I have spoken immensely here about the meal struggles I have when it comes to feeding my family.
Yes, they are real. No hashtag needed.
I guess it comes up so much because I have a lot of guilt about it. Like, as a mother, I desire to fill their bellies with healthful, nutritious foods that are going to support healthy growth and brain development. I want them to look at their plates and be all giddy up excited about devouring their food. I want to inspire adventurous eating and create lifelong healthy habits around food consumption. And, I want them to grow up and tell their wives over and over and over again that, while their efforts are cute and appreciated, their mama was the best cooker on the planet, hands down, no question.
But then, I get overwhelmed with some work project, or I get to the store and chia seeds are expensive, or I make a soggy meat loaf and they don’t like it, and I’m frustrated because it took forever to bake and my hands had to get all meaty to shape it. And then, I really, really want a freaking chili cheese dog anyway and the idea of kale and quinoa is making me wanna barf like nobody’s business.
So, I feel bad. And we wind up going to dinner at Wegman’s because it’s easy and everyone can have the vegetable side that they like. Or sushi. We can get a big ole platter of sushi and dig into it together with our chopsticks. Sure we will be hungry in like 45 minutes, but everyone knows sushi is good for you.
And, way more fun than meatloaf. (Side note: if you follow our family escapades on Facebook, you may know that we had a recent meatloaf debacle. I’d like to redeem my good name and inform you that we had a redo and it was spectacular. Apparently, the only thing wrong with my first meatloaf is that it was not also wrapped in bacon! That’s right, bacon FTW!)
I imagine that I will continue to struggle with dinner –the timing makes it hard, certain members of my my family (cough*my husband*cough) don’t like foods made in a Crockpot, our busy evening schedules, my shoddy history with meatloaf. But, lunch? Oh, I’ve got school lunch ideas!
Since the school year began I have tasked myself with ensuring that I am able to provide them with hearty, delicious lunch options that I KNOW they will eat. I mix it up with as much variety as possible and I infuse fresh fruits and vegetables as often as I can. And, I don’t skimp on dessert!
The result has been happy, full little Dudes who come home from school every day a little less starvy and a little less interested in biting my head off.
Now, before I show you everything they’re eating, let me prep you about a couple of things…
First, I used to be such a Bento box hater. I figured those were for try hard parents with too much time and money on their hands who wanted to show everyone else up with their fancy lunches. Error! Bento boxes are functional (food won’t get smashed or touch and result in a meltdown if you too own a child who lives a strict no-food-touching-ever life) and, they are also more frugal and environment friendly (no waste and no buying plastic bags and disposable forks and spoons). We use a couple of different boxes, but this Rove one is our fave.
Second, I am not an expert lunch box packer, so lower your expectations. There aren’t going to be any rocket ship shaped sandwiches or printable notes, ain’t nobody got time for that. Accept for Wendolonia. She makes best Bento Box lunches ever. I love looking at her stuff just to look because I know that the only way we’d ever have that level of lunchtime awesome is if I hit the lotto and then hired her to come make them for my kids each day. My lunches are to show what the harried, working mom with little time and even less food based creativity can create decent lunches without losing her mind or breaking the bank.
That is all.
10 Easy & Delicious School Lunch Ideas
Let me break it down for you real quick.
Monday: Guacamole, organic tortilla chips, dark chocolate covered pretzels, grapes.
Tuesday: Pizza stars, Ritz crackers, guac, organic fruit snacks.
Wednesday: Asian salad mix (from Costco), homemade brownie, salami, cheese, crackers, grapes.
Thursday: Salami, Canadian bacon, crackers, bagel w/almond butter, energy bites, popcorn.
Friday: Muller yogurt (they LOVE the mix in corner), Z-bar, grapes & mango chunks, popcorn.
Monday: Asian Salad w/quinoa, fresh cauliflower (I throw in a ranch dip on fresh veggie days), apple.
Tuesday: Ham & cheese wrap (we use the flavored wraps), Chex mix, strawberries, chocolate raisins.
Wednesday: Energy bites, guac, crackers, cheese, grapes.
Thursday: Naked juice (they like all of the flavors, even the creepy green one), meat stick, cheese, stick, broccoli, pumpkin spice yogurt pretzels.
Friday: Muller yogurt, grapes, broccoli, energy bites.
Then we pick it all up and do it again the next couple of weeks, with some slight variations for seasonal fruits and veggies.
Disclosure: Today’s post was partially sponsored by Muller yogurt featured in some of our weekly lunchtime meals. We eat it at lunch and sometimes after dinner as dessert. The Dudes don’t know it’s not ice cream because it tastes that darn good.