Because there are 180 days in a typical school year, and I have two children.
Not all school lunches are junk. My child's school provides home-cooked, nutritious meals that my child happily devours.
I think that's wonderful! I wish that all schools worldwide would follow suit. However, it's been my experience that school lunches consist of flavored milk, breaded meat-like entree, canned, heavily salted vegetables, and canned fruits.
Is it more expensive to pack a nutritious lunch?
Some days, it will be more expensive. Other days, I will come in under the lunch cost of $2.00 per day per child. Cost is an important factor, but nutrition is more important to me. I can't see spending $4.00 per day to get my children small portions of junk that won't tide them over until they get home. I'd rather spend that money feeding them properly.
Why do you want to go through all the trouble of making cute lunches? What's wrong with peanut butter & jelly, an apple, and a juice box?
Nothing, I suppose. Making the lunches cute is something I'm choosing to do. It's a hobby for me. And it's more fun for the kids to eat a carrot cut into a flower, or an egg shaped like a star. I have the time. I have the inclination. If you don't, that's okay.
Will they really eat all that fancy stuff?
My kids will. I'm tailoring their lunches to their appetites and preferences, though good nutrition will win every time.
Aren't you worried about them trading their homemade stuff for packaged junk? Aren't you just feeding other people's children?
Sometimes. I don't worry about it, but I do realize there will be days when my California rolls are traded for Fruit Roll-Ups. Kids will be kids. Our schools do have rules against food sharing, but kids still do it. I'm okay with it. Sometimes, I even pack extras so that they have cafeteria currency for swapping.
What equipment do you use?
My stash is ever-growing, but currently, I have the following:
These containers from Easy LunchBoxes make packing a snap!
These are my hard-boiled egg molds.
A Laptop Lunch System 2.0
Here's what you see when you unzip the case
When you open the outer compartment, you find the inner ones!
I love the heavy-duty stainless steel utensils included in this set!
I bought Bento Buddies to give me more packing options.
Some veggie cutters.
Hello Kitty Bento Box set -- super cute
Removed from carrying sack
It comes with an elastic strap to keep it together.
You remove the top lid and it exposes your chopsticks!
Then, you separate the top and bottom compartments. Both have sealing lids.
Removing the sealing lids exposes the meal.
SOME of my stash of cloth napkins. Nothing goes in the trash this year.
Question not answered here? Ask away in the comments section. I'll do my best to answer.