mix and match lunchbox ideas
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  1. #1
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    Talking mix and match lunchbox ideas

    Feel free to add to this list and I'll update it.

    Fruit ideas

    Grapes
    Watermelon
    Cherries
    Plums
    Canteloupe
    Honey Dew
    Peaches
    Mandarin oranges (oranges, tangerines)
    Bananas
    Apples
    Dried fruit (raisins, craisins, pineapple, apples, banana chips, etc)
    Strawberries
    Blueberries
    Raspberries
    Pears
    Kiwi
    Fruit salads


    Vegetable ideas

    Celery
    Baby carrots
    Broccoli
    Cauliflower
    Cherry/grape tomatoes
    Cucumber
    Dill pickle
    Pea pods
    Radishes
    Green beans
    Bell peppers
    Olives
    Corn on the cob cut into smaller medallion slices
    Tossed salad

    Crackers/breads ideas

    Whole wheat crackers (wheat thins, triscuits)
    Cheezits
    Goldfish
    Soft pretzels
    Animal crackers
    Breadsticks
    Quick bread
    Muffins
    Cornbread
    Pita
    Bagels
    Croissants
    English muffins
    Tortillas
    Graham crackers
    Biscuits
    Rolls
    Rye bread
    Pumpernickel bread
    Wheat bread
    Multi grain bread
    Raisin bread
    Sour dough bread
    Rice cakes
    Vanilla wafers
    Granola bars
    Bagel chips

    Dairy ideas

    Cheeses (cubed such as cheddar, swiss, monterey Jack)
    String cheese
    Cottage cheese
    Yogurt

    Breakfast foods great for lunch

    Oatmeal
    Cereal
    French Toast sticks
    Pancakes (mini pancake sandwiches with jelly, cream cheese)
    Waffles

    Additional snack ideas

    Popcorn
    Trail mix
    Seeds and nuts
    Applesauce
    Pudding (add graham crackers and mini marshmallows for smores)
    Jello

    Spreads/dips ideas

    Peanut butter
    Jellies, jams, preserves (try cranberry jelly on turkey and chicken sandwiches)
    Nutella
    Almond butter
    Apple butter
    Cashew butter
    Cream cheese
    Fruit dip
    Hummus
    Salsa
    Caramel dip
    Condiments such as salad dressings
    Spaghetti sauce
    Peanut butter dip
    Tuna salad
    Chicken salad


    Soups/stews

    Soup
    Chili
    Stew
    Casseroles

    Additional mains

    Chicken nuggets (occasional)
    Macaroni and cheese
    Taco meat and fixings (tacos or taco salads)
    Meatballs
    Hard boiled eggs
    Pasta (spaghetti, lasagna) and pasta salad
    Frozen ravioli (versus canned)
    Pizza muffins
    Rice
    Veggie sushi
    Sloppy Joe meat
    Grilled chicken
    BBQ beef or pork
    Chicken paty sandwiches
    Quesadillas
    Lean deli meats

    Ideas: Roll meat around string cheese, roll tortilla wraps and cut into “pinwheels”, add fruits, jelly or vegetables to cream cheese as a spread (http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2009/...-kids-eat.html) or sandwich filling, hollow out rolls to make a mini bread bowl, sprinkle cinnamon and sugar onto apple slices, hollow out an apple and add fruit dip, yogurt or peanut butter to dip. Or use hot dog buns and add fruit such as a banana with peanut butter or nutella or fruit or veggie and cream cheese.



    Trail mixes


    golden graham cerealor teddy grahams
    chocolate chips
    mini marshmallows



    For fall:
    1 box of chocolate Chex cereal
    1 box of chocolate flavored Teddy Grahams
    1 box of graham flavored Teddy Grahams
    1 bag of candy corn
    1/2-1 bag of Reece's Pieces
    1/2 bag of mini marshmallows

    Mix it all together.


    Puppy chow

    9 cups crispy rice cereal squares
    1/2 cup peanut butter
    1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

    In a saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate; add peanut butter and mix until smooth.
    Remove from heat, add cereal and stir until coated.
    Pour powdered sugar into large plastic bag, add coated cereal and shake until well coated. Store in airtight container.

