Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What's for lunch

Packing the lunches I discussed at great length yesterday takes some creativity and planning. I use coupons, discounts, bulk purchasing, Costco and batch cooking as my go to resources for making lunches easier. Even with careful thought and consideration, preparing four lunches, five days a week sucks.

It sucks because it takes brain power. It sucks because it is important to me, and I care. If I did not give a rat's ass about what I was feeding my children it would be simpler. But I do care, and I have to keep them interested in eating a healthy lunch.

Inquiring minds want to know what is for lunch, right? Let me tell you. This is a typical Slutsky lunch,
plus three snacks. I try to select proteins, carbs, and dairy in a variety of forms. Keeping in mind that kids like something new and different and get bored easily, I am always trying new products and ways to serve them better.

Thankfully, the Internet has proven to be an excellent resource for me- I find all kinds of ideas on line. I stock pile the basics and add odds and ends as I discover them.

My go to standards include:

Greek Yogurt or Whole Milk Yogurt
Apple slices with peanut butter
Cucumber slices or carrots
GF oatmeal cherry cookies
Egg salad
GF crackers and cheese
GF bread with garlic herbed cream cheese spread
Sunflower seeds (already shelled)
GF pretzel sticks with some dip
GF pasta salad
fresh fruit- grapes, clementines, small pear
GF bagel with flavored cream cheese
tuna salad
cut up melon or pineapple
GF waffle sandwich with honey butter
whole grain tortilla chips with salsa
bell pepper rings with tzsaziki dip
refried bean dip and corn chips
salad with garbanzo beans and dressing
Brown rice crackers and almond butter
applesauce with cinnamon
dried fruits
string cheese
GF granola bars
Banana with Peanut Butter on a GF hot dog bun
(send banana in the peel, kids assemble)
GF gingersnaps with cinnamon cream cheese
Vegetable soup in thermos
GF pasta with marinara

Here are just a few things you will not find in my lunches: Any pork, poultry or meat based products, gummy fake fruit or corn syrup based fruit like snacks, drinks with added sugars or dyes, and flavored chips that are full of MSG.

I try to abide by the basic rule of reading the ingredient list and knowing what is in the product. If I can't readily identify why something is added, or if I can't pronounce it, why is it in the food? If the ingredients contain things I would not put in a recipe I was making from scratch, than it is likely not a good choice for our family.

If anyone has other suggestions that meet the criteria, I am all ears. The daily menu is subject to change in these lunch boxes and my kids are counting on me to feed them. The pressure is on!

Remember, hot lunch is for sissies, and I need all the help I can get.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

I can not stand packing lunches, but even when my oldest starts kindergarten next year she will not be buying. My girls go to our church daycare in which juice, junk food, and desserts are banned. For morning snack they serve a fruit and veggie. I love that. I love your list. For my oldest she demands a soynut butter and jelly sandwich, carrots, and tomatoes. I can pick another item. My youngest accepts variety but has an allergy to oats which complicates things. In anycase, I love the freeze dried fruits and veggies. I do amazon subscribe and save for the freeze dried fruit crisps. I get freeze dried peas from target. I have this obsession with getting in veggies at lunch and my youngest cannot yet chew raw veggies very well so the freeze dried peas are great. I also like the harvest grain mix from Trader joes for a side. Oh and quinoa with dried fruit. But I only have two and I do the reusable containers, along with the reusable bags!

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