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DIY & Save: 10 Cheap School Lunch Ideas that Rock

Filed Under: food

Lunch box ideas from Laptop Lunches.com

Yummy, healthy lunches don't have to cost a lot. Photo: Laptop Lunches.com

School's back. Feeling the pressure? Not only must you fill your kids' lunchboxes with healthy, affordable fare each day, the food's ideally got to be stuff they really like – and hopefully go nuts for. Here are 10 rockin' ideas to get you inspired!

1. Cute-shaped hard-boiled eggs. Visit Nature Moms blog and discover how to cook eggs in molds in the shape of cars, bears and bunnies. Irresistible to younger kids.

2. Munchies ... because kids of all ages love to crunch! Try rice cakes, tortilla chips, nuts (such as almonds, cashews, or pecans), breadsticks, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, pita chips, popcorn and pretzels. Check out this recipe for cinnamon popcorn. Mmm.


3. Candy Sushi. Not actually sushi, but fruit roll-ups spread with granola and dried fruit, then tightly re-wrapped and cut into small rounds. Yummy!

4. Dried fruit sammies. Kids love the taste and bite-sized appeal of dried fruits. Try apricots, blueberries, cherries and dates. Better yet, try them in a sandwich. Easy example: Plump golden raisins or dates in bread with butter or cream cheese. Yum!

5. Ravioli, tortellini or Asian potstickers. Kids love them, so why not include them for lunch? They can be included with or without a dipping sauce, to be eaten as finger food.

6. Tortilla wraps with yummy and (and cheap!) cannellini bean spread.

7. Modern Peanut Butter Sandwich. Add flavor and nutritional heft with shredded carrots, sesame seeds, currants ... whatever you think would appeal to your kids.

8. Veggie Pinwheels. Spread a tortilla with cream cheese or another spread, then add a layer of shredded veggies. Roll up tightly, then cut into cute little rounds.

9. Croissant stuffed with egg salad and fresh tomato slices. Luscious and very filling. Croissants make a nice treat and a change from bread, and they hold squishy (but not liquidy) fillings like egg salad very well.

10. Mini whole grain waffles or pancakes spread with peanut butter, butter or jam.

Hope these suggestions help you out in the coming weeks! Additional tip: go green and pack school lunches in a bento-style reusable lunch kit. Check out the options and inspirational photo gallery at Laptop Lunches.

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