Pimp my lunch: tuna melt

Many of you have wanted to know what I eat at home for lunch. Well, here’s a home lunch I had this week. I love tuna melts (1/2 can chunk light tuna with real mayo, extra sharp cheddar, thin sandwich bread) and a yogurt, and an apricot. I’m not taking pictures of all of my lunches, but the occasional few… My husband laughed when I took a picture of the hospital breakfast the other morning and said, “Old habits die hard.” Too true.

The problem I see with this lunch is the pitiful lack of veggies. Normally I have fresh spinach on hand (I prefer spinach over lettuce) and I would have put them inside the melt. But this weekend we ended up running out of time at the grocery store and I didn’t get there until today to restock our (organic) spinach. So my sandwich lacked veggies. I welcome thoughts on how I could improve this lunch. Normally I eat apples instead of apricots, but we ran out of the staples and since I’m off now, we knew I could shop this week. Everything has been bought since I ate this! Today I ate soup and sardines but I didn’t think to take a shot of it…
Anyone have any insight into why real sandwiches aren’t served at least as much as hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken nuggets at school? Most of America is eating sandwiches for lunch. I consider them a staple. Am I wrong? Why does every school lunch seem to be hot? Can we eat the occasional cold sandwich at school?

Yesterday I participated in an interview with Andy Bellatti. We’ve tweeted a lot (Twitter) and so we finally got a chance to chat. To listen to our discussion, visit his blog.

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85 thoughts on “Pimp my lunch: tuna melt”

  1. Could you buy large (quart?) size containers of yogurt, rather than using single-serve? This would reduce the plastic waste produced by your lunch. If you're eating the yogurt at home, use a bowl, or if you're bringing the lunch to-go, you can use a reusable tupperware. (It's also probably less expensive (by weight) to purchase large containers of yogurt as compared to many single-serve containers.)
    To increase veggies and fruit, mix in celery, or chopped grapes in the mayo, or add chopped nuts to increase fiber. (Add a dash of curry and cumin for extra flavor- it goes surprisingly well with the grapes!)

  2. I never understood the hot lunch either. Unless it's for free lunch kids who might not get a hot meal otherwise.

    I love tuna melts too. Lately I've been chopped celery and carrots and adding that to my tuna and often my melt is open-faced.

  3. I'll ditto Jordan's note about buying yogurt in bulk containers. If you buy "Plain" yogurt, you avoid the artificial sweeteners in flavored yogurt, then you can add fresh honey, fresh fruit, or organic preserves to flavor it however you want. Maybe I'm the only one, but I think virtually all of Yoplait's flavors taste really fake — did that one really taste like blueberry pie or just a vague replica? Imagine the same size serving of yogurt, but this time with crumbled up Nilla wafers and fresh blueberries. Yum!

  4. You can remove fat from the tuna salad by substituting part or all of it with plain unpasteurized yogurt. Add celery, red onion, green onion, sliced almonds into the salad itself and top it with a slice of tomato and some type of dark green like arugula. You can even add avocado. (And bacon, but that's not a healthy suggestion.) It's a pain in the butt if you're only making one sandwich, but if you're eating tuna salad for a few days then you can just pre-slice all the veggies.

    As to why cold sandwiches aren't served more for school lunch, it depends on your production and consumption chain. Cold sandwiches don't keep very well (especially those with fresh vegetables) so you basically have to get them out and consumed within a week, possibly less. If your kitchen doesn't make them onsite, then they're being supplied by a vendor who has to worry more about temperature controlled refrigeration and possible spoilage/waste. It's so much easier to serve frozen food that can sit around for a month or two in a meat locker – as you can plainly see from the lunches you have been served by your cafeteria. In addition, sandwiches have to be made by hand and packaged whereas hot meal items require less per-serving prep.

  5. Twenty years ago today I was at Field Training (boot camp for ROTC cadets). All of our meals were served in the chow hall–good selection of pretty good food. The day we didn't have time to go back to the chow hall, though, the first day we "had" to eat a box lunch and opened it to find a plain ol ham *sandwich*–we all cheered!

  6. when I was in school I remember once a teacher said the school has to offer at least one hot lunch option. My schools always had several options and we were offered both hot and cold choices, and there was always a sandwich choice. So if your school only has one lunch choice that it probably has to be hot.

  7. If sandwiches are standard school lunch fare, where does that leave kids who have sensitivity to gluten or grains or wheat?

    Or are those much-discussed sensitivities actually very rare?

