March 1, 2015 by Ellen V
Now that all four of us are out of the house and in different places most weekdays (if you don’t count all the crazy, crazy snow days!), the lunch routine can get difficult and expensive. I found myself doing whatever it takes the first couple weeks of the January to just get everyone nourished, but we’re doing our best to cut costs and up nutrients as the weeks progress. Here’s where everyone’s at:
Sidney is formula fed. I fill her bottles with water and her sectioned formula container and she’s good to go. We just switched from name brand to store brand formula in the past few weeks, and dare I say I like it even better? Good to be reminded that expensive doesn’t always mean awesome. And, of course, we have our pediatrician’s blessing, which is the most important thing. I always send way more than she needs to her sitter’s house. I imagine full bottles knocked onto the floor. Not that that’s ever happened here…
Eric fends for himself. He likes routine, so as long as I know which type of lunch he’s excited about this week and can add the ingredients to the grocery list, he’s good to go.
I am the one who typically eats leftovers. I have a small account in my school’s cafeteria. Since lunches are $4.00 (not terrible) and a very popular chef runs the cafeteria (delicious), it’s a decent use of money, and certainly better than fast food or the vending machine.
Jane has been the trickiest to get down to a routine that she likes and doesn’t break the bank. The first few weeks I did a lot of experimenting. We invested in a Thermos brand straw cup, which is awesome at keeping her milk ice cold all day. She often drinks half of it at lunch and the other half in the car on the way home. I also just got her some reusable snack bags from Plant Wise. Milk, protein (peanut butter sandwich or plain deli meat), a string cheese or yogurt, a snack (pretzels, crackers, Cheerios), and a fruit. Now that I know what she’ll eat and what packs up nicely, I’m rarely using anything she has to throw away, besides maybe the wrapper on her string cheese and the crusts of her sandwich.
If only lunches on the weekends were so simple!