Hot Lunches Without the Headache

For a long time, my kids would have nothing to do with sandwiches.  Me, I love a good sandwich — nice sourdough, some garlic sauce, lots of onions — but there’s no telling what your kids will like or dislike.  And mine didn’t like sandwiches.  So we had to come up with something else to put in their school lunches.  If only, we thought, there were some way they could have a nice hot lunch every day at school without us having to show up at lunchtime to cook it for them.  Luckily, we found such a way.

What makes it possible is a microwaveable lunch bowl from Aladdin.  The idea is that you heat the food in the bowl in the microwave in the morning, put the top on, and it stays hot until lunch time.  The model we got included a spoon hidden away in the lid that the kids promptly lost, but we just send along plastic kids’ flatware from Ikea; it’s cheap enough that we won’t care if (when) they lose it.  The downside is that the spoon drawer is now prone to collecting grime and is difficult to clean.

Despite that drawback, however, these bowls have been a lifesaver for us.  They’re actually a lot less work than could be making sandwiches for each child. And the kids love them too — as long as I don’t put the lids on so tight that no one can get them open, anyway.

But wait, you cry, how can making a hot lunch — even if prepared in advance — possibly be easier than slapping a few slices of lunch meat and cheese in between two pieces of bread?  And here lies the secret:  We don’t make an extra meal for lunch for the kids; they get last night’s leftovers.  Whether it’s pasta, chicken and rice, or pizza, when dinner’s over the leftovers go straight into the kids’ bowls for the next day’s lunch.  The next morning, it takes but a moment to heat them and put them in the kids’ backpacks.

And if the ability to give your kids a hot, healthy lunch you’ve made yourself isn’t enough, consider that you also get the bonus benefit of being green by using a reusable container.  It’s a win-win-win lunch solution.

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