Ideas for Lunch...everyone's favorite subject!

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by holliday, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. holliday

    holliday Comrade

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    Jul 6, 2007

    I thought I'd pick your brains for new ideas for lunch...after years of teaching, I'm getting pretty sick of my usual sack lunch fare.

    What's yummy and easy to take to school?

    I like pasta salad, big pots of soup I make on the weekends and freeze in individual portions, and sandwiches (of course). What else?
    :) :thanks:
     
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  3. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Homemade hot pockets- fill with sloppy joe meat or pizza fixings. Freeze, pop in microwave- easy to eat as you work.
     
  4. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I bring salad fixings and leave them at school. I try to get creative, and bring mandarine oranges, craisins, pecans, etc. I make my salad every day.

    Another one of my favorites is left over Thai or Indian food. It holds up well as leftovers.
     
  5. MissAmy

    MissAmy Companion

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    I buy the flavored tortillas and bring wraps to school.
    I also bring a lot of fruit to eat during the week - canned and fresh.
     
  6. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    Here are a few things that I bring for lunch since I get tired of sandwiches:

    salsa and chips
    hummus and pita chips
    soups
    leftover vegetarian chili
    vegetables and dip
    sandwich wraps
    leftover frittas (egg with pasta)

    Different kinds of salads:
    potato
    pasta
    white kidney bean and tomato
    tomato, cucumber, onion with italian dressing
    chicken salad (i have to make this in the morning)
     
  7. noreenk

    noreenk Cohort

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    pasta gets me through the school year. i keep lots of frozen veggies like artichokes, zucchini and spinach to toss into canned sauce the night before. when that gets old, i'll get a jar of pesto and add some chicken and pine nuts. i also keep lots of fruit and veggies around.. so much so that my students started bringing me stuff to keep me in constant supply :)
     
  8. noreenk

    noreenk Cohort

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    oh and i have a mini-fridge, microwave AND toaster oven.. the toaster oven is the best and we've used it for some small-scale baking projects and after-school classes.
     
  9. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    I pack my lunches and snacks very carefully. I follow the weight watchers core program, so I plan my meals for the week. My lunch bag always contains a variety of fruits and veggies for my midmorning and afternoon snack. Lunch is almost always portions of whatever I made for dinner the night before. Sometimes I make a corn and black bean salad with olive oil and cider vinegar. If I have cilantro or basil I'll throw that in, too. Costco has some bowls of microwavable brown rice that I'll take and mix with leftover chicken and various veggies - filling and tasty.
    I almost never have sandwiches (don't want to waste the points on bread) or white pasta. I don't like yogurt (ugh) so that's out too. I live on lean protein and fruits and veggies pretty much.
     
  10. holliday

    holliday Comrade

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    Jul 6, 2007

    Nice ideas! Thanks you guys. Something new I'll be trying next year is keeping fixings for baked potatoes at school and then popping one in the microwave. Seems like that would be very filling!
     
  11. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    This is awesome. I usually stick with Lean Cuisinne or Ready Pac Salads!
     
  12. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    I like that potato idea. I hope to have a little fridge in my room (when I graduate and get a class). I like to snack on fruit and veggies too, and if I'm wanting something more I will dip them in sunflower seed butter (kids can't have peanuts), or hummus which I love. For lunch it's usually leftover dinner. Or soup, chili, or a sandwich.
     
  13. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    I take my lunch just about every day (our school lunch is awful!)

    Here are my favorites...

    -Lean Cuisines (they have some yummy ones now, and go on sale often. Combine that with a coupon & they are cheap).
    -Tuna salad w crackers or tortilla chips.
    -Leftovers
    -Salads
    -Cheese & Crackers
     
  14. Kindtchr

    Kindtchr Comrade

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    Our school doesn't have a cafeteria so everyone always has to pack a lunch. I usually bring cheddar cheese slices & crackers or cottage cheese & crackers. I have an apple every day. I bring a small paring knife to cut the apple & take the core out. It seems fancier that way. Once a month the staff signs up to bring brunch items- we have plenty for both breakfast & lunch.
     
  15. Miss_J

    Miss_J Habitué

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    When they are in season, I bring a tomato and slice it up. On top I add something like tuna salad, chicken salad, or rice. Sometimes I also bring in some cheese and put it on top then pop in the microwave for a couple of seconds. YUMMO!!
     
  16. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    One year we had a salad club. Everyone who wanted to brought something for a salad. Each week it was a certain person's job to supply lettuce for the week, cleaned and ready to go. It was a great idea you could put up a sign up sheet to make sure you didn't get double stuff. It was really nice to just open the office fridge and pop stuff in a bowl.

    I also do Lean Cuisine - I stock up when they are on sale.
    PBJ
    I keep yogurt and frozen berries at school.

    I like the idea of once a month brunches also.
     
