, , , , , , , ,

One of the nice things about looking for lunch ideas for kids is there are a lot of websites with suggestions/ideas online. One of the more common suggestions are homemade lunchables.

Now, cheese, ham, and crackers made a decent lunch when I was younger, but these days I think of it more as a snack than a meal. Unfortunately, Oscar Mayer doesn’t have anything incredible for adult lunchables. Sure, nowadays you can get sugar-free jello and real fruit in your lunchables, but that’s nothing to get excited over.

Starbucks, on the other hand, has some pretty good options with their newish Bistro Boxes. Alex got one a few weeks ago for dinner: the chipotle chicken wrap. We both commented that it was kind of like a lunchable. Everything had its own little compartment, it came with a little dessert (dark chocolate), you had to build your own meals, and it didn’t come with the necessary utensils. (We’re both from the generation that got little red plastic sticks to spread pizza sauce with).

So, what do Lunchables and Starbucks Bistro Boxes have to do with anything?

One of my biggest problems with staying on track with dieting is not planning ahead, so I’ve decided to start packing meals and snacks to eat while out shopping or working. I already purchased these incredible Easy Lunchbox containers and a cooler bag on Amazon.

I just need more ideas for things to pack. So, I figured, if parents are using Lunchables as inspiration for their kids’ lunches, why not use Bistro Boxes as inspiration for mine?

The two easiest to recreate would have to be the Fruit and Cheese plate and the Hummus and Chicken one.

Brie, Gouda, two-year aged Cheddar cheeses, nine-grain crackers, apples, dried cranberries and roasted almonds.

Ok, so 480 calories is very steep for a snack. It’s even a little steep for a meal at times. So, I’d swap out the brie for a laughing cow cheese wedge- and maybe I’d cut out the gouda. Instead, I’d have the two types of cheeses, some crackers, apples, and almonds. Craisins would likely be eliminated as well, but that would leave plenty of room for grapes or another fruit.

Hummus, grilled white chicken strips, cucumber and carrot sticks, grape tomatoes and wheat pita.

This one can be recreated almost exactly as Starbucks serves it- without the tomatoes , of course, and at 270 calories for the Starbucks versions, this would make a perfect lunch or mini meal/snack to hold me over on days when I won’t be eating dinner until late (or when I’m babysitting and get hungry late at night). I just need to find some good mini-pita bread options. I might even throw in some fruit or another little snack (like a babybel cheese or string cheese) to help round out the meals.

So, what ideas do you have for packing lunches- whether it’s for an adult lunch to take to the office, or a kid’s school lunch?