Packing Superhero Lunches All Year
Does this happen to you with your little superheros? The year starts out with a BANG! You are ready and willing to make sure they have quality lunches in those little boxes every. single. day. Even if it kills you.
By the middle of the school year, your child is ordering from the school lunch menu or toting Spaghettio's still in the can. (Naturally, you provided a can opener.)
At the end of the year, the lunchbox has sprouted cobwebs since it was last relegated to the back recesses of the coat closet.
What happened? To where did those aspirations aspire?
Life happened. Those aspirations, while admirable, were perhaps unreasonable.
This does not make you a bad parent. This makes you a parent. In a world full of schedules and demands and lack of support.
How can you keep your child's lunches packed with nutrition throughout the year?
1) Make a list of lunch ideas. I couldn't survive without this. Post at the beginning of the year, and add to it as you find other ideas your children like.
Include things like: hummus with crackers, plain or low-sugar yogurt with fruit and granola, carrot and celery sticks, spinach wraps (if your children eat deli meat, look for it without nitrates or nitrites- which are carcinogens, and without added hormones or antibiotics), hot soup in a thermos, apple and orange slices, grapes, pineapple, quality cheese, apple sauce, trail mix, chips and salsa.
2) Give yourself a break. Okay, school lunches in most schools are not the best choice in terms of nutrition. Fortunately, changes are being made. New federal laws require schools to provide fresh fruit and vegetable options every day. If your child needs to order lunch now and then, talk with her about making the best choices and why that's important.
3) Learn to be okay with convenience. Again, I'm a huge advocate for getting families back into the kitchen and familiar with the food their eating. But I'm a busy mom, too. I understand that some days it's a box or nothing at all. Gonna have to be the box.
So while two of the days last week were something I made...
Tomato-Basil with Goat Cheese Sandwich
Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Apples
...the final day was partially chosen from this selection
My rule of thumb is that on the days I use something from a box, I always include something from the earth. It can be as simple as an apple or steamed broccoli, or a little more complex like quinoa brownies. And if snack is from a box, I try to make lunch au naturel, and vice versa.
We do what we can, and we don't stress about the rest.