    Jim Purdy
    The 50 Best Health Blogs

  8. Well Jim, schools aren't doing very good when it comes to gluten issues as it stands since there are so many ingredients that are wheat based in meals that "look" to be wheat-free. That's why ingredient transparency is vital.

  9. I wonder if one factor in the hot vs cold sandwich issue is that if they served plain cold sandwiches, parents would complain "I'm paying for you to give him a hot lunch. If I wanted him to have a cold sandwich he would have brought it himself!"

  10. Ok, a few thoughts on ways to improve your lunch:

    1. Opt for plain, low-fat yogurt. Try Greek yogurt instead, it's extra thick and creamy. I prefer Fage 2% but there are other brands. Then, add fruit and other fun things – nuts, granola, graham crackers, coconut, etc.

    2. Use reduced-fat cheddar in place of full-fat. We should all be getting good fats in our diet, but the extra saturated fat in full-fat dairy is unnecessary and unhealthy. Full fat has about 6 grams of saturated fat, while RF has only 1.5. Plus, nowadays, you can't really tell a difference between the two.

    3. I am on the fence about RF/FF mayonnaise, as, often, you swap lower fat for more additives and strange, unpronounceable ingredients. However, I believe some of the new mayos, like the olive oil Helmman's, are low in fat/saturated fat but still have good ingredients. As others have said, using 1/2 mayonnaise and 1/2 RF/FF greek yogurt is another great way to lighten it up a bit.

    4. Since you put your fruit in your yogurt, add a veggie side. Have a small side salad, cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, cucumber salad, etc.

    5. Last thing. Opt for whatever fruit is in season! This is something I am trying to incorporate more of currently and am making it a habit to hit the farmer's market once a week. Right not berries, cherries and stone fruit are in season. Most are available at farmers markets and, unless in a very small town, grocery stores should be carrying domestically grown options, instead of imported. Leave apples for fall and winter – when nothing else is available!

    Oh, and as an aside, you should so try out some baby arugula on your sandwiches or salads in place of spinach! It is fantastic and adds so much flavor! Plus, you really get no added nutritional benefit from spinach over other lettuces unless the spinach is cooked.

    If you really want to go all the way, get rid of the highly processed Sandwich Thins and get some good whole wheat bread made with 100% stone ground WW flour. However, I have a soft spot for Sandwich Thins and Bagel Thins – I just can't resist carby goodness for only 100 calories. So, sigh, I buy them as well. But I also buy fresh bread from the farmer's market – MMMMmmmm Whole What Sunflower Seed and Flax. Yummm.

  11. I second buying plain, full fat yogurt in bulk (pick one with very few ingredients), and sprucing it up yourself. You can add fruit, granola, honey… the possibilities are endless. My bet is the Yoplait contains high fructose corn syrup, which is definitely an "ingredient" to be avoided!

    The tuna melt and apricot look delicious.

  12. Agreed on not doing the light yogurt with the artificial sugar. Also, one apricot isn't a whole serving of fruit, too small. 🙂

  13. I don't know why they don't do more sandwiches but I don't like them so it doesn't bother me (LOL). I don't really like sliced deli meat or peanut butter, hate fake cheese slices, and tuna is hit or miss for me (I like a little mayo but everyone seems to drown everything in slimy mayo these days).

    Frankly, I'd expect the nutritional value to plummet if schools relied primarily on sandwiches as they'd probably revert to processed meat with high nitrate contents, super sugary PBJ, or high fat processed cheese products for grilled sandwiches. Lots of kids don't eat tuna (or so I'm told; mine eat it fine but people always act like they are psychotic when they do) so they probably wouldn't serve tuna, plus the concern about mercury content.

    Would sandwiches necessarily be a healthier option for school food programs? I think you'd need to be even more vigilant to be sure they were getting something healthy. You'd have to be willing to pay for top quality ingredients and I'd worry the default would be white bread. Sounds like a nightmare to me.

  14. Federal regulations mandate hot lunches. Again, politicians shouldn't be in the business of deciding what anyone's kids eat.

    I use (and love) canola mayonnaise. It's not cheap ($8+ per large jar), but well worth it. I like to add chopped, fresh apple to my tuna. A quick way to add crunch and extra flavor is to throw in some capers. (Sprouted beans are also a great, easy thing to add.)

    I try to stay away of bread completely, but when I do eat it, I opt for spelt bread. It's healthier and lower in calories (about 70 per slice). I also really like the vegan cheese that's made from rice – and I say that as an unabashed carnivore. It's lower in calories, too.

