Monday, August 20, 2012

Lunch. Breaking out of the rut. {hopefully}

I always feel like I need to set disclaimers in place when I mention secular publications. If this annoys you, I'm sorry. But, I need to do it again. I get the magazine Parenting in the mail once a month. Somehow I get it for free - because I def only paid for it ONCE when we had our first child. The subscription has never ended... going on 4 years now. :) And they know this - so, guess there is nothing I can do but receive. While I do enjoy some of the bloopers and cute articles on being a parent and new product test ideas - I do NOT agree with most of their stance on parenting, raising children, etc. They have a definite world view and it usually strays far from what the Word of God describes for us to do. {examples: discipline, leadership, role of the father/mother} I'm not going deep into that in this post. Just sayin'. :) Onward...

For the last few months I've been stuck in a rut with just what exactly to feed my 1 and 3 year old for lunch times. Dinner is varied and offers much variety, but, somehow lunch seems to keep taking the back burner. Usually quite literally with the same ol' pot of mac n' cheese simmer back there. Or, PB & J. So sick of that. I want my kids to learn to eat a variety and I want them to eat a more healthy diet, too. But how on earth do you get kids to willingly eat their veggies and grains, etc? My 3 year old loves peas and broccoli, for which I am grateful. My 1 year old won't touch anything with color on it - which, discounts EVERY veggie except the potato and even then she turns her nose up and sticks out her tongue. Lovely. So, what's a mom to do? And, I also like to pick my battles with my children - I so want meal times to be peaceful and a time of connecting not an all out war of "EAT YOUR LUNCH!!!!!" said a million times. 

Enter: Parenting, September 2012 issue. 
They had a full 3 pages of ideas on what to feed your children for lunch, snacks, etc. all written out by the day! The pairings are brilliant and I can't wait to try them starting this week! I also can't wait to enjoy them with my girl! Wondering how I never thought of these ideas? But, that's why the magazine makes the big bucks, I suppose. In case you aren't a subscriber I thought I'd share a few thing we'll be trying around here this week - so you can try them out with your kiddos, too! Bon Appetite! 

Day 1: Tortellini Kebabs
* Thread cooked tortellini, cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella balls {or chunks of cheese sticks like us!} on a skewer. Dip in ranch, hummus, or nothing :) This gets in at least 3 food groups and more depending on what you use for "Dip". 

Day 2: Guac/Jack muffins
* Pile guacamole, jack cheese, tomato and sliced turkey on a toasted english muffin. 
Yum. lots of creamy texture things and some zippy tomato makes a great pair, I think! Hoping to pair this with some kind of book about "Green" food. :) To make it fun and interesting and appealing to littles. 

Day 3: Cucumber Sandwiches - updated
*Cover toasted whole wheat bagel thins with veggie cream cheese. Top with cucumber slices. 
EASY PEASY. Only, I messed up and bought bagels instead of the thin ones. Oops! Oh well, should still work. 

Day 4: Strawberry Banana-wich
*Sandwich sliced strawberries and bananas between 2 slices of whole wheat bread covered with Nutella.
My girls have never had, we'll see. This sweet lunch will def have something veggie-ish on the side to cut the sweetness. Or, maybe just some V8 juice. My girls think thats a treat. :) 

There are loads more. Loads. As we try them maybe I'll post and share. For now, we'll take it 4 days at a time. Wish me luck! And, what do you feed your littles for lunch? Any creative ideas or things you make? I'd love to hear them. 


Lanora said...

I totally understand where you're coming from! I usually cook a big dinner and we eat leftovers for lunch the next day, and then have a new dinner that night, etc... and at the end of the week, its left-over night. Our problem is not issues with variety for lunch but rather, getting my children to eat when food is offered, in particular my 2 year old daughter who is the most strong-willed child I've ever met (my mini-me)... and now my 6 month old is starting to do it too! The main reason is probably that my daughter is a snacker, she likes to take little bits of all kinds of things all day. While my son is a plain-jane who wont eat many different things but he will sit down and eat... so how to we solve the issues and fix the divide?

We've chosen to mix up meal times by having one or two 'regular' meals during the week (we eat a lot of international) so my son can enjoy meal times even more and then with my daughter, especially, we've chosen to limit the amount of snacks she is allowed to have... max. two snacks a day, one between each meal, and have it small, and when food is offered, to be firm by telling them, its 'this' or nothing, and if they dont eat, they get nothing until next meal time OR get the same meal handed back to them.

This process has worked for us... my children used to HATE beans, but now they both love them - they currently hate lettuce and tomatoes, and cucumbers were on that list too, but they recently started to accept and even enjoy those!

I also find, changing things up, as far as presentation, can even make those PB&J meals, or Ham&Cheese lunches, more fun too!

That website has some GREAT ideas on how to represent foods and add a few more veggies to the childrens meal too. I also love recipes that call for ground almonds or zucchini or butternut squash inside of them, so the kids get vegetables they arent even aware of. Every time I make soup, I puree onions, carrots, celery, and zucchini together when I am cooking the base. It provides flavor, and extra veggies my kids 'hate' but are enjoying none the less (My favorite is to put that puree in pasta sauce).

There is another websire with great meal ideas too, that are both fun, and different, offering more variety and pizazz! I will find it for you :)

ckgoodlet said...

Feel free to add more veggies to the bagels - we love tomatoes, carrots, broccoli and peppers! :)

Lanora said...

there it is :)

Ashley said...

I love this blog! She has some great lunch ideas and also snack ideas.

Julie Anne said...

We love Nutella in this house! I spread it on apples for my kids! :)