It is amazing how fickle kids are. Sadie’s decided she doesn’t like cheese and peanut butter or sunbutter, but after years of abhoring red bell peppers, she’s decided she does like those after all. And Gillian, who is obsessed with any sort of chewy-fruit snack, went hungry the other day rather than eat a fruit snack, which she decided she doesn’t like any more. It makes it really hard to plan and pack meals, especially for Sadie, who has such a long day, I don’t want her to go hungry!
Lunch: Mac n cheese, cherry tomatoes, watermelon, crackers
Dinner: Calzone night (artichokes, meatless meatballs, parmesan cheese)
Lunch: Egg salad sandwich (hard boiled eggs, diced pickle and celery, mayo), carrot sticks, clementine
Dinner: Kale Noodle Bowl, edamame
Lunch: Hot dog with mustard, popcorn, cucumber slices, strawberries
Dinner: Salmon-Stuffed Japanese Rice Balls, stir-fried veggies
Lunch: Cucumber and cream cheese sandwich, cherry tomatoes, graham crackers
Dinner: Girls with babysitter: Burritos (Use frozen shredded chicken)
Lunch: Chicken nuggets with barbecue sauce, pirate booty, pickles and carrot sticks, dried apricots
The first full week of school went great! I am very happy with the lunch containers I chose for Sadie: they are roomy and easy to clean. Watch for a blog post later this week when I show you what I’ve got. Last year I got very reliant on individually packaged stuff, and using plastic wrap and zip-top bags, which goes against my goals of being more eco-conscious. So this year I’m trying to buy more bulk products to portion out myself into reusable containers.
I neglected to post last week’s menu, so here it is:
Lunch: Beanie Weenies, crackers, peapods and red peppers
Dinner: Rained-out picnic: Pickled shrimp in hot dog buns, corn muffins, watermelon
Lunch: Waffle sandwich with cream cheese and jam, veggies, grapes
Lunch: Turkey roll-up in tortilla, sliced cucumber
Dinner: Out for me and Chip; girls had cheese tortellini with peas, butter and parmesan cheese, cherry tomatoes, and garlic bread.
Lunch: Leftover tortellini, veggie burger, baby carrots and sliced red peppers
Dinner: Corn Pancakes with Black Bean and Avocado Relish (note: This recipe is a real keeper! The entire family loved it and had seconds. Plus, it’s fairly healthy)
Lunch: Corn dog, pirate booty, cherry tomatoes
Dinner: take-out pizza
Tomorrow is the first day of school and I don’t feel the least bit prepared! I haven’t finished my shopping, the laundry is only half-done, and worst of all, I can’t get a read from my daughter on what she wants in her lunch this year. Plus we learned at back to school night that we should send daily snacks for our children. Guess it’ll be another late night trip to Target after my kids go to bed! Thank god this week is only 3 days long…
Dinner: Tomato pie, green salad with avocados.
Wednesday: First day of school!
Lunch: Ramen with edamame and soy/rice vinegar/sesame oil dressing, cucumber salad, grapes
Lunch: sliced chicken, cherry tomatoes, popcorn, yogurt
Lunch: Quesadilla with salsa, tomato and avocado salad, plum.
My eldest starts school on Wednesday, and I’m already thinking about what I”ll pack in her lunch. Last year she decided she no longer liked cheese or peanut butter (or even sunflower seed butter- her school is nut-free). She also claims she doesn’t like sandwiches. What’s a mom to feed her kid, with such limited parameters? I’m hoping that her culinary narrow-mindedness is a passing phase… after all, she recently decided she loves red peppers after a good year or so of insisting she hates them. I asked her what she wants in her lunch and her requests include ramen and quesadillas (Odd for a kid who purportedly doesn’t like cheese, but this was a favorite last year as well). Since bean and cheese burritos were also a favorite lunch option last year, I am hoping to make my own batches of refried beans on occasion, and to find tortillas that contain fewer preservatives.
I’m particularly happy with the lunchbox I found Sadie: it’s made by Goodbyn and is way roomier than the Lands End box she had last year, with which I sometimes was challenged to get everything packed inside. I also got a neat divided container that is made to fit perfectly inside - last year I used divided containers from Ziploc which made it so easy to pack an interesting and well-rounded lunch! The Goodbyn version is actually only a little more expensive than Ziploc’s and I feel like it’ll hold up better over the course of the school year.
I hope to resurrect this blog during the school year, posting my lunch and dinner menus in the hopes that it’ll inspire my readers with mealtime ideas they can use for their own families. For more ideas, be sure to follow my Kid-Friendly Eats (and Packed Lunches) board on Pinterest. If you come across great packed lunch ideas, family dinners, or if you even want to share your own weekly lunch and dinner plan, feel free to share on my Submit page! Here’s hoping for a successful, healthy school year!
Ugh, back to the grind… my kindergartner doesn’t seem to mind school being back in session, but I was blue all day Sunday thinking about how we’d have to resume our frantic early-morning routine and busy days. Spring break was so nice and relaxing that I can’t wait for summer!
If you’re noticing a lot of grilled meals on my menus these days, it’s because we finally bought a gas grill! So much more convenient than our Weber, as much as we loved the way charcoal-grilled foods taste. I’m particularly eager to try a sweet tea-brined chicken recipe that my friend Kelley passed along to me.