  17. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

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    Thanks for all these great ideas! As a new teacher I love all these great ideas for lunch! I know at my school, I went to visit and ate lunch. They have a great set up for lunch. I was able to get an entire plate of sald for like a dollar. It was great and yummy :) But I knew I'd get tired of it soon. I'll start marking recipes so that I have easy reference points. I'm planning on doing a lot of crock pot recipes for dinner that I could also take the next day for lunch. Another thing to think about is to have a shelf or drawer of snacks for just you as the teacher. I want to have granola bars and 100 calorie snacks.... I'll also be pregnant and hungry all the time this fall, so I'm going to be prepared!
     
  18. holliday

    holliday Comrade

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    Tell me about it! I got pregnant last September and spent the entire year with my face buried in my snack drawer (well, once I got over the morning sickness, that is!).

    It's amazing how hungry teaching can make you!
     
  19. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    bonneb, I love the salad club idea! I might try that at work!

    teaching-n-2, I also have a special stash of snacks! It's great to have snacks and not have to go out in search of them.

    The Parents at my school take turns bringing us snacks (breakfast stuff / treats / lunch stuff), and we usually raid those pretty quickly... especially if someone brings chocolate or caffeine! :)
     
  20. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I eat breakfast AND lunch at our school. Sometimes it is good. Sometimes it isn't. When it isn't, I buy their salad. Our breakfast and lunch is so cheap that it cost $5 max per day and often half of that. Most of the time I spend about $20/wk and that's for breakfast, lunch and sometimes a soda here and there.
     
  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Buying lunch at my school is super cheap too, but I don't like to do it. I look at the very limited options and it makes me sick to see all the greasy, breaded stuff. And last time I checked, tater tots do NOT count as a vegetable. Ugh. I will admit, however, that our lunch lady makes the best macaroni and cheese on the planet. I always get some whenever they have it. I pretend that it isn't like a bazillion calories.

    I usually make a big deli-style sandwich on good bread or a hoagie roll. Good quality lunch meats and cheese, sprouts, lettuce, lots of tomatoes, mustard, and maybe a little balsamic vinegar.

    Sometimes I'll bring in WW Smart Ones or other low-cal, low-fat frozen entrees. I stock up when they're on sale. I like the cheese ravioli and cheese lasagna the best. I don't usually like the meat options.

    I like to get those netted sleeves of cherry tomatoes when they're good. I've actually found that WalMart (a store which I detest) seems to have the best-tasting tomatoes in my neck of the woods. I eat the tomatoes plain or cut them in half and sprinkle Mrs. Dash on them.

    The only other thing I do occasionally is have leftovers from dinner the night before. I used to try to make a little extra whenever I make dinner, but my hoosband and I usually end up eating it as seconds the same night. We need to work on that, so we're putting a stop to the bigger recipes for now and just making dinner for two.
     
  22. hawkteacher

    hawkteacher Comrade

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    Great lunch ideas everybody!

    I'm a big soup/sandwich type of girl for lunch. Throw in some fresh fruit, veggies, cracker, cheese, etc. and that's pretty much it.

    Sometimes I buy milk from the cafeteria and put it with a box of cereal I keep. I love cereal as a snack any time of the day. It's hands-down, always my first choice. In fact, I love it more as a snack than as breakfast!
     
  23. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    I also have these including a coffee maker. My students ask where my bed is!:eek: :p
     
  24. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    LOL, Cassie! Sadly though, I agree about the greasy, breaded stuff. I have had cafeteria managers try to tell me that the stuff they were offering my daughter was healthy, turkey based, etc. but it was all brown or gray! Healthy food is colorful and has texture -- it is not sawdust! Jamie whatshisname, the Naked Chef did a special project in England where he took on one school districts schools and tried to change the menus to make them healthy (it was mostly chicken bites and tater tots type stuff). He got some results, but it was like pulling teeth! And the schools didn't keep it up after he left. :(
     
  25. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I have a question that pretty well fits in to this thread. I'm diabetic, so I will have to have a mid morning and afternoon snack. How and when do you work those in? Do you just eat them in front of the students?
     
  26. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    I love hummus- it goes great with veggies, but I dip pita chips instead... ok.. so it's not that healthy.. but so what.:p
     
  27. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I sometimes snack during class. I feel bad doing it, but it's a long time between when I start teaching at 7 AM and when I have lunch. Plus, we have to stand in our doorways during passing periods to monitor kids in the hallways, so I can't even sneak in a snack in the 5 minutes between classes. Ugh.

    I usually keep quiet snacks at my desk and munch on them during the course of an entire period. Quiet snacks are those which don't crunch and don't have super crinkly wrappers. Often I just leave a container of grape tomatoes open on my desk and grab a couple here and there. Or, I'll unwrap a Nutrigrain bar and rewrap it in a Kleenex or napkin and just pull off bite-sized chunks here and there.