    Check the label on your yogurt – it probably has HFCS. I like to buy plain, non-fat yogurt (Fage Total Greek or Nancy's Organic…or whatever is cheapest) and mix it with fresh fruit. I sprinkle Splenda on it for added sweetness, and no, I don't feel bad about that and don't need to hear how "bad" it is for me! (You'd be amazed how freely people offer their opinions on what you eat without being asked.)

    As for veggies, I hate raw carrots and raw celery, and am pretty lazy when it comes to prep right now (busy, tired, etc). But I like fresh, sliced tomato sprinkled with some good sea salt. I'm also sort of addicted to tossing salad greens (bagged and washed – nope, I don't feel bad about that either) with Bolthouse Farms yogurt dressing (the thousand island flavor is great). It's 70 calories per serving and made with good ingredients. I'll throw in some fresh blueberries, raw mushrooms, sprouts, or whatever I have on hand.

  15. My husband (who learned this from his mother) adds diced apple, dried cranberries, and chopped nuts to his tuna. This version might not taste as good for a tuna melt, although we have made quesadillas with cheese (obviously), apple, cranberries, nuts, and turkey. If you didn't want to turn that tuna into a melt, at least you would have another version of it…

  16. Is that processed or real cheese? It looks very orange, which is what makes the whole thing look a bit fake unfortunately.

  17. Mrs. Q, I often put sun dried tomatoes (the dry packed kind, not the ones in oil) on sandwiches. My supermarket used to carry a brand that was really moist and I could use them right out of the container but they discontinued those 🙁 So now I usually slice a few and put them in a little dish with a bit of hot water and nuke them for about 30 sec. until they absorb the water. This reconstitutes them enough for a sandwich. I do a few days' worth and store them in the fridge so I don't have to prep them every time I make a sandwich. Anyway, I manage to get 3 or 4 or even more whole tomatoes into my sandwich and it's crazy delicious.

    I would have added cucumber slices (unpeeled) to your tuna melt for sure and some sliced red bell pepper or sliced fresh jalapeno. Also maybe some sprouts if I had some really fresh ones. Now I think I have to have a tuna melt for lunch today!

  18. Yogurt: Look at the ingredients. Choose a yogurt with few ingredients. Try an organic one.
    Choose a plain organic, the fat in milk products from a grass fed animal is actually good for you.
    Get used to the taste of plain, add in season fruit and a bit of local honey or real maple syrup on top.
    Bread: I buy the thins too, but I REALLy love the local organic bread bakery. REal Heavy Whole Grain Bread. Every word on the ingredient label is understable and good for you. (Just read about the 9 grain bread at Subway this morning and got really upset. Look it up.)
    Tuna: I don't eat so much anymore. After the mercury scare from years ago. That and some brands have tons of Soy filler in them. Go read labels again. I use plain yogurt or even olive oil to mix it up. Lots of veggies in the mix.
    Onions, garlic, peppers, celery (organic)sometimes nuts. Have you thought of putting your tuna in a half a bell pepper and eating it that way?
    Look up the 12 veggies that everyone should buy organic because of pesticides.

    Sandwiches in school would be just as processed as the PB&J you had. Deli meat full of sodium, white bread because they think that is what kids would eat, no real lettuce.
    If they could use real cooked turkey…maybe, but I just don't see it happening.

  19. I'm another voice for swapping out your yogurt. Most yogurts (and especially the flavored ones) are chock full of HFCS and just plain ol' sugar. I buy a brand (Danon, I think) that is missing both of those ingredients and it's tastes just as good if not better!

    I always add a nice handful of sliced, fresh veggies to my sandwhich meals. Carrots, green peppers and celery are my favs. I normally add sweet onions to my tuna meals as well. (I am a BIG veggie fan!)

    I don't understand why school lunches have to be hot either. It's lunch for heaven's sake. I rarely make a hot lunch for my boys. I think you would actually have a better opportunity to add in fruits and veggies if schools served sandwiches.

  20. Yoplait (thick and creamy at least) does contain HFCS. It is something that we try to avoid (as much as possible), and so I scour ingredients labels.

    I second trying Greek yogurt. We've tried a few different brands, and found Yoplait's greek (reduced fat or fat-free) to be a bit lacking, but still good.

    While there is always something that can be done better, I think your lunch looks pretty good!

  21. the alternative to a hot school lunch is a frozen one. how many times have you gotten a frozen fruit cup? why do you think they wouldn't hand out frozen sandwiches?