Lunch: Hot Lunch
Dinner: Grilled Shrimp Kebabs, grilled Bok Choy, rice medley
Lunch: Burrito roll-ups, baby carrots, yogurt suqeezies
Dinner: Sweet Tea Brined Chicken, grilled veggies, couscous
Lunch: Mac & Cheese with Peas, cuties, carrots
Dinner: Nana & Poppy’s
Lunch: Turkey sandwich, popcorn, baby carrots, yogurt squeeze
Lunch: Salmon salad roll-up, Applesauce, cucumber
My food plans for this week…now off to shop for it all!
Lunch: Hot Lunch
Dinner: Roasted Broccoli and Shrimp with Remoulade Sauce, Couscous
Lunch: Turkey sandwich, pretzels, pickles and carrots, berries
Dinner: Reuben Meatloaf, Baked Potatoes
Lunch: Mac n cheese, baby carrots, kiwi, bunny grahams
Dinner: At Nana & Poppy’s
Lunch: quesadillas with salsa, bunnies and dried cranberries, carrot and red pepper sticks
Dinner: Teaching - chip takes girls out
Lunch: Hard-cooked egg, apple, cheese and lunchmeat roll-ups with crackers, bar
I plan to make these Tuscan Lemon Muffins to eat as snacks or to pack in lunches - yum!
Lunch: veggie corn dogs, baby carrots, applesauce, string cheese
Dinner: Zucchini Lasagna, garlic bread, spinach salad
Lunch: garden burger wrapped in a tortilla, cucumber slices, pretzels, apple
Dinner: At Nana’s and Poppy’s
Lunch: tomato soup, cheese and crackers, applesauce, celery and pickles
Dinner: Italian Wedding Soup, homemade quick bread or muffins, spinach salad
Lunch: Hot Lunch
One of the most important things to remember about planning lunches and dinners is that everything can change at a moment’s notice. You could forget to buy or thaw a crucial component of a meal, you could have some dinner leftovers that would make a better lunch than what you’d originally planned, your partner could come home from work and announce that he wants to take everyone out for a fun dinner (to which the proper response is always, “OF COURSE!”), or, as with what happened to me last week, your family could get stranded in various parts of the city due to a brutal storm, and you could spend all of dinnertime trying to reunite everyone.
So often the meals I’ve planned the week before, carry over to the following week if they’ve gone uneaten. That’s okay - it’s one less meal you have to plan and shop for!
By the way - the Roasted Shrimp with Broccoli I made last week was so easy and delicious! I made it simply with olive oil, salt and pepper and lemon zest and juice (the recipe calls for whole cumin and coriander seeds, which I didn’t have), and it was fantastic. It’s a definite keeper, especially as long as Costco keeps stocking its delicious shelled and deveined shrimp in its freezer case.
Lunch: Turkey sandwich, baby carrots and pickles, yogurt, pretzel sticks
Dinner: Bahn mi-style meatloaf (on baguette with pickled veggies), steamed snow peas with sesame
Lunch: Tortilla roll-ups with salsa for dipping, red pepper strips (Gil), cucumber (Sadie),
Dinner: BLT wraps, black bean soup
Lunch: Cream cheese and jelly on pancakes (leftover from the weekend), apple, carrots, baby cheese
Dinner: Nana’s and Poppy’s
Bring snack for Gillian’s class: Bananas, Fig Newton Crisps, Cheese
Lunch: Gardenburger and string cheese kebabs, fresh veggies, popcorn, raisins
Dinner: Pizza/Calzone Night (Mushrooms, Spinach, Black olives, Artichoke Hearts, Meatless grounds)
Lunch: Hot Lunch
Did you know Costco sells some gorgeous grass-fed ground beef? It makes the best burgers, but this week I’ll be using it in a meatloaf that I bulk up with ground-up mushrooms and carrots so you don’t need as much meat.
I went to a seminar tonight on the school lunch program at my daughter’s school district and feel much better about her getting the occasional (weekly) hot lunch: they really do make an effort for food to be nutritious and nourishing. And, as one of the representatives who spoke tonight pointed out, it’s nice to have a warm meal at lunchtime every so often. I try to send soup or hot foods wrapped in aluminum foil but I doubt they’re any hotter than tepid by the time my girls eat them. Wish I could find a really good soup thermos!
Lunch: Turkey sandwich, carrots and cherry tomatoes, pickles, honey whole wheat pretzels, and a trial-sized L’arabar I found in the cabinet (a sample given out at Summer Shade Fest?)
Dinner: Out (Mommy has a meeting)
Lunch: Corn dogs with ketchup or mustard, cucumber slices, plums, popcorn
Dinner: Beef and mushroom meatloaf, salad, parmesan bulgar
Lunch: Turkey, baby bell cheese and crackers, baby carrots, apple
Dinner: At Nana’s?
Lunch: Veggie burger patty rolled up in tortilla, avocado with lime, dried mango
Dinner: Roasted Shrimp and Broccoli, polenta
Lunch: Hot lunch
Dinner: Tofu and Vegetable Stir-Fry with Brown Rice
Lunch: Sandwich Skewers (turkey, cheese, cherry tomatoes, bread on toothpicks or skewers); popcorn, tangerine segments, graham crackers
Lunch: Hot Lunch
Dinner: Dinner at Nana-Poppy’s?
Lunch: Soup, cheese and crackers, yogurt squeezes, cucumber slices
Lunch: Bean and cheese roll-ups, carrots and cherry tomatoes, graham cracker, yogurt squeeze