Saturday, September 12, 2009

School lunch woes

Christine from Smiles and Trials is doing an adoption decal giveaway! Go check it out, and see if you'd like to win one!

I was reading back on some blogs, and a certain post by Christine reminded me how packing the equivalent of school lunches has become a cherished tradition in my home. I'd be writing about this even if it wasn't for the giveaway, because now life is different.

First of all, all the kids are in school, so the restrictions by the gan (a sandwich and a piece of fruit! No bananas! Nothing that needs to be peeled! How dare you send in a tuna sandwich, that's messy!) are gone. At last.

At this point my kids get a hot lunch at school, and they stay in school/daycare till 4 p.m. 5 days out of the 6 schooldays. (Fridays are half days.) That means, at least for the twins, two snacks to pack: one mid-morning snack they eat at 10 a.m. and one mid afternoon one they eat around 3.

This is where it gets tricky: my kids have to prepare their snacks themselves, and they have to be kosher. So every evening when they get home we check what lunch will be the next day, and depending on that, they pack dairy or meat, or, preferrably pareve (neither dairy nor meat) sandwiches or other goodies.

Because the turkey-ham-and-fake-cheese sandwiches get boring fast, we just decided on introducing the kids to bento style meals. Tomorrow, for example, all three of my kids are packing away Shabbat dinner leftovers: a chicken wing each, cookies, green peas, humus (ok, so only Justin is taking hunus), toasted challah pieces, pieces of chicken breast, bean snacks, pickles and some brown rice with more beans. Matthew also made a hard boiled egg, so he is taking that, cut in four. I'm sending home made iced tea with them and Craig bought a can of cola yesterday, so he is taking that.

Now Monday will be a lot more difficult. I can kinda see the twins making Jewish eggs without the liver to make sandwiches--possibly using some of the can of smoked sprats to go in the sandwiches and then asking me for Tic Tac. Yeah, those things are delicious, but should be eaten next to an open window.

So here is the question: What are some kid friendly, easy foods that my sons could learn to fix themselves (with assistance from the adults in the family) that might actually be kosher? Would love to hear some suggestions!


  1. Do the markets sell "baby" carrots in Israel? They're really large carrots cut down to mini size. They're great for dipping in hummus, nut butter, salad dressing, cream cheese...or just crunching without adornment. The kids could put a few dollops of dip in a container, and several carrots in another, voila!

  2. Actually cutting up carrots, cauliflower or broccoli is a great idea! Thank you!

  3. I must say if my boys saw the "schproti" pictured on your blog they'd get excited. We buy a few cans whenever we are at the Russian store.

    Our dietary rules as Catholics are much easier...especially as they all seem to like cream cheese on a bagel or peanut butter. Just staying away from meat is not too hard.

  4. My SIL is Soviet born and whenever I'm in Hungary (couple times a month) I bring back a few cans. We usually eat them for a Shabbat snack or in the evening. My kids love them!

    Catholic dietary laws have become a lot easier with the Second Vatican Council. When I was a kid in Ireland, though there was pretty much no meat in school lunches on Fridays or during Lent. Of course there was no kosher option either: I was born in a city where we were the only Jews and I remember times in Cork when we only had the minyan when we had visitors from Dublin.

    Cream cheese on a bagel is so perfect in the morning for us! I feed that to the kids all the time, and they like to take that for their morning snack. It doesn't work for afternoon if they have meat for lunch, though, because a good jew has to wait 6 hours after eating meat to eat dairy... And my kids are way better about Kashrut than I am.

  5. If you are interested in bento boxes, I can recommend you a terrific blog of a mummy that packs some amazing lunches.
    Here it is:
    You can try also:
    I like these two and I visit them a lot - we're vegetarians,and I think being parve they solve your kashrut problem...



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