  22. use ezekial bread, lightly toasted. use salmon instead of tuna because of mercury content…you can also get veganaise instead of mayo….or what i usually do is mix tuna/salmon with fresh squeezed lemon juice, salt, and pepper. use fresh spinach rather than lettuce…and use mustard on one side of the bread and mayo on the other…that way you dont use as much mayo…with this, you dont even need any cheese.

    as for the yogurt, i would choose something with less sugar, like fage greek yogurt. also, by choosing something like fage or stoneyfield you are less likely to eat something that has beef or pork products in them…because in commercial yogurt they have a small amount, i think for gellatinous reasons.

  23. I do hate the idea of mandatory hot lunches. I don't make them at home for my kids and since they take lunch, they don't get them either. They are just fine with sandwiches, cold salads, food that doesn't need to be reheated.

    On the flip side of that, my husband, who grew up on school lunches & a lot of restaurant food, hates cold lunches/sandwiches and likes to be able to pick on the spot what he wants to eat out of a variety of options. This isn't exactly a practical way of living unless you are a short order cook (which I am not).

    This whole instant gratification "I want this + this + this" doesn't exactly set anyone up for lifestyle of practical eating. I am a much bigger fan of "you get what I cook or you see me at the next scheduled meal time".

  24. I eat a sandwich for lunch every day – by choice! I actually have a panini press at work for that exact reason, lol. Mine is usually almond butter with banana or strawberry slices.

    To get in veggies, you could add a side of carrot sticks or strips of raw bell pepper. Cucumber slices are particularly cooling in the summer too! 🙂

  25. A friend recently tipped me off to turning my meals into a salad, where possible. For tuna, I take a bed of greens, add any of the toppings (celery, grapes, nuts, etc…many suggestions above) that you might add to tuna, and then dollop a little bit of tuna over the top of my salad. The tuna helps give the salad a little moisture in place of dressing and it's still like eating a tuna sandwich, just inside out.

    I adore a good slice of hearty whole wheat bread, but I have no trouble getting enough carbs in a day and this helps me get more veggies. You can apply the same principle to other sandwiches/entrees, too. Eliminate the starch and then use the other elements as salad toppings.

  26. I saw this and laughed. I know I said I was kidding yesterday about you being obsessed with photographing food.. Now I'm not too sure.

  27. The main thing missing from your lunch is VEGETABLES! As in there are NONE! Your school lunch was more balanced with a veggie everyday. Carrot or celery sticks. A green salad. Some tomato on your sandwich.

    Yogurt: something with out artificial sweetener in it! Aspartame is gross. Try a high quality low fat or fat free yogurt. If you need it to have flavor add a tablespoon of jam to it. Or better yet cut up your apricot and put that in your yogurt!

    Tuna: Add some veggies to it! Celery in tuna salad is great. Tomato is always good on a tuna melt. Less mayo. Cheese is great if you're able to eat the high fat content. 2% cheese on something like this is good because the extra fat isn't missed.

  28. Jen, that is a very interesting website you posted about the need for fat in diets. I completely agree that it is essential to get adequate amounts of healthy fats in your diet, which I mentioned, and is also why I never advocate for going fat free. However, all things in moderation! Taking Mrs. Q's menu above, if she were to have a single serving of full fat (greek) plain yogurt, 1 oz. of full fat cheddar cheese and 1 serving (1 T.) of full fat mayonnaise it would provide 500 calories and 42 grams of fat. 75% of those 500 calories are from fat, alone! For me, personally, that is an astounding amount of calories and fat to consume in one sitting!

    I choose to eat reduced fat dairy and lean proteins most of the time and usually get 40-45% of my calories from fat on a daily basis. I do enjoy full fat cheeses, ice cream and higher fat proteins on occasion!

  29. Make a quick and easy Mediterranean salad . . . chickpeas, black olives, sliced tomatoes (I use grape/cherry tomatoes sliced in half), diced cucumber, diced red onion. Add minced basil (fresh or dried) to taste. Make a dressing — 2 Tbs olive oil, 2 Tbs lemon juice, 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning, 1/4 tsp black pepper (optional) — and store in a salad dressing cruet. I store the salad in a glass container in my refrigerator and drizzle each individual serving with the dressing (rather than dressing the salad and it sitting in dressing). Sprinkle with feta cheese (optional) and ENJOY!!! This goes really well with grilled fish or chicken and would be great with your tuna melt.

