with peanut butter
    apples with peanut butter for dipping
    granola bars

    My kids really love pb&j. And a pudding. Puddings really make them happy!

    As a former kindy teacher… if YOU are going to cry… do it out in the hall!! No fair upsetting the other mommies, I mean, kids!

    Totallyscrappys last blog post..WFMW: Kids and Chores

  10. As a former Kinder teacher and lunch aid…please make sure what ever you pack she can open on her own. By the time we got around to everyone some kids were really hungry others had eaten the snacky part of lunch and no longer cared about eating that apple that needed to be sliced or banana that needed peeling. If you just crack the banana they can usually peel it. Also lemon juice can help a presliced apple stay fresh.

    I also agree that less is usually more. There is so much to look at in the lunch room lots of kids just pick at their food. It’s amazing the waste.

  11. i don’t have any advice, as we’re quite a ways from making these decisions. but, i did want to say she fortunately won’t die from eating pb&j for lunch every day for a year. my mom knows this to be true. its the only thing i’d eat. for. the. entire. year. of first grade.

    katherine (senor elefante)s last blog post..lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

  12. warillever says:

    I came over to get advice, but I’ll tell you what has been working for us.

    My oldest is in first grade this fall and taking lunch for the first time. He loves bringing along just what I make for “Papa.” I pack a sandwich and three snacks — one fruit, one veggie (carrot sticks, raw green beans…), and one salty treat (pretzels, green beans, crackers).

    I freeze a half-filled water bottle, then fill the rest with water in the morning. It functions as both an ice pack and his drink.

    warillevers last blog post..Two Questions and an Advertisement

  13. My 7-year-old is picky, so after several rounds of trial and error, we’ve settled on PB & J. Everyday.(I wrote about it here on another WFMW post.) http://sandwiched.wordpress.com/2008/05/21/wfmw-never-buy-uncrustables-again/

    I usually add a 100-calorie pack of chips, some fruit (the plastic cups of peaches and oranges are favorites), and a treat. Today it was fat-free chocolate pudding, last week, a small brownie. She buys milk at school.

    For a while, she packed her favorite dry cereal and added milk that she bought at school.

    Also, I’ve taken to requiring her to buy lunch at school at least one day a week. It encourages her to try something new (guess what? She LOVES their grilled cheese!) and gives the pb & j a rest.

    sandwicheds last blog post..WFMW: Backwards edition: Chores!

  14. I don’t know if this has been mentioned or not BUT one of my favs is a sandwhich on a croissant roll. I like it with turkey, tuna, chicken salad or just whatever. This is assuming she likes tuna and chicken salad. If not, put her favs on it.

    Also, just cheese squares, fruit, crackers, yogurt is a fun one. I am trying to think what I saw in kiddos lunches when I was teaching.

    Doe she like wraps? that is always popular. You put all the ingredients in her lunch and let her make it herself at lunch. Very cool thing! Just depends on time and the child.

    Best of luck….=0)

    the characters last blog post..Works For Me: BACKWARDS Edition

  15. We bought a little thermos for Clare’s lunch sack. Today’s first lunch was left over mac & cheese from the other night’s dinner…I reheated it this morning and threw it in the thermos with some goldfish & dried blueberries, and a babybelle cheese round. She also gets 2 snacks through the day, so there are apple slices & granola bites in her bag too.

    I forsee lots of soups, easy mac, sandwiches, and the occasional hot lunch of cheese pizza in our school year of lunches.

    Chars last blog post..My Personal Definition

  16. My son just started K too. I’m planning on making bento style lunches for him. He likes variety so there will be a lot of different things like fruit, vegetables, nuts, etc. That way he doesn’t get board eating the same things.

    I agree with milehimama about searching bentos online. It’s sure to give you a lot of inspiration.

    Found your site from Rocks In My Dryer

    zakka lifes last blog post..Precious Moments Book Giveaway

  17. First off congratulations on your accomplishment! (yes it is an accomplishment to have your child entering school) … Secondly let me tell you that God granted you children so that you could train them up in the way that they should go … so you need to hold on to that blubbering feeling & get over it since you have a long way to go yet in getting your star pupil on the right road for life. Trust me, ours are all grown & raising their blessings now but we are still very much a part of the equation (parenting is a “job for life” … it has no end) so enjoy the moment and see how wonderful you can feel that you have gotten your child prepared for the beginning of a continous cycle geared for learning. God Bless you all :)

    Annes last blog post..Labor Day stories ….

  18. My boys just started 1st grade, so i’m right there with you on the lunch thing!

    We use thermoses a lot. (I bought them at Target — FUNTAINERS) Today they had hot dogs in their thermoses, with fruit and crackers.

    Peanut butter crackers and bananas are also a hit.

    I sat down with the boys before school started, and we made a list of lunchtime possibilities. Now the night before, I have them help plan / pack their lunches. It’s working great so far!

    (And the other night we had scalloped potatoes and ham and one of my boys said, “OH, this would be perfect for lunch!” so that’s what they had…)

    And my other advice? Keep up with the paperwork. Every day, go through that backpack and fill out the forms and send them back. Otherwise, it gets really overwhelming!

    Llama Mommas last blog post..superfast

  19. My kids love it when I do fruit Kabobs… canteloupe, strawberries and pinapple piled up on a straw. They feel very special. They also LOVE the messages we write on the napkins. My current kindergartener is my last kindergartener, so I am hanging on to each day for dear life.

    Annie @ Having a Balls last blog post..Hair-larious

  20. I do a lot of PB&J but sometimes I also do a hot dog in a bun with a ketchup packet on the side or a ham & cheese sandwich. If we have leftovers I’ve been known to put ziti in or leftover pizza or even a piece of chicken. Lately my son wanted a hot pocket so I heated one up in the microwave before school and he ate it at room temperature when lunch time came around.

