This works if you only need a lunch count (we don't choose between hot and cold lunch).
1) I purchased a small bulletin board, a box of small cup hooks (like the ones that you might use in your kitchen cabinets), and some of those round locker tags (the paper circles with metallic rims and a ring attached) at Walmart. 2) I screw the cup hooks into the cork in rows, write each child's name on a locker tag, and then hang the tags on the hooks - names facing out. I also cut up 1" squares of paper and punch the top with a hole punch. It sits nicely on my chalk tray just inside my door. 3) When "Jerome" walks in the door, he flips his name tag. If he is getting a lunch, he places a paper tag on top of his tag. At a glance, I can see whose name is showing (absent) and how many lunches we need (count the paper tags)!