    Chewy Trail mix

    2 cups granola cereal
    3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
    3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
    1 (3 1/2 ounce) cans flaked coconut (1 1/2 cups)
    1/2 cup sunflower seed
    1/2 cup wheat germ
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    1 cup banana chips
    1/2 cup dark raisin
    1/2 cup golden raisin
    1/2 cup dried cherries
    1/2 cup dried apricot, diced
    1 cup M&M's

    In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except dried fruit (banana chips and raisins, cherries and apricots) and m&m's.Mix well.Spread evenly in an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet-spray foil with Pam (makes for easy clean-up).Bake at 300 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes (I like to leave some large clumps and break apart when cool).Note: Check at 40 minutes. Sometimes it's done. It will harden when cooled.Remove from oven. I like to immediately remove trail mix onto another pan or cookie sheet to cool.When warm, stir in banana chips, raisins, cherries and apricots.Cool thoroughly and add chocolate candies.Store tightly covered at room temperature.


    Ultimate trail mix

    1/2 cup chocolate turtle Chex mix
    1/2 cup caramel Chex cereal
    1/2 cup pretzel stick
    1/2 cup M&M's plain chocolate candy
    1/2 cup gummy bears
    1/2 cup toffee pieces
    1/2 cup mini marshmallows
    1/2 cup caramel corn
    1/2 cup cinnamon goldfish graham snacks
    1/2 cup caramel, bites
    1/2 cup butter toffee peanuts
    1/2 cup cashews
    1/2 cup peanuts
    1/2 cup miniature Oreo cookie
    1/2 cup candy corn
    1/2 cup chocolate chips
    1/2 cup white chocolate chips
    1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
    1/2 cup Teddy Grahams honey graham snacks
    1/2 cup raisins
    1/2 cup pretzel rings
    1/2 cup cinnamon red cinnamon candies

    Mix all together in a large bowl. Store in an airtight container.

    Fisherman’s Friend Party Mix

    Makes about 10 cups

    5 cups Corn Chex or Rice Chex cereal
    2 cups oyster crackers
    1 cup Pepperidge Farm Cheddar Goldfish
    1 cup Pepperidge Farm Pretzel Goldfish
    1 cup Melba toast rounds
    6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    2 tablespoons hot sauce (see note)
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning

    Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Combine cereal, oyster crackers, Goldfish, and Melba toast in large bowl. Whisk butter, hot sauce, and lemon juice in small bowl, then drizzle over cereal mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Old Bay and toss until well combined.

    Spread mixture over rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until golden and crisp, about 45 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Serve. (Mix can be stored in airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.)

    Powerballs
    Makes about 40 snack balls, and leftovers can be kept in the fridge or frozen with wax paper separating the layers.

    Mix 1 cup peanut butter and 1 cup honey until smooth
    Add 3 cups old-fashioned oats and 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
    Add 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup nuts and dried fruit (any combintion of peanuts, sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, chopped pecans, raisins, dried cranberries, chopped dates, etc)
    Roll into ping-pong sized balls and store in fridge or freezer

    Nuts and bolts

    1/4 cup pecans
    1/4 cup cashew pieces
    1/4 cup walnut pieces
    1/4 cup whole almonds
    1/4 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts
    4 cups crispy rice cereal
    4 cups mini pretzels
    5 tablespoons butter
    4 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    1/2 teaspoon salt


    Preheat oven to 225F.In a large bowl combine pecans, cashews, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, rice cereal, and pretzels. Melt butter and add Worcestershire sauce, pour over dry ingredients and mix well. Sprinkle with salt and bake on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool completely then store in airtight bags.
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  2. #2
    Moderator Ceashels's Avatar
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    That Fisherman's Party Mix looks good! I might have to make that soon.
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  3. #3
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    My son likes processed cheese slices, we normally buy them for burgers but he will eat them alone as a snack. I will probably put some in his lunches.

    Also fruit rollups/leather, I make them from applesauce in the dehydrator and the kids love them. Can also buy some in the store that are actually made from fruit (some are just sugar)

    Granola bars and cereal bars

    This is a bit of a weird one, but when I was a kid I loved beef jerky. It's quick and easy protein, I eat it when we travel to offset all the sugar in most snack foods.

  4. #4
    Founder Sara Noel's Avatar
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    My kids love beef jerky. Sometimes Gabe buys it for them and himself. It's not my type of thing, but they all love it. My kids would be thrilled to get a piece in their lunch box.
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  5. #5
    Moderator nuisance26's Avatar
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    ~OooOOo, yummy recipes! I've got to make those power balls. ~

  6. #6
    McD
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    Bumping this. Great ideas! We are only a week into school lunches and Dubya is getting bored with his selections already.
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  7. #7
    Registered User frugrrl's Avatar
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    This is great! Thanks SO much!!

    I saw a lunch chart Magnetic Lunch Chart - Martha Stewart Kids' Crafts one could print online, but it didn't have that many ideas of what foods to put on the chart. Your list is PERFECT for that!
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