Lunch Menu #3

Bagel with cream cheese and cherry jam

Photo and text by Lindsey Johnson.

We’ve arrived at Menu #3 in our Lunchbox Series. This menu is pretty simple and something that I’m likely to put together in a hurry on our way out the door. It comes together quickly and doesn’t require much planning, and my girls love it. I started making cream cheese and jam sandwiches for my daughter when she was little and it has been her favorite sandwich ever since. We switch up the jam depending on what we have. For this sandwich, I used our favorite sour cherry jam, but we also like blueberry and peach.

– bagel with plain cream cheese and cherry (or your child’s favorite) jam
– veggie crisps (these are Inner Pea crisps from Trader Joe’s)
– fresh strawberries
– water

– Bagels can be hard for little mouths to chew. Cut it into fourths for younger kids.
– Usually I’m worried about making the bread soggy and use a thin layer to keep the jam from soaking in, but here it’s okay.
– The jam can squeeze out through the center and sides, so go easy on it. You could also mix the jam and cream cheese together or just use flavored cream cheese.

– Red lunchbox from IKEA (in stores only in US)
– Reusable zippered bags from Blue Avocado
– Polka dot reusable sandwich bag from BUILT
– Reusable water bottle from Rubbermaid*

*I don’t know why I keep buying these water bottles! They leak and after a few times of using them, the straw loses its suction. I’d love some suggestions on your favorite reusable water bottles with built-in straws. (Because I still have a kindergartener who thinks she can’t have a drink without a straw. : )

28 thoughts on “Lunch Menu #3”

  1. The Avent straw cup is great. Leak proof and easy to clean thoroughly. Maybe a sport top cup would work too? Then you could go for something like a Klean Lantern stainless steel bottle.

  2. Where can we get cute reusable snack and sandwich bags in Canada that aren’t geared towards kids???? (Besides ETSY). I’m sure my husband would appreciate not pulling out a bag with princesses or dinosaurs on them.

  3. thank you for this inspiration. we tend to stick to boring peanut-butter sandwiches when making lunch in the morning but this is so much nicer! we just don’t seem to have enough time in the morning…ahhhg!
    we use water bottles by SIGG Swiss. Some have a simple screw-stopper, but others have a bidon-like pop-up lid. Our kids have been using them for years and no leaks so far. (see They’ve got them in all kinds of prints and colours.

  4. Camelbak waterbottles are the best! They come w/a lifetime warranty on bottles and parts, and are available in multiple sizes/styles (we love stainless steel) for big and little hands.

  5. After researching and testing water bottles for what has seemed like years, we have settled on the Funtastic Thermos bottles in our house. They don’t leak, stay insulated and the stray stays clean when it ticks inside the cap.

  6. Thermos funtainer. They don’t leak. They are insulated so you can have cold drinks. The only con for us is that they are heavy. (But only if you are the mom who ends up with three of them in your bag.) We love them. They are about 12 dollars but Toys R us often has buy one get one half off sales on them. And pipe cleaners are a perfect fit for cleaning the straw if the kids hide it in their lunchbox over the weekend.

    1. We also got our kindergartner one of these and it has been awesome. It keeps his water cold all day. He comes home with ice still inside! It isn’t the lightest thing when filled but it hasn’t been a problem. It also does sweat which is awesome. We got ours at target when it was on sale.

  7. We hate leaky cups around our house! I recently bought a small camelback for my daughter at Target and we haven’t had any issues! Bonus : it comes with a straw!

  8. I love that your lunch menus are super healthy. I have just got to get my kids eating better! This makes it look achievable.

  9. We use Thermos Funtainer 16-Ounce Bottles. They do not leak, and keep your child’s water cold for up to 8 hours (tested in SC heat). Plus, Thermos makes smaller bottles, or bigger bottles depending on your child’s age, or water intake. They clean up perfectly in the dishwater, and they last for years, making them worth every penny!

  10. my kids love their contigo water bottles with built in straws. We got ours in a three pack at costco but I have seen similar at walmart. They are fun bright colors which I think is a bonus. No leaks and very durable!

    1. Us too, eight years and counting. I can put them in the dishwasher every night (straw and all). Also, when I do replace the straw I just use regular straws and cut them down to size. They are also very light weight and no leaking after all these years. They are #5 plastic and always have been, so no bpa’s.

  11. eco Vessels.

    I have a 3 and 4 yr old, we’ve gone through so many different brands. This is by far my most favorite and it’s not made of plastic so double plus! I’ve tried Siggs, I’ve tried kleen kanteens, and camelbaks, they ALL LEAK ALL OVER MY PARK BAG! eco vessel has been by far THE BEST!

    the only problem is my kids sometimes chew on the mouth piece but you can order extras.

  12. Just to let you know, we have no kids and I’ve been using your lunch ideas anyway. I think I reached my lifetime limit of frozen “diet” lunches this summer so I’ve gone back to packing real food.

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