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Maisy Lunch Box by MIKI Yoshihito (via Flickr)

Getting Over Lunch Box Blues

I rarely looked forward to lunch as a kid. My mom was a fantastic cook, but I HATED when I took bag lunches to school. It sounds picky, but she always put globs of mayonnaise between the bread and cheese and the resulting texture was akin to paste on top of turkey bologna. I never minded leftovers, but when there was no microwave available, a drumstick with clumps of room temperature rice was less than appetizing. Not that I fault my mom, making sandwiches assembly-line style or tossing containers of leftovers into lunchbags was clearly the way to go -- my mom had four kids and mornings were a madhouse.

Mornings in my house are not nearly as crazy as they were when I was a kid, but I usually have a mad rush out the door every morning. Between what I need to pack so that I can go to the gym, my lunch, what I need for my workday, and what I need for class, it can be hard for me to remember everything. Fortunately, I've gotten better about preparing for the upcoming day in the evening, but eating leftovers or a turkey sandwich every day gets a little dull. The result? I've been looking at books and browsing the web for lunch ideas.

If you are caught in the morning-madhouse-turkey-sandwich rut, or you're just looking for some ideas before your kids head back to school why don't you check out some of the resources below?


Amazon Says: Longing for more than yet another limp salad? Tired of tussling with the kids over junk food lunch kits? Sounds like you’ve got the lunch box blues. J. M. Hirsch has the fix more...
Amazon Says: Longing for more than yet another limp salad? Tired of tussling with the kids over junk food lunch kits? Sounds like you’ve got the lunch box blues. J. M. Hirsch has the fix. But it isn’t a cookbook. Because when it comes to lunch, nobody has time to break out a recipe to bang out a brown bag special. Busy people need lunch ideas. Lots of them. And those ideas need to be healthy, fast, easy, affordable, and delicious. That’s what Beating the Lunch Box Blues is—an idea book to inspire anyone daunted by the daily ordeal of packing lunch. Jammed with nearly 200 photos and more than 500 tips and meals, this book is designed to save families time, money, and their sanity. Whether you want to jazz up a grilled cheese, turn leftover steak into a DIY taco kit, or make pizza “sushi,” Hirsch has it covered. And because the best lunches often are built from the leftovers of great suppers, he has also included 30 fast and flavorful dinner recipes designed to make enough for tomorrow, too. Crazy good stuff like short ribs braised in a Rosemary-Port Sauce, Hoisin-Glazed Meatloaf, and kid-friendly classics such as Turkey Sloppy Joes and American Chop Suey. With ideas this easy and this delicious, there’s no reason to let the lunch box blues get you down. less...
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Amazon Says: Jam packed with clever ideas and easy recipes for delicious, healthy, kid-friendly packable meals, this solution-driven cookbook is the perfect book for busy parents looking f more...
Amazon Says: Jam packed with clever ideas and easy recipes for delicious, healthy, kid-friendly packable meals, this solution-driven cookbook is the perfect book for busy parents looking for lunchtime inspirations. From yummy recipes that make use of common ingredients, to clever ideas for packing lunches that will appeal to kids, Lunch Box is packed with inspiration. This go-to primer covers all the basics—recipes for sandwiches, healthy snacks, and more—and offers tried-and-true strategies from a chef-caterer mother of three. Learn how to make an easy and delicious lunch from in-the-fridge staples and leftovers; how to accommodate allergies; and how to make every lunch box a fun delight for kids. Colorful photography throughout provides visual inspiration. Stuck in a rut? Got a picky eater in your house? This book offers ideas and strategies that will inspire you to step up your lunch-packing game, from irresistible wraps and playful sandwiches, to salads kids will actually eat, to versatile snacks that satisfy the fussiest palates and much more! less...
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Amazon Says: Best Lunch Box Ever is full of recipes, ideas, and strategies for packing creative and healthful lunches for kids, solving what is for many parents the most taxing of daily ch more...
Amazon Says: Best Lunch Box Ever is full of recipes, ideas, and strategies for packing creative and healthful lunches for kids, solving what is for many parents the most taxing of daily chores. Kids will love the scrumptiousness, while busy moms and dads will appreciate the quick and simple solutions for wholesome, balanced meals developed by Katie Sullivan Morford, a registered dietician and mother of three. The 65 recipes are easy, delicious, and—best of all—packed with nutrients for well-rounded lunches and snacks, including Deconstructed Caprese Skewers, Easy Cheesy Thermos Beans, Pesto Pita Pizza, Cinnamon Wonton Crisps, Parmesan Kale Chips, Crispy Applewiches, and more. less...
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Amazon Says: If you think vegan lunchtime means peanut butter and jelly day after day, think again! Based on the wildly popular blog of the same name, Vegan Lunch Box offers an amazing arr more...
Amazon Says: If you think vegan lunchtime means peanut butter and jelly day after day, think again! Based on the wildly popular blog of the same name, Vegan Lunch Box offers an amazing array of meat-free, egg-free, and dairy-free meals and snacks. All the recipes are organized into menus to help parents pack quick, nutritious, and irresistible vegan lunches. Ideal for everyday and special occasions, Vegan Lunch Box features tips for feeding even the most finicky kids. It includes handy allergen-free indexes identifying wheat-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free recipes, and product recommendations that make shopping a breeze. less...
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Amazon Says: Vegan Lunch Box Around the World offers a delicious array of meat-free, egg-free, and dairy-free lunches that will take you on an adventure across the globe. The book includes more...
Amazon Says: Vegan Lunch Box Around the World offers a delicious array of meat-free, egg-free, and dairy-free lunches that will take you on an adventure across the globe. The book includes balanced international and regional American menus with 100 recipes from Ratatouille to Moroccan Tagine, New England Chowder to a Japanese Bento Box. With quick and easy recipes, fruit and veggie ideas for even the pickiest eaters, and an allergen-free index, Vegan Lunch Box Around the World is essential for every family raising healthy kids—and for anyone who packs a lunch. less...
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Amazon Says: If you're a busy mom, student, or worker bee, or if you admit to frequenting the vending machine or spending way too much for lunches out that never truly satisfy, then Cookin more...
Amazon Says: If you're a busy mom, student, or worker bee, or if you admit to frequenting the vending machine or spending way too much for lunches out that never truly satisfy, then Cooking Light Eat Smart Guide: Lunch to Go is your ticket to midday meals you'll look forward to and feel good about. Packing lunch can get monotonous. If you tire of the same old sandwichor salad and find yourself in a brown-bag rut, Cooking Light Eat Smart Guide: Lunch To Go was created just for you. This go-to guide is chock-full of information and practical advice for those wanting to look forward to their lunch break again. Loaded with tantalizing options that can be put together with ease and will surely please all ages and appetites, this book will teach you how to stock your pantry and fridge; prepare foods for portability; and focus on eating healthy, delicious foods that will sustain you through hectic afternoons whether you're at work, in study hall, or shuttling kids to and from activities. Cooking Light Eat Smart Guide: Lunch To Go is all about simplicity and dishes that travel well and taste great whenever you're ready to have a bite. Whether you're packing for a picnic under the stars or a field trip to the zoo, we guarantee recipe success and satisfaction. Coming from the most respected cooking authority in America, you can trust these 80 recipes to work, taste great, and come with a detailed nutritional analysis so you can make choices that suit your lifestyle. It's time to put an end to brown-bagging boredom forever! less...
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