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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lunch Box

So I'm officially the mom of a kindergartener.  I do realize that I'm a newb/noob, when I'm there at school picking up and dropping off - just tryin' to figure it all out.  I realized something this week.  You know those super-organized, way on-top-of-it moms that you just think, 'Where does she get all of the energy to stay so organized?'  Well, I believe now that that level of organization is born out of necessity more than anything else.  School twice a week was a breeze, but everyday?!  I'm totally feeling the need to get organized.

One thing I decided on, until I get my sea legs, is a lunch menu.  I'm just going to make the same five meals until I get the hang of things and feel confident that he'd eat other things.  I am adding things to my list of ideas (need to get a thermos!), but for now it's the same five meals over and over.

I know I've told you this before, but this Super Healthy Kids blog has been uh-mazing and so inspiring!!!  OK so that said, with all of the effort that I've been putting into giving Samuel healthy lunches, how do you think I felt when he told me that they gave him cookies as a snack two days in a row followed by Cheeze-itz yesterday?  Uh...a bit infuriated, kids.

So I talked to Michael, and we came up with a plan to deal with the lack of control that we have in that situation.  It's annoying, but what do you do?  The only time we'll have control is when we bring the snacks, so until then we just have to equip Samuel to make good decisions.  So basically, if he decides to eat the snacks at school, that's fine.  If he decides to eat the fruit I pack him as a snack, then he gets to continue with his 2-desserts-a-week tradition at home, which will be a much better choice than the crappy processed food that he'll get at school.

So, ya wanna see my new favorite lunch box? (My opinions only - no one ever pays me for these awesome endorsements..)  It's made by Sistema, and I found it at Old Navy of all places.  That's also where I've bought several stainless steel water bottles.  They're great prices, and the kids love them.  Anyway, this lunch box is awesome!  It has separate compartments and keeps the "sandwich" area separate from the others.  I just pack this in his insulated lunch box with a cool pack, and it works great.

This lunch has grapes, a string cheese stick, and mini rice cake sandwiches with PB2.   
 Cute, huh?!

So what lunch box ideas do you have up your sleeve for keeping it healthy?  I'm AAALLLLLLLL ears!!

Family Friendly Food at Serenity Now


  1. Great stuff!!! I TOTALLY feel you on the frustration of the unhealthy snacks they are fed away from home. I'm also trying a new, very healthy approach to lunches this year. I'm still figuring it out, as there are things the boys aren't always crazy about,so it's trial & error. I have been following that Healthy Kids Meals blog ever since you shared the link - it's so awesome!

    I'm kind of being weird and avoiding most all grains 80%-90% of the time, so you can imagine that gets challenging. Here's some things I've been rotating in & out of lunches (we started school last Wednesday):

    -boiled egg
    -meat cut from the deli (sometimes with stuff rolled up inside)
    -small chunks of rotisserie chicken meat
    -turkey bacon cooked from the morning (they don't mind eating it a few hours later!)
    -Cheese sticks
    -small salad w/ container of dressing
    -veggie chips (not the kind made with cornstarch,etc)
    -fruit (whole bananas,applies or colorful mixes in a container)
    -Always water to drink
    -all natural granola or fruit & nut/seed bars

    I'm still slowly trying new things too. Yesterday I packed some taco meat leftover from dinner. Included a small bag of shredded cheese, and some 'tortilla' chips made with sweet potatoes. they got to make their own "flat tacos"...and apparently they loved it. (yea!)

    Today I went ahead and made PB & J, but used star-shaped cutters - so it probably only amounts to 1/2 a PB&J.

    Anyway - I haven't dedicated much time to starting to incorporate new ideas from the blog yet...but I want to. And I like hearing your suggestions too. This is a VERY challenging world to live in when you're trying to avoid processed foods. UGH! I wished I'd started this journey years ago. :)

    Always enjoy your blog....keep it up!

  2. My kids love PB&H and I love that they are getting their dose of local honey and a non-meat protein. So they get that on wheat bread with no HFC just about every day. Then they get two fruits. I prefer real raw fruit but I have to use raisins or Craisins sometimes but I consider that to be substandard. Then they get a "snack" which maybe Annie's snack packs (actually I usually buy the box and put it in a plastic container because I hate the extra waste from all those little packages) or a Nature Valley granola bar. I do mean A bar. I open the package and put one aside or give it to the other child. Their juice is always watered down at least 50% but I use cran-raspberry so it still has plenty of flavor.
    Sometimes the older child has asked why he doesn't get foods other kids have in their lunches. I tell him the truth. That food is not healthy and Mommy wants you to grow up big, strong and healthy with lots of energy to do good things.

  3. My morning organization (and I mean lack thereof) is one of the main reasons I homeschool! OK, not really, but homeschooling does float my boat when it comes to breakfast and lunch and planning. I never really thought about unhealthy snacks being fed to my kids daily. I think I would flip a lid! They can have whatever the teacher wants to offer them at Sunday school because I'm in charge the rest of the week. I'm not all organic and whole (partly because of the price), but I like to know what they are having so that I can make sure the balance is right.

    Yes, I realize this comment is completely unhelpful! LOL. Your packed lunch was adorable! I'm out of rice cakes, but I'm gonna definitely try this one soon! :)

  4. Once every two weeks we try to remember to log in to the school's website and add money to our kid's lunch cards so that they don't get threatened by the lunch lady with government issued peanut butter on stale white bread due to their inability to pay.
    We stopped sending lunches a long time ago. It's just too much of a pain in the ass for us and the lunches usually came back with 75% of the food still in them uneaten and smelly from being in a locker all day.
    On a related note: I thought (could be wrong..talking out of my ass as usual) that food served to kids (including snacks) had to meet minimal nutritional guidelines. IOW, you can't serve cake everyday in the classroom and so on....If that is true, why not bring it to the school's attention. Of course, you run the risk of ruining it for all the other kids who just want their cookie fix...but hey...the law is the law.

  5. oh, Annie, you are just awesome! Neely has the same lunch box and I got it from Old Navy! LOVE IT! Btw, when did you Chalkboard paint the inside of a cabinet???? Smart idea and looks good! :)

  6. My gal gets: a PB&H sandwich, half a peach or nectarine or plum, baby carrots, a juice box, and a form of chips--whichever I buy veggie stix, veggies chips from bulk bin, natural cheetos, or pretzels. This year we have to supply our snack so that is usually the half fruit. She may have the chips at the end of her meal or the end of her school day. She won't eat string cheese. And I recently discovered she likes yogurt again; last year she must have been on strike. I will try to incorporate yogurt and applesauce and maybe raisins soon. Oh, and she only gets the juice box at school.

  7. That's a good idea to do the same every week! It's something new everyday... sort of, so not boring. But easy for you! Like it! Stopping by from Serenity Now!

  8. Love your chalkboard on the cabinet--that's a cool idea. :) It's so hard to keep the kids happy, keep them eating healthy, but also not make them feel like they're being kept from the "good stuff." ;) I think an occasional treat is fine. My oldest is in kindergarten this year too, but she only goes 1/2 day, so I just have to do 1 snack each day. I try to mix it up. A baggie of pretzels with a container of grapes and a small light Babybel cheese (she loves those) and water. Stuff like that. Thanks so much for joining my Family Friendly Food Week party. :)


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