As I prepare to send my oldest gal off to kindergarten, I am reminded that I’ve got to be ready to pack a lunch for her EVERYDAY. When she was in preschool I only needed to send a lunch two days a week and we were pretty limited in what could go in her lunch, needed to be disposable-ugh! Well, now that we are heading into “big school” she is ready for a real lunch. Am I up for this chore? Of course I am, this is what I live for- coming up with fun, enjoyable healthy foods for my kids to eat. Don’t get me wrong there are and will be plenty of mornings when I will dread packing her lunch. I’m not always all smiles and giggles in the kitchen. We have plenty of battles in the evening with dinners and I am sure we will have them with the lunches too.
I really wanted to purchase a Bento box http://www.laptoplunches.com/ for her lunch but decided to do that later. Instead, I purchased a really cute sandwich box and a small insulated bowl for her lunch bag. You can check them out here http://www.trudeaucorp.com/us/products/fuel/default She’s all excited that they are pink. Remember what the food is served in can make a difference in their wiliness to eat.
Now the food that will be housed in the new cute containers. My oldest daughter loves goat cheese! If goat cheese is on top she’ll eat it, well almost anything except butternut squash. I will hit the grocery store this weekend armed with two lists, one for our weekly meals and now one for lunches. Goat cheese will definitely be on the list. You might be wondering what I’ll do with the cheese for a kindergartner's lunch. Well, I plan on taking a whole wheat tortilla and spreading the cheese like butter and layering it with spinach, thinly sliced avocado, a couple of small slices of roasted chicken breast and a some slivered almonds. Once I add all the ingredients then I’ll roll the tortilla into a wrap, slice it up into at least three or four spirals and place them in her sandwich box. Perfect, she has a protein, actually two sources, two veggie sources, some fat and a complex carbohydrate. Can you begin to see how my mind works? I am constantly thinking in terms of “servings” and “sources”. I don’t always see the food pyramid but pretty close though. For her fruit I’ll cut up some watermelon with blueberries and cantaloupe and drizzle it with orange juice and sprinkle it with wheat germ and put it all in her dainty pink bowl.
For her drink- most of the time I'll put water in her water bottle(also from FUEL), but I’ll give her a juice box every now and then too. Nothing is wrong with a small amount of 100% fruit juice once or twice a day. See- the key is “small”. I recently discovered a new juice from Apple and Eve http://www.appleandeve.com/fruitables.php. Anytime my girls drink juice, it’s always watered down. Even at restaurants I’ll ask for them to add water to the drink. Yes, this is crazy, but you would not believe the amount of sugar (fruit still has sugar) that is in even 100% fruit juice. I also am not a believer in counting juice as a “serving” of fruit or veggies, unless you are really struggling with getting any fruit or veggies into your diet or are limited to liquid diet.
Here's another lunch ideaAn "egg"normous wrap
Cook 2 eggs (hard boiled) Peel and slice eggs. Place yolks in a bowl and mix with 1 tbsp of mayo (I prefer a canola based mayo or even an "eggless" mayo)Mash the yolk and mayo together, then add 1 tsp of mustard and 1 tsp of honey. If you want a little extra spice, add some curry powder. Next, mix in 1 cup of shredded carrot and salt if desired. Dice the egg whites and mix in with the yolks. Take a whole wheat tortilla, spread the egg mixture in the center and top with some shredded spinach. Gently roll and slice. Perfect!