    Another option would be to have a substantial beverage, one with some natural sugars, and sip it throughout the morning. I like the Odwalla fruit smoothies that come in the rectangular bottles. They're about $3 at the grocery store for the individually sized ones, and about $1.50 at the dreaded WalMart.
     
  28. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I have trouble with my sugar dropping too low. I tell the kids about it at the beginning of the year, and that they might see me eating because of it. I tell them that it's not anything to worry about, just something that I have to do. I do go on to tell them that when my sugar drops too low I am not a very pleasant person to be around (I get shaky and snappy) so they definitely want me to eat! I've had a couple of kids here and there say something, but not many. Those I've dealt with quietly in the hall and they don't do it again. I'm not one to hide things from them, though. If I have a headache, I take Advil. If I have a cold, I take cough syrup. I'm just a human and htey know that sometimes I get sick and need to take something.Besides, if I don't take it then, there's no telling when I'll get a break to take something.

     
  29. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    For lunch, I work on making sure I cook things that will have left overs and that's usually what I bring. I do keep a few Lean Cuisines or my favorites, the Michileana's 5 cheese lasagne (when I first saw it I thought that there was no way I would be full, it's small and flat, but it definitely fills you up).
     
  30. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oh, I agree about the Michelina's 5-Cheese Lasagna! It comes in a small, light blue box and is often on sale for like a dollar. It's delicious!
     
  31. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

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    i know at our school my kids are allowed to bring snacks to eat mid-morning. but our third graders also don't eat till about 1:00 or so.
     
  32. Teacher Chele

    Teacher Chele Habitué

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    These are some great ideas. With an average of about 15 mins. to eat (We have very short lunch times and on top of that we have to stand in line with our kids-UGGGGH!), I am always looking for quick, but basically healthy ideas. I always try to keep cereal bars, cheese and crackers or something like that on hand in case I forget my lunch. I can't stand to eat in our cafeteria. We are charged more than the kids for the same portion and the food is not healthy.
     
  33. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Have any of y'all tried/been interested in researching how to make the cafeteria food more healthy and appetizing? Just curious, mainly because I got "into it" with the parish nutritionist when my daughter was in middle school, because I was concerned about what they were serving.
     
  34. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Our school has been working on this for two years now. The fryers were pulled out two summers ago, and all of the beef served in our cafe is organic, grass-fed beef. There is NOTHING with red food dye, and very few things with artificial sweeteners. The chips and snacks are all baked ones, and the cafe staff bakes cookies and brownies fresh every morning (I can smell them from my classroom). The bread products are all whole wheat, and there is a salad bar every day. Do the kids complain? You bet. Do they still make bad choices about their lunches? You bet. BUT...the choices aren't as bad as they were when most of the food was deep fried.
    The cafe staff has also been great about adding student recipes (chosen by the cooking classes based on specific criteria) to the menu.
     
  35. MissAmy

    MissAmy Companion

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    Mrs. R - I wish our cafeteria was as health concious as that! :D
     
  36. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    left overs are big for me! I try to cook enough to have extras for the next day! I'll do a sandwich once every other week or so....
    I also love the frozen diet meals (stock up when they are on sale!)
    I also stock up on cans of soup wheh on sale...they are great to bring when you dont have any leftovers in the fridge!
     
  37. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    One thing I do during school that works well is I plan my menu for the month. When I go grocery shopping I buy what I need to make those meals. I don't necessarily stick to the day that I said I'd make it, but I do stick to the meals. It saves on groceries and it hlps with the planning and having leftovers.
     
  38. OtterMom

    OtterMom Comrade

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    :D My students are cool with my eating snacks, because I told them the alternative was them having to carry me to the nurse's office when I pass out.

    Seriously, I usually only eat a few bites of granola bar or trail mix, so it's not like I'm eating a three course meal.
     
  39. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Our students have a snack time so I just eat at that time. If not, I have a secret stash area where I also hide my diet coke. I stroll to that area and steal a nibble when the kids are busy working. Most of the time though, snack time is fine. The only time I don't do that is if I have some really cool snack that I think is worth more trouble than it is worth to have it opening shown and drooled over.

    On Fridays teachers all participate in the Breakfast Club. We rotate providing food. So kids are pretty used to seeing elaborate breakfast plates brought into the classroom every Friday morning where we eat in front of them (not during direct instruction). I found that bizzare when I first started but I have never had them ask for my food except one time...it was some kind of organic candy that looked like an M&M. They each got a couple and it was no big deal. We also have a Chocolate Club where we can grab an emergency stash for ourselves in the office. We are all smart enough not to let them see that one!
     
  40. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Salads and Boar's Head or Subway subs! Something fast because we have 30 minutes for lunch, and most of the time, I only have about 10-15 minutes to eat because I am running other errands, too. Also, during the springtime, I keep a few packs of Girl Scout cookies :) handy.
     
  41. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    WOW!! How I wish! My cafeteria is ok, but they've never ventured that far, not yet.
     

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