Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Lunch Ideas

When I first had to pack my daughter's lunch, I was freaked out. I wanted her to have something she would eat. I wanted it to be healthy and nutritious, and I don't want her to be the kid with the crappy lunch. As a working single parent, I also needed to be able to pack it in advance, preferable all at once at the beginning of the week.

I surfed the internet a bit -- there are a lot of resources on this. Most of them were unrealistic for me. I did some note taking and diagrams, and I came up with two categories:
  • Protein and carbohydrates (usually combined, thus one category)
  • Fruits and vegetables
Generally, she gets 1 container of the first category and 2-3 of the second category depending on portion sizes and content. I buy everything organic.

Protein and carbs:
  • pasta with cheese... and sometimes some vegetables in there too.
  • (usually half a) sandwich with meat and/or cheese -- use frozen bread(1) to keep it fresh until lunch time.
  • (usually half a) sandwich with nut/seed butter and jelly, honey or sliced banana
  • yogurt mix (yogurt, flax meal, nut or seed butter, and sometimes honey/jam/apple sauce for sweetening (2)) 
  • cheese and crackers (very unusual)
Fruit and vegetables:
  • blueberries (frozen or fresh)
  • peas (usually frozen)
  • half a banana
  • apple slices -- she requires the peal be removed too. 
  • apple sauce
  • orange (pealed and sectioned)
  • grapes (cut in half)
  • cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
  • olives
These are in order of use. I have these little metal containers I fill with frozen peas and blueberries every week or so. They stay in the freezer until I pack her lunch.

I asked her the other day if her lunch was as good as the other kids. She said "no, my lunch is usually better than the other kids' lunches." So, the system seems to be working.

(1) I check bread content and choose one with a higher than average serving size of protein and fiber. I also often choose one with flax meal for omega 3s.
(2) This concept is inspired by the Super Babyfood books.

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