    Another way to add some veggies, and one of my favorites to take along, is sliced peppers — green (bell), red, orange, and/or yellow. I slice up one or two of each color, place in a glass container in my refrigerator and each day when packing a lunch, pull a portion/serving out of the container.

    My personal choice is not to use the no fat/low fat products . . . in order to make those products appetizing, they are loaded with fillers and artificial whatevers — I don't use artificial sweeteners, either, as I don't want to ingest those chemicals. My choices are either sugar or honey. And studies have shown that the caloric savings of artificial sweeteners vs. sugar is minimal and not worth the health risks of the artificial products.

  30. I would say KEEP THE FAT IN! When we're talking fats from dairy products or natural oils, we're not talking about anything wrong there. You need fats in a meal in order to feel full and satiated. Otherwise, you keep filling up on food until your stomach is unnecessarily physically full. (as an aside to Deepa – the yellow in cheddar is – or should be in traditional cheese-making, anyways – from a natural colorant called annatto; nothing sinister there)

    The key is learning to eat in moderation until you reach satiation. Substituting light or low fat so you can eat more of it teaches you bad habits. What happens then when you eat out or from a cafeteria were you don't know if it's light or fat free? Get used to how your body reacts to real, unadultered food and then you can control yourself and eat the right amounts in any situation.

    Besides, usually "light" or "fat free" just means "fleshed out with more junk fillers" – just like "low sodium" really means "more potassium salts" in place of sodium salts.

    It should be telling that I cannot even find milk that is less than 2% here in France (I'm an ex-pat for my job).

  31. I regularly make tuna sandwiches for my son's lunches, but it's also a popular choice at the school's volunteer-run nutrition snack program.

    Personally, I find substituting all the mayo for yogurt is not as good as using about half of each. Also, salsa and mustard are good no-fat additions that add to the flavour.

    I love to add in a variety of healthy fillers – not necessarily all at once though 😉 for example, quinoa, grated jerusalem artichokes, carrots, chopped pickles, or anything else that might be on hand.

  32. Okay…now I'm SO hungry for greek yogurt! We recently discovered a dairy allergy in my breastfed son, so no dairy for me either. Mrs. Q please have a spoonful of your next yogurt for me!

  33. With regards to sandwiches – love 'em! Although a lot of commercial sandwich breads contain bromide – the same stuff used to develop photos! It's best to get bread from a real bakery or make it yourself.

    A nice twist on the sandwich theme – and a way to pack in more veggies – is to make a bahn mi with lots of pickled veggies! It's basically a Vietnamese hoagie.

    Also, here in my cafeteria at work (on the Franco-Swiss border) they have a sandwich on whole grain baguette with brie, spring onions, dark lettuce, and fig preserve. Yum!!

  34. I add dried cranberries to my tuna salad, and it's actually quite delicious! (And a good way to sneak in some antioxidants and what not.)

  35. Ditto @Henry 8:10 re: why not sandwiches at lunch, except that a sandwich made and eaten within one or two days would get soggy and stale, much less a week. If made nearby that day, that would be OK.

    @Jacki Danicki 9:06 – I'm not aware of a federal requirement to always serve a hot meal for lunch. Do you have a citation or reference for that? I really doubt this is true. I've looked on the USDA website, and have not found anything in their materials that mandates a hot lunch. In fact, many of their materials include deli meats, salads and salad bars, and yogurt.

    Assuming the sandwiches are allowed (which I think they are), and made that day, whether the sandwiches would end up being good and not full of chemicals and additives, especially in schools like Mrs. Q's, is another story!

  36. When I make tuna salad, recently, I've started adding as many veggies as I can. My goal is to get it so I double the volume of the tuna salad with veggies. Right now, I use chopped cucumber, grated carrot, chopped celery and chopped onion. I then add about a tablespoon of mayo, then drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle a touch of balsamic on top. I also put a tablespoon or two of ground hemp seeds in. I add a little tiny bit of pepper and stir it all together. The olive oil 'stretches' the mayo, but doesn't go slimy. It all binds together beautifully and the balsamic gives it some zing. Then I spread it (without any butter) onto the bread (whole grain, preferably) and add sunflower shoots and kale. Delicious and my picky-as-a-toddler flatmate actually PREFERS this to regular tuna salad. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this tuna salad.

    I'd also do a nice fruit salad instead of yoghurt if I want something sweet (because with my recipe you'd have lots of veggies in the tuna salad)–there are enough fats in the tuna salad and you have a serving of dairy with your cheese. Then I might skip the apricot all together and have some cherry tomatoes or even some sliced up sweet peppers instead.

