Chatter and Chitter Heritage Preserving/Canning

School Lunches

middle school

School has started for the Blind Pig family. Backpacks are full and we are easing ourselves back into the rhythm of school.

I’ve always packed Chatter and Chitter’s lunches-cause they’re not only silly girls they’re picky too.

The selection of food I pack-hardly ever varies-it includes: water, a yogurt cup, some kind of fruit, a bag of chips and a small snack size candy bar. This year as I’ve tried to cut back on our grocery bill I’ve tried to think of things I could preserve from the garden to send in their lunch bags.

Instead of buying the little plastic containers of pears-I’ll be sending homemade pear preserves.

The girls usually take water to drink-but every once in a while they want something different. I froze some of the grape juice I made in small juice containers.

I’ve dried all the apples I could get my hands on. This year I went the easy route and used my dehydrator.

A few other ideas for school lunches:

~Lacy from Razor Family Farms has an excellent recipe for yogurt-it’s on my list of things to try

~A Reusable Lunch set  very neat-especially if you sew

My supply of pears, apples, and juice will not last through the school year-but at least I’ve made an effort to cut back on expenses-and send healthier food.

Wonder what they’d do if I sent a piece of cornbread like the old days? Actually-they’d probably be fine since they both love cornbread.

So do your kids or grankids pack their lunches? I don’t ever remember packing mine-I always ate in the lunchroom.



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  • Reply
    September 13, 2009 at 9:32 am

    The boys were buying their lunch at school until the younger one started using his lunch card to also buy breakfast and then started charging his lunches when the card ran out of money. (He got breakfast at home, so he was eating breakfast twice!) Nikki is picky and packs her lunch by choice. Liz has food allergies so she packs her lunch and has to eat in the health office 🙁
    Caught some kids on my bus trading lunches on the way to school. One little guy had his lunch completely eaten by the time we got to school. Hopefully I’ve put a stop to that!

  • Reply
    September 8, 2009 at 8:38 am

    The pear preserves sound good.

  • Reply
    September 5, 2009 at 6:25 am

    I’ve got to try this with the apples. All of that looks absolutely delicious.

  • Reply
    September 4, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    Just found your blog and we already have so much in common! Nice to meet you!

  • Reply
    September 4, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    My brothers and I always ate in the lunchroom as well. The food was always good, and I’m sure daddy struggled sometimes to have enough money to pay for them, but he did.
    My grandchildren are somewhat picky, so they carry part of the time and eat in the lunchroom part of the time.

  • Reply
    September 4, 2009 at 9:28 am

    When I was in the sixth grade I made a cheese and mustard sandwich every day. It was a looooong time before I could eat mustard again, like decades!!
    We pack a lunch for our homeschool park days. The girls love cut up veggies with ranch dip, grapes, cubes of cheese with apple slices, baby dill pickles in a baggie, and crackers with deli lunch meat. I sometimes heat a drained and rinsed can of chickpeas with diced tomatoes, couscous and frozen spinach(spicing to suit my hunger at the time, Mexican some days, Indian others). This is good at room temperature and my kids love it!
    Molly, who is leaving your page up for the music while I clean.

  • Reply
    Dennis Price
    September 3, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    I am going to start an effort to send you to Washington, D.C. to advise our president and other politicians of the correct way to handle our limited finances. Tipper to the Top. Sounds like a good motto right? Pack your backs, it shouldn’t be long now. Pappy

  • Reply
    September 3, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    the boys always check out what the school is serving that day…if they dont like it then I pack…spoiled brats 🙂

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    September 3, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Tipper: Those are some neat tricks to save money.

  • Reply
    September 3, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    I think I always ate in the cafeteria. I loved the food especially the buttery cornbread and soft rolls. My boys were all different, my youngest would go for months taking his lunch and then go for months eating the cafeteria food.

  • Reply
    September 3, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    The only time we pack a lunch for school is when school is having something Boo doesn’t like. But now that they have more than one choice, rarely do they not have something he likes.
    But for work….we always pack lunch. Way too expensive to eat out everyday.

  • Reply
    September 3, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    My mother freely admits that she packed awful school lunches and was not very creative in the menu. It was a sandwich, two cookies and maybe a piece of fruit, no beverage. No one wanted to trade lunches with me! I like the thermos of soup idea someone had. You could do that with chili, stew or mac and cheese too. Other stuff to think of packing might be trail mix, maybe if the girls have access to a microwave, some popcorn or a sweet potato.

  • Reply
    September 3, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    My daughter, now 28, packed her lunches. She wouldn’t eat the lunchroom food once she got to high school. She alway ate with a group of girls we dubbed the “lunch bunch” who remain close friends still.

