My objective this September is to get you thinking “outside the Lunchbox”! Preparation is the key to better, more varied lunches, and the good news is it’s not as hard as you think!
These whole grain biscuits are just a wee bit sweet and a whole lot tasty. They whip up in just a few minutes and make a perfect side to any meal. Keep them vegan by using non-dairy milk.
Today’s Lunchbox: Lemon Basil Tomato Soup (recipe on blog, here: easy and delish, one of my most popular recipes), homemade Sweet P Biscuit (100% whole grain, recipe will be up on blog this week), strawberries, hard boiled egg and a Grizzly Paw from the freezer (p. 124 of my cookbook, Real Food for Real Families).
Today’s Tex-Mex school lunch: Leftover Cowpoke Chili (easy, non-spicy veggie chili at p. 71 of my cookbook, Real Food for Real Families), low-salt organic tortilla chips, seed and raisin mix, local apple. (Chili made enough for last night’s dinner, today’s lunches, and two future school lunches (frozen in, you guessed it, mason jars!)
These are dead easy, delicious and look way fancier than they are. Does it get any better than that? No cooking involved, your kids can make these even at a young age with some basic supervision. Pop them in the freezer, and you’ll always have a sweet, real food treat when you need one, whether you’re serving it with a glass of milk or a glass of red.
Soup, Salad & Biscuit Lunch: Frozen Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup reheated this morning, leftover kale salad (try the simple & delicious Krazy Kale Salad in my cookbook, Real Food for Real Families at p. 82), homemade whole grain tea biscuit from dinner last night (try the Georgia Buns at p. 88 of my cookbook) and an apple.
This school lunch comes together quickly on a rushed morning: Leftover whole grain pasta is mixed with jarred natural spaghetti sauce (look for no added sugars). I pumped up the sauce with some chopped spinach and frozen edamame (beans: protein) while heating it up on the stove. Apple chips (dehydrated apples), local peppers, baby carrots and local plums round out the lunch.
This balanced school lunch includes a 1/2 whole wheat pita stuffed with a little lettuce and about 1/3 c. of my Smashed Chickpea Salad (you can find recipe on my blog, here), which is a twist on tuna or egg salad, takes 5 min to throw together. A peeled local carrot (why cut into tiny pieces, when kids live to chomp on a whole carrot?), plum and some leftover popcorn from last night (popped on stove in coconut oil: YUM!).
I pack deli-box style lunches all the time. They’re easy, because they don’t involve a “main course”, just a random assortment of smaller, healthy items, in this case: a Good Morning Muffin (frozen, will defrost in the punchbag by noon, recipe at p. 33 of my cookbook, Real Food For Real Families), a hardboiled egg, some white cheddar cheese, whole wheat pita triangles, local cucumber & peach slices, a plum, and about a 1/4 c. of mixed seeds (for some healthy fat).
This lunchbox features leftover cold pasta tossed with leftover roasted veggies and a little pesto sauce (but you could use any healthy salad dressing). If you’re looking for an easy pesto recipe, you can try my Popeye Pesto (in my cookbook, Real Food for Real Families at p. 74) or my Kale Pesto
This lunchbox contains a favourite treat in my house, a “Suntella” and sliced strawberry sandwich. The Suntella is a school-safe, healthier version of Nutella that you can quickly whip up at home from basic ingredients, including sunflower seed butter, cocoa, honey. The recipe can be found at p. 44 of my cookbook, Real Food for Real Families. Along with the sandwich, I’ve added a local pear and some sliced raw veggies to round out the lunchbox.
Think outside of the lunchbox! Overnight oats assemble in 3 minutes the night before, soften overnight in the fridge, and pop into the lunchbox in the morning. So easy, and kids love the idea of breakfast for lunch! This lunch features my Strawberry Sunflower Mason Jar Mornings recipe, with a few blueberries thrown in for good … Continue reading Breakfast for Lunch(Box)!
A great way to keep variety in your lunches is to plan for leftovers by making extra the night before. In this lunch, I heated up extra veggies that I roasted the for the previous night’s dinner, along with refrigerated pre-cooked pasta and a little jarred natural spaghetti sauce from the store to make a healthy Roasted … Continue reading Love Your Leftovers Lunchbox
This simple, yet healthy school lunch features: a wholegrain sandwich made with cream cheese, shredded carrot, cucumber & avocado slices, a local apple & blueberries and a healthy treat, my newest Chewy Cocoa Granola Bars (recipe soon to be posted on my blog).
This balanced school lunch features: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup (have you tried Mama’s Chicken Soba Soup at p. 56 of my cookbook, Real Food for Real Families?), local carrots, grape tomatoes, strawberries and plum and as a healthier treat, a homemade Grizzly Paw (p. 124 cookbook, made in advance and frozen, it will defrost by lunchtime).
This thinking “outside the lunchbox” lunch features: Plain greek yoghurt with frozen blueberries (keep yoghurt cool but defrost by lunch), a side of Basic Birkenstock Granola (from my cookbook, Real Food for Real Families at p. 30), whole grain pita triangles (cut them quickly with kitchen scissors!), a hard-boiled egg and raw veggies (local cukes and carrots). Kids love to make their own parfaits at lunchtime!
This healthy deli-box style lunch features: Double Dip & Holy “Guadamame” (from my cookbook, Real Food for Real Families at pp. 92 & 93, both a source of healthy protein & fat ), carrot and celery sticks, and broccoli for dipping (complex carbs), pre-cooked cubed chicken (more protein) and Free Range Goldfish, an easy homemade additive-free cracker (more complex carbs & fibre, p.100 cookbook). Both dips can be made in advance and frozen (use an ice cube tray for perfect single-serving portions!)
These parfaits are a delicious way to celebrate the harvest (or just enjoy a creative breakfast any old time!). Use fresh pumpkin puree if you have it, but unsweetened canned will also do the trick in a pinch.
If you’re doing your best to raise healthy, adventurous, confident eaters, you probably have all kinds of strategies and approaches in place to support that goal. Since I spend so much time suggesting ways to get your kids eating better, I thought this week I’d highlight a few things you might be inadvertently doing to sabotage your efforts.
Anyone who knows me has heard me “gently rant” about the limited amount of veggies most Canadian kids are taking in daily. As parents, we should be striving to feed our children a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day, and in my opinion at least 3 of those should be vegetables. … Continue reading veggies for breakfast? You bet!