  37. Can anyone (@Jackie Danicki 9:06) find a citation regarding mandatory hot lunch? I can't find any such thing on the USDA site.

    @Henry 8:10 – right on, although I think that a sandwich made more than one day in advance is going to be stale and soggy, definitely not fresh. One week – forget about it!

    And even if the sandwiches were allowed (which I think they are) and made that day, in a school like Mrs. Q's it would likely be filled with chemicals, preservatives and additives.

  38. Oh, Ms Q, I can't begin to tell you how similar what you were eating at school is to what you're eating in this meal. Please flip that package of Arnold bread over and read the ingredients in it. If it's the bread I think it is, it has over 20 (!) ingredients. What about that yogurt?

    I'm a serious follower of your blog, but this is my first time commenting. I've noticed that you, like so many other millions of Americans, think that a food is healthy if it has veggies or fruit or is a healthy sandwich. I think it's a big step to move away from food with preservatives, but that's not even the tip of the iceberg.

    Please look into reading Michael Pollen's In Defense of Food, where he talks about "food science," and how, if your grandmother couldn't identify it as a food, it isn't a food. This book pretty much changed my life (for the better, but damn is it hard!). Also, here is a link to an article that was recently published about how pesticides on wonderful fruits and veggies can be liked to an increased risk of ADHD. http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=news&id=128359&cn=37

    I wish you so much luck, Ms Q! And don't forget, "you are what you eats, eats!"

  39. Mrs. Q, so glad you are in control of lunch again! Huzzah! At our house, a tuna melt is open-faced — one slice of bread toasted (save some carbs), tuna salad, cheese, under the broiler to melt the cheese. I agree with others — diced apples, grapes, cucumbers, sunflower seeds or walnuts, grated carrots, sprouts– in any combo are good additions. Real mayo cut with fat free greek yogurt (1:1) makes the most acceptable lowfat mayo sub, in my humble opinion. Greek yogurt is the best thing to come along the store shelves in ages!

  40. I looooove tuna sandwiches! I've got a few go-to tuna recipes (ultimately though, anything in the fridge is fair game):

    option 1: mix in salt and pepper, minced celery and pickles (if capers, artichoke hearts or olives are on hand, those go into the mix too. It's salty and wonderful!)

    option 2: in addition to the veggies, add in some minced fresh dill. It goes wonderfully with the fish.

    option 3: instead of mayo, I use a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper, some (finely) minced rosemary, and some celery. It's super gourmet-tasting. You could set the tuna mix out on a platter with assorted crackers or carrot sticks (use the tuna like a dip) for a great party snack, too.

    Also, try things like alfalfa sprouts or cabbage leaves in place of lettuce or spinach on your sandwich. They bring a different texture and depth of flavor to the party. Tuna is also amazing in a pita pocket. That was my favorite lunch when I was little. It's a little messy, but very, very good!

  41. I also second the Bolthouse Farms yogurt salad dressings! I usually make my own dressings but got this recently for some friends eating with us. Pretty darn good.

  42. My daughter's school had sub sandwiches (turkey and cheese or ham and cheese) a few days a month. One of each was on the May menu. That's the only "cold lunch" offering.

  43. I agree with everyone here! Get rid of the Yoplait, it's full of High-fructose corn syrup! (read the label) and buy some yogurt in bulk without corn syrup.

    At Whole Foods, their brand of yogurt, without HFCS of course, sells for $2.49 for a quart (2.99 quart organic). That's way way cheaper than Yoplait.

  44. I would encourage you to replace apples with most seasonal fruit. Apples this time of year are frequently shipped in from foreign countries, creating waste and harming the environment.
    Pick up some local fruit next time you re-stock your spinach!

  45. The spinach sounds like a good addition. I would probably also pick another yogurt. I imagine the back of that container has a bunch of additives/artificial ingredients. I think in the long run, eating whole "real" ingredients makes one more satisfied and full than saving calories with light, but taking in a lot of junk ingredients.

  46. Mmm…sounds (and looks) so much better than school lunch! I really love your blog, gives full disclosure to what kids are being fed in school these days…

  47. I started adding sauteed diced/chopped onions to my tuna fish sandwiches. I will sometimes saute the onions with minced garlic. It gives a nice smokey sweet flavor without being over powering. The first time I tried it, my husband raved about how great it tasted and now we usually add it when we have tuna fish salad/sandwiches/etc.

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