  • Reply
    Brenda Kay Ledford
    September 3, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Sounds like your children are having great, nutritious lunches with the apples and juices. I always ate in the lunchroom at Hayesville School and can still taste the delicious pinto beans, fresh-baked yeast bread baked by the mountain women who were the cooks. Sounds like your children will also have delicious school lunches.

  • Reply
    September 3, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    We had farm women that cooked for our school cafeteria and I actually enjoyed most everything they cooked…making deals for extras of the best stuff…like their rolls on Thursdays! That was back when I could eat my weight in rolls and never gain an ounce…LOL!
    Happy School year to you all!☼

  • Reply
    September 3, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Since I homeschooled our two girls, we never packed lunches except when we went out by the pond for a picnic. I ate in the lunchroom and also took my lunch some when I was in school.
    If you send a piece of cornbread for them, be sure and include a cold, baked sweet potato with it:)

  • Reply
    September 3, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    I always ate in the lunch room. I pack my kids lunches for them and they usually have a pb&j, chips or crackers, some kind of fruit maybe a yogurt, maybe a packaged dessert, and juice or water. I’m a little obsessive about something crunchy and some kind of fruit or vegi.

  • Reply
    Julie at Elisharose
    September 3, 2009 at 10:06 am

    My mom always packed my lunch. For awhile, she would draw pictures on my lunch sacks. They were so cute. I saved most of them, but I have no idea where they are.
    I now pack my son’s lunch. Being a 14-year-old boy, I pretty much put everything that will fit in the little cooler thing I send with him. That boy can eat.

  • Reply
    September 3, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Kids can be so finicky at times but I suppose we all our ocassionally. I hope they have a wonderful year at school. My son Tyler started last wednesday.

  • Reply
    Just Jackie
    September 3, 2009 at 8:42 am

    I didn’t know the girls were “picky” 🙂
    You’re lunches sound wonderful. I ate in the cafeteria when I went to school in the country. Farm wives did all the cooking and was a lot better than my mom’s. When we moved to town we were so poor that if I got a lunch, it was a hard boiled egg sandwich. (I will not eat one of them now) I dated a guy in high school that must have known we were poor because he would buy his lunch, eat the bread and give me the rest. That was “true love” to me. lol
    I was at Chitter and Chatter’s school yesterday and saw the lunch room and the food they serve. I wish I could eat there. Everything looked really good. I saw the girls. They are so sweet. Good job, Tipper.

  • Reply
    September 3, 2009 at 8:38 am

    I always pack my boys’ lunches, too. We started school at the beginning of August and they’ve been enjoying the dried fruit so far (the apples and banana chips have especially been a hit).
    Whenever I make soup, I make an extra big batch of it so the boys can each have a thermos full of hot soup in their lunches. Also good for things like soup beans. And yes, I often pack pieces of cornbread and corn muffins for them. Leftover biscuits, too (which they really enjoy with jelly).
    They like the homemade fruit roll-ups from our dehydrator, too. And I made a lot of applesauce this year and froze it in ice cube trays. In the morning I take a couple of cubes of applesauce and put them in containers in their lunches. By lunchtime, the applesauce is thawed out but still cold.
    And they carry their own aluminum water bottles. Their school allows them to have water at their desks during class, so they just carry their water bottles with them to lunch.
    My boys eat a lot of sandwiches. I make several loaves of bread at once (or buy a lot at the store if there’s a good sale) and keep it in the freezer. When I see that I’m about to use up a loaf of bread, that night I take out another loaf from the freezer and set it out. By morning, the new loaf is thawed and ready.

  • Reply
    September 3, 2009 at 8:02 am

    Wow, it has been years since I packed any lunches, but this got me thinking. My girls always had packed lunches, the school lunches were too expensive for our budget. My oldest daughter told me recently how she hated to take those sandwiches on homemade bread, since everyone else had the bought stuff, but now, she’d give about anything for a sandwich on that bread. Funny, isn’t it? I’ll have to go out and check the pear tree, I love fresh pears.

  • Reply
    My Carolina Kitchen
    September 3, 2009 at 7:25 am

    I love healthy your ideas for the kids lunch. How clever to dry apples and make pear preserves and grape juice. I understand, although I’ve not tried it myself, that homemade yogurt is vastly superior to store bought. So many of the store bought yogurts are too sweet for my taste and contain artificial sweeteners. You could flavor your yogurts with anything the girls like – strawberries, blueberries, whatever.
    I hope they know how luck they are to have a cool Mom like you that takes the time to care. And I would love to find a surprise piece of cornbread in my lunch bag.

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