Weekly Menus: Back to School, Remote Edition

Gentle Readers, back-to-school time is almost as hectic as end-of-school time, and they seem so close together. Each year that return is complicated by the fact that one of the biggest projects I have during the work year culminates with a major tech event the week school starts.

How can school lunch compare with Pinkberry in NYC?

How can school lunch compare with Pinkberry in NYC?

So I have to vMom it–remote parenting in the modern age. TPCs Jr biggest complaint is not being able to join me on the dodgeball court, as there’s a yearly charity event. But I digress. How do you show you care from 3000 miles away? FaceTime, food, and photos. Let’s talk food.

We have to temporarily break up the band get get back to work.

We have to temporarily break up the band get get back to work.

Back to School Tips and Lunch Menus:

1. Shop with your offspring. Do not fall victim to the “but you liked this last year” trap. Let them select and own their choices. Tastes change.

Look at the sheen on that peanut butter! (I think we're alone now . . .)

Look at the sheen on that peanut butter! (I think we’re alone now . . .)

2. Let them practice making lunch. This was two parts necessity and two parts evil genius this week. Peanut butter and jelly with sweet potato chips and carrots? I can live with that.

Hello Love: Dark Chocolate Almonds from Trader Joe's

Hello Love: Dark Chocolate Almonds from Trader Joe’s

3. Cheat. Oh I said it. There should always be a few easy wins. This would be dark chocolate almonds with sea salt for dessert. Just two fit nicely into the smallest container in the Bento box set, and they are so satisfying.

Our lunch companion at the Bronx Zoo.

Our lunch companion at the Bronx Zoo.

Proposed Lunch Menus:

Something hearty: peanut butter and jelly sandwich, cheese and crackers, pasta in the hot container, peanut butter and banana sandwich

Something crunchy: walnuts, cashews, sweet potato chips, carrots, celery, dry seaweed, sesame sticks

Something sweet: drinkable yogurt, yogurt in a tube, applesauce in a tube or cup, diced peaches in juice (huge hit in this house), grapes, dried cranberries, apple slices tossed in a little lemon juice, blackberries

Something for dessert: fortune cookies, dark chocolate almonds with sea salt, vanilla wafers, graham crackers, granola bars

Select one from each category, mix and match, endless variety with room for new ideas all of the time.

Back to school on a camel?

Back to school on a camel?

I will miss my road warriors as I cross the country by myself for the first time in several months. Good luck to you and your kids as the new year begins. Please share your lunch ideas here, or tweet my way!

Send healthy snacks, good luck, and extra hours in the day to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

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Coming up Sunday: Weekly Menus, Labor Day Edition!

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