If there is one thing about the school year I dread, it’s making lunches. And the fact that the hockey schedule often requires us to be out of the house during meal times means that I would be best advised to make lunches on weekend mornings as well.
This is where I stomp my feet and cry “I don’t wanna”.
Except….I dont wanna go through the drive thru for lunch more. Honestly, the boys are at an age where the kids meal isn’t enough food for at least one of them and things are starting to get expensive. And things are already expensive enough.
In an effort to curb the constant outflow of money during hockey season, I went down a Google rabbit hole to find things that I could easily bring with me to the rink. That we would enjoy. Things that would be healthier than the ever common golden arches. The strategy to this was that I have time to purchase the lunch boxes and containers that will pull double duty over the next year as both school lunch boxes and rink lunch boxes.
It was oddly far more difficult to find a suitable option than I thought. Most of the “kid” options I found didn’t hold enough food. Not for my kids anyway. When you are factoring in a full day out of the house you need space for several snacks, a main course and a treat or two. You know, like the school day. These are the ones I ended up with for the year. Time will tell if they hold up any better than the previous years’ choices.
Unlike the freezer meal dinners, when it comes to rink lunch, I plan for more “snack” type things. Basically, I’m trying to get enough food options in front of them, from enough food groups to call it lunch. A mix and match meal, if you will.
The Rink Lunch Mix-n-Match Options
-Veggies and dip. Cucumbers, snap peas and carrots are the popular options in our house. I occasionally try to sneak in some broccoli or cauliflower, but if I need to get vegetables into them without complaint, I go with the popular choices.
-Lunch meat. In a sandwich or flying solo. Roll ’em up and scarf ’em down.
-Fruit. Any and all of it. The amount of fruit the House of Hockey goes through in a week is mind boggling. Thank goodness for Costco.
-Muffins. Or cookies. With Fall breathing down our necks, I feel the urge to get back into the kitchen and fire up Marvin the Kitchenaid Mixer (he is one of the loves of my life. HockeyDad knows and has come to terms with it. Mostly because it means baked goods).
Depending on what’s available in the fridge and cabinets, we pick four or five items from that list and throw them in a lunch bag and it’s off to the rink. The boy that goes on the ice eats on the way there. Or on the way home. Or a bit of both. The spectators bring the bag to the stands and chow down. This has the added bonus of keeping them occupied so that I can watch the game.
If I were more organized, or the Pinterest Mom I aspire to be one day, I would have Thermoses of soup or pasta or something warm. There have been three of these Thermoses in my Amazon cart for months but I’ve never bought them because if I really think about it, I know they’ll never get used.
Thankfully, my boys have always been satisfied with the lunches they get. Even if they are a bit of a mishmash affair.
Oh, and if you happen to sit beside me with a younger sibling or two, know that I always pack extra snacks. If I’m already feeding three, it’s always going to be the more the merrier. No one goes hungry on the HockeyMom’s watch.
See you at the rink.