Lunch Suggestions


We ask that parents bring in a veggie or dairy lunch because the Washington DCJCC adheres to a kosher food policy.  This means you cannot send meat (including red meat or poultry) or non-kosher foods such as pork and shellfish (e.g. shrimp or crab).  We thank you in advance for respecting this policy.

We are unable to refrigerate lunches.  Good options, if you would like to send items that should be kept chilled, are lined lunchboxes, ice packs and/or freezing their juice box or water to act as an ice pack. 

In order to plan a nutritious lunch for your child, try to include the following:

  • Protein (egg, dairy, soy, fish, nuts (except peanuts))
  • Fruit
  • Vegetable
  • Grain (bread, pasta, rice, etc.)
  • A drink (we suggest a reusable bottle unless using the drink as an icepack (see above))

*We strongly suggest keeping sugary foods to the bare minimum.  We also ask that you do not pack candy in your child’s lunch or send it in to share with others.

Some popular lunch options, though this is not an exhaustive list:

  • A drink or two!
  • Applesauce, sliced fruit or a fruit cup
  • Bagel with cream cheese/spread
  • Bean or vegetable burrito
  • Breadsticks
  • Cereal with milk in a separate container
  • Cheese and crackers, or cheese sticks/string cheese
  • Cheese quesadillas
  • Egg or tuna salad
  • Eggs—scrambled, hard-boiled or in an omelet
  • Fish sticks
  • Fresh fruit
  • Fruit salad
  • Hummus and pita
  • Mac-and-cheese (or another pasta item brought in a Thermos, such as spaghetti)
  • Muffins
  • Pasta—with sauce or as a salad with cheese, egg, tuna and/or whatever veggies they will eat
  • Peaches or bananas in sour cream, yogurt or cottage cheese
  • Pizza or pizza bagels
  • Raisins
  • Sandwiches:  cheese; almond/cashew/nut/sunflower butter and jelly (or bananas or celery); hummus; tuna; egg salad; cream cheese (with cucumber or jelly)
  • Tofu
  • Tofu dogs (“not dogs”) or tofu “chicken nuggets”
  • Vegetable soup (no meat base)
  • Vegetarian lasagna
  • Veggies
  • Yogurt

To aid your child’s feeling of independence and to help alleviate confusion during lunchtime, please peel eggs and fruit with rinds (e.g. oranges), cut grapes, etc.  Please pack a spoon or fork when necessary.  For the two year olds, please do not include popcorn, nuts, whole grapes, raisins or raw carrots.  These foods can cause choking.

We will try to return leftover food to the lunch bag.  This may give you an indication of what your child has eaten.  In the afternoon, we offer the students the option of something from their lunch and/or the J’s afternoon snack.  Staff members interact with children while they are eating and work with those children who need guidance, containers opened, etc.  Children and teachers use this time to work on socialization and table manners.

Please pack at least one drink. We recommend freezing your child’s drink(s) the night before to use as an ice pack in their lunch.  It will keep cold food cold and will thaw before lunch time (usually around Noon).  You may use an actual ice pack.  Glass bottles are not permitted.  Label the lunchboxes, please!

Thermoses (labeled) may be brought, but the staff cannot heat foods. If you want to send in something to be served warm, you can heat it in the morning and send it in a thermos. 

Again, please inform us of any food allergies or restrictions (such as being vegetarian or strictly Kosher).

Peanut Aware Policy: 

Our Preschool does not allow peanuts to be sent in the lunches.  We do this to protect the safety of our students with severe peanut allergies.  If your child has a severe allergy to other kinds of nuts (i.e. they cannot be near tree nuts), we’ll make sure they are in a nut-free area for lunch.  When possible and necessary for snacks, we will offer alternative choices for a child with food allergies.  You may wish to send your child with a midmorning snack if you have concerns.  We cannot guarantee a peanut-free environment, but we will do our best.

Please remember to alert us to any food allergies.