Friday, August 23, 2013

Clean Back-To-School Lunches

Well I finally have made it back. While it was NOT my intention to not post any blogs over the ENTIRE summer....that's sort of what happened...Whoops!

June was just an incredibly busy month, as always, and I'm still new to the blogging thing, so I had a hard time finding the time to put some posts together. 

Then, unfortunately, we had some personal circumstances happen over the rest of the summer that were beyond our control and kept me from posting until now. Someday I hope to enlighten you, but for now...let's stick to lunch!

I don't know about you, but my daughter went back to school yesterday. YAY!! Oh, I mean, boooooo.........Oh who am I kidding? Don't get me wrong, I love her dearly, but yesterday it was nice to have a large portion of the day without arguing and fighting between my two darling daughters. 

Now that it's back-to-school time, I figured lunch would be a good topic to start posting again with. I actually had this blog planned a long time ago, but it's rather fitting now. 

Before we started eating "clean", Liv's lunch consisted of PB&J sandwiches, chips, a fruit, and a juice box. Sometimes a meat sandwich would happen, but it was usually PB&J. She never really had a problem with having the same lunch everyday, or if she did she didn't make it known. 

When we started the "clean" thing, I started researching different options for school lunches, and also lunch at home for myself and my 3-year-old. I found this website, 100 Days of Real Food. I've linked up to this site before but she really has great ideas for lunches. On her facebook page she was posting daily pictures of her kids' lunch for everyone to see. As I started to realize that bag lunch didn't have to be the same old thing, a whole new world of options opened up! Suddenly Liv had lunches that were never the same thing and I was finding it fun to come up with new ideas. I was even a little jealous. I mean, I never had lunches like that when I was in school! And she loved them. She even requested to have....wait for it....SALAD one time. Just once, but I have that day recorded in the family history books.

Here is a pic of one of the lunches she took to school. Meat and cheese roll ups, grapes, applesauce, and pistachios. Plenty of protein and fruit, and no bad carbs! Totally clean lunch. Although she was wary of the pistachios, once she tried them she really like them. 

This was a lunch for Jilly. Again, meat and cheese roll-ups, carrots, and clementines. In the past when I would see a picture like this, I would say "yeah right, my kid won't eat that". And at the time they wouldn't. But when we changed how we were eating, I basically didn't give them a choice. With things like carrots or celery, I eased our way in by giving them things to dip them in, ranch dressing, ketchup (don't ask), peanut butter, etc. And over time it has gotten to the point that they will eat them without any added condiments. 

I know kids can be really picky but I honestly think that it's at least worth a shot to see if you can mold them to eat better foods. If you stick to your guns and don't back down then they hopefully will learn to like new things. Our taste buds get so desensitized by all the sugary/salty/deliciously-bad-for-you foods that when we eat fresh food like veggies they don't "taste good". 

Tortilla Pizzas
 I made these for the kids one weekend when I was running out of ideas. I had leftover olives and green peppers from a pizza I had made a few days prior so I just used tortillas instead of pizza dough. They each got their own individual pizza with some tomato sauce, grated cheese, olives, and green pepper. I popped them in the oven at 350 and just waited for the cheese to melt and the tortilla to get a little crispy. Pretty easy and the kids loved them!

There are ALL kinds of options for lunch other than PB&J. And a lot of them can also avoid bread and chips or other empty calories. Here are some of the items I give my kids for lunches. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any more food ideas to share! I'm always looking for more!

  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Meat & Cheese Roll Ups
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Applesauce
  • Greek Yogurt with berries
  • String Cheese
  • Tortilla roll up w/ Banana & PB (or Almond Butter)
  • Celery & PB w/ raisins
  • PB&J Smoothie (frozen in smoothie tube that thaws by lunch)
  • Veggies - Carrots, Sweet Peppers
  • Fruits - Grapes, Oranges, Apples, Berries, Pineapple, etc
  • Nuts - Almonds, Peanuts, Pistachios, Sunflower Seeds
  • Homemade Trail Mix - Raisins, Nuts, Craisins, Seeds
  • Nut Thins, Lunch Meat & Cheese (homemade lunchables)
  • Leftovers from dinner the night before
  • Homemade Protein Bars
  • Tortilla Pizzas
  • Tortilla Chips and Salsa
  • Tortilla Chips w/ Salsa & Cottage Cheese (Just TRY it!)
And the list goes on....

The one thing I realized is that there is no rule that says you can only have one fruit or vegetable in your lunch. Kids LOVE fruit, so go ahead and put strawberries AND grapes in their lunch.

So what do you think? Worth a try? Hopefully you have some ideas here that can get you and your kids started on healthier lunches. Just remember to make them try it more than once, they will learn to like it! (And so will you!)

Do you have any other ideas?? Please share!

Happy Back-To-School Days!!

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see your post... Great ideas. Our kids are also PB&J kiddos... I will try some of your suggestions. Thanks for sharing them, friend.