    They also get fruit every day. Grapes are great for lunch boxes and small apples. Granola bars, pretzels, applesauce, yogurt. This year I’m trying to stop using plastic baggies so much and bought some reusable containers for stuff. I just have to remember to take them out of the lunch boxes at the end of the day!

    Lunchables are a BIG treat for them. They might get one a month or something.

    As for messages in the lunchbox. I wrote a BUNCH of messages on index cards in colored marker one night. They pertain to each individual child… like Munchkin has a problem with being shy and grumpy so her messages tell her to remember to smile and make friends. Anyhow, the index cards hold up well so at the end of the day I just take them out and keep them and add them to the rotation. They get the same messages over and over again, but they still love them. :)

  21. Hi~ I noticed your title “Kindergarten” and thought I would share something the Lord gave me before our oldest entered kindergarten. It truly helped me “survive”. I had to pull it out again this year, because he went to middle school, and I found that I was feeling the same way. I posted it on my blog:


    May the Lord bless you in this next new phase of life. It really is a fun phase. I’ve found that as I’ve mourned the passing of one stage, the next one becomes my favorite. :-)

  22. Congratulations on having a kindergartner. I have one this year as well, so it looks like we are in the same boat. Since I have been through this one time before, I will give you some advice that has worked for me.

    – When you pack a lunch, make sure that if you use an ice pack, that everything in the lunchbox will taste good cold. (My little boy once told me that pizza does not taste good cold, even though I was trying to keep his jello from becoming juice.)
    – Always ask her how her day went everyday after school. It helps to create a bond between the two of you, but it will also help her to work on memory skills as well. (Something she will need later on when recalling story sequence for Reading to their teacher.)
    – Put a little note or drawing from you in her lunchbox every once in awhile. That way when she eats her lunch, she will know that you were thinking of her.

    And that’s all that I can think of for now.

    Take care!

    Shyneas last blog post..CVS’ing 101: COUPON LINGO

  23. I just sent my youngest off to all-day kindergarten. I had to write four posts just to get through it. The second week is much better for me. He’s doing awesome BTW!

    As far as lunch… Our school has an awesome school lunch program with salad bar and all, so I rarely pack lunch for my boys. A tip a gal gave me for packing warm stuff was to send it right out of the oven in tin foil. She found that it stayed warm until lunch. She would make burritos and such or send pizza that way. But things that don’t require warming, like PB&J, is best I think. Things like ham or turkey (with no mayo). Bagels with flavored cream cheese packets. I try and give them a few different things along with the main dish. A fruit or veggie: an apple, bag of baby carrots, pear, banana, or whatever. A side/treat: a granola bar, fruit snack, cookie, or something of the sort.

    Hope this is helpful. I can certainly relate with the crying. It was a hard first week. Harder than I’d imagined.

    jyl @ mommygossips last blog post..Wordless Wednesday—Cascade Springs

  24. I’m with the mom who said to ask your child what they want. and, be ready for the first couple days because when I went to lunch with my son on the first day (he’s my third so the principal asked if I would come help in the lunchroom) I noticed he ate all the junk and skipped the sandwich. So now, we pack half a pbandj, cup of fruit, pretzels or goldfish, fruit snacks and one junkie thing along with water or juice box. some will say that is too much but he keeps what he doesn’t eat in his lunch box so we reuse the crackers etc.
    and as for crying, do it in private. if you let her see you do it then she’ll be sad. let her enjoy this new chapter in her life, as I’m sure you will. the teachers will thank you too.

    janets last blog post..Raising the dead

  25. I am in the same boat as you-my oldest just went off to kindergarten also. I packed a pb&j sandwich today, along with yogurt, pretzels, a few ham strips and a brownie. I opened his lunch when he came home to find two ham strips gone, and 1/4 of the yogurt. Yes, that’s all he ate. The opened yogurt container and opened apple juice were in his lunchbox. Needless to say, there was yogurt and apple juice over everything. YUCK! I definitely need to try some of these ideas. I’m thinking only two or three items. Maybe then he’ll eat a little something!

    Julies last blog post..Alex Quotes

  26. Heather H says:

    such a good question about lunches – i was actually wondering that the other day.

    a friend of mine will do a “buffet” of sorts for her daughter – chop up a bunch of veggies and give her some dip (either hummus or peanut butter or some other dip that has protein in it). soup is also a good option when it gets cooler (oh, wait, it already is today!). you can also mix up the pb&j by using actual fruit instead of jelly – like bananas and honey or peaches or apples – yum, thinly sliced apples and peanut butter on a sandwich is yummy!

    also – try wraps or other forms of bread (or crackers) – esp. if your daughter is creative with her food and likes dipping and such.

    Heather Hs last blog post..Baby, Baby, Baby

  27. Diana says:

    We can’t send any nut products since there are often allergies in class/school and some kids react so easily. So we have to do alternatives. Mine like turkey pepperoni for protien or yogurt

  28. I have never left a comment before so this is a first. My kindergartener does not need a lunch (1/2 days) but has to bring a snack so she loves a cheese stick and a piece of fruit. My oldest (6th grade) loves roll ups, like turkey, cheese and lettuce on a tortilla and she loves hummus and carrots or tortilla chips to dip. On Fridays I like to throw in a few hershey’s kisses or a small treat. Plus I LOVE to include a note, “I love you!” “Have a great day!” “I know you’ll do great on your test!” like my mom did when I was a kid. I know Lily can read so that will be great for her!

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