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I thought I was going to have to head out for a birth last night or this morning, so I prepped M1's lunchbox last. I didn't, and it was really nice to have the lunchbox ready to go this morning.
Do you plan the night before, or the morning of? Why?
Last night I made Quinoa Tabbouleh. This is a dish that I love to make in the spring mostly, but ended up with a big batch of parsley and needed a way to use a good chunk of it. Tabbouleh is a parsley based salad. There are so many variations out there, but traditionally it is made with Bulgar. I really enjoy Quinoa, but have a hard time finding recipes that I like. I tried this combo a couple of years ago and it was a hit with the family. This batch, I had some yellow tomatoes, so its not quite as colorful as it should be, but they were really sweet tomatoes, so the flavor was excellent.
Okay, so this is a dish that I like, but what about the kids? M1 is a veggie eater, if you have not noticed. She loves tomatoes and cucumber, so this is a win for her. M2 on the other hand has a compete overs ion to anything tomato. If you ask she will tell you she is allergic to them. Really, she says she is allergic to anything she doesn't like the flavor of. I think having the tomatoes be yellow was actually beneficial last night. I didn't say anything, just served it and watched. She ate the tomatoes, no problem! She did complain about the green onion in it though…sigh, but did eat it.
This Tabbouleh is so much better the next day. I highly recommend making it a day before. That way the flavors can marinate.
Here is a link to my Quinoa Tabbouleh Recipe.
Lunchbox, The Art of Moderation
A friend of mine commented that her daughter comes home telling her that the other kids don't bring veggies for snack time. She told her daughter that she new that M1 did! So, at least I know that I have helped one mom justify her lunchbox choices.
Not all of M1's lunchbox's can be winners. Today she asked for a peanut butter and honey sandwich. I did my best to balance it out with some protein and produce. Not that a peanut butter (organic, crunchy) and honey (organic, raw, unfiltered honey) sandwich is the worst thing I could give her, but there is just so much sugar involved. Especially since today's bread is not my favorite sprouted grain bread.
I see this as a treat, and my belief on anything that I deem a treat is not to avoid them entirely, but to teach my children the art of moderation.
Lunchbox, Kids and Fats
Alright, back into another week. It was a long weekend. I worked on Saturday, and ended up in Denver Saturday night for a birth. Got home last night, exhausted, with a list of stuff to do.
I was thinking this morning of a good topic to start the week. I thought it would be nice to talk about the importance of fat for growing children.
Lunchbox - Good Eating Habits
A friend of mine mentioned, after I commented on Facebook "Stop playing the game," of hiding veggies so your kids will eat them. She had a good point. Many young kids are not at an age of reasoning or understanding. So, you can't just explain to them that it is healthy, or explain to them about food waste, or even make strong stands to some regard. It becomes a fight, and sometimes it's just not worth the battle, and you want them to actually eat. Otherwise you set yourself up for the possibility of a crabby, hungry, baby later in the day. Not fun!
But, I truly believe a couple of things when it comes to feeding our children.
I am sure some of you are asking yourselves, "What does she know about picky eaters?" Oh, but I do. Based on my own personal experiences with my two very different children and their very different dietary upbringings, I have my theories.
I bet you all were expecting me to have a Bean and Cheese Burrito in this lunchbox this morning. That is one dinner that we rarely have leftovers. My kids love them. After a dinner that was hard to swallow the night before, both my kiddos actually, sincerely THANKED ME, for making burritos. I think it was mostly a thank you for not trying anything crazy and new (which I am prone to doing).
If any of you have read and followed my Facebook Page, or my other Blog Posts, you'll remember that in the fall I spend a couple weeks making and freezing food. One of the things that I made were Spanakopita - Spinach and Feta Cheese Pies. This is the first one to come out of the freezer.
I love making and freezing meals, it makes meal prep easier, and helps you save time later on down the road. These spinach pies defrost and toast beautifully, make great lunches for both adults and kids, and are packed with a variety of green vegetables and herbs. You can customize them too. These are actually not spinach, they are Swiss Chard...did you see that coming?
At the time I was making these, last fall, my Chard plants were prolific and a freeze was coming, so I needed to cut them and use them. Some became pies and some were blanched, chopped and frozen (I use it like frozen spinach in recipes). I have made this Spanakopita recipe MANY, MANY times with MANY, MANY different green vegetables. Every time it's delicious.
I actually have this recipe on my Recipe Blog, Click Here.
What is that saying about best laid plans……….
The best laid plans of Mice and Men often go awry.
That should nicely explain things. I had the best of meal planning plans this week. I try and make dinners that transfer well into lunches. My plan, as good as it sounded, was to make Pad Thai last night and use that in lunches for today. Cold Pad Thai is pretty darn good. Pad Thai was an EPIC FAIL. Sigh! I tried a pre-packaged Pad Thai sauce, followed the recipe on the container, and YUCK! I've made better Pad Thai with a jar of peanut butter (will do next time). Everyone choked it down, but it was agreed not to make it again. I really hate wasting food, and typically do a darn good job of making food go far, and using leftovers. This dinner is dog food! Literally, we are going to have some happy dogs tonight.
So, this morning, I had to rearrange my meals for the rest of the week. The leftover chicken salad was GOING TO BE dinner tonight, but is becoming lunch. I have a family favorite Bean and Cheese Burrito dinner that is a go to last minute meal, and it is taking the place of Chicken Salad tonight. Phew!
How do you handle meal planning mix ups? Do you meal plan? Do you have favorite last minute meals?
I was on vacation last week, and my body is still on Florida time. I have been waking up at 5:30 every morning since I got back on Saturday. Sigh! At least this gives me time to be productive. I made an egg casserole for the family for breakfast, packed my lunch, and my daughter's lunch. All by 6:30! Not the norm at our house, but when life gives you the time, do what you can with it. (There were also some dishes that got done, and some work on my book. For those of you who do not know, I am working on a book!)
I tried to think of a good health topic to discuss in today's post, and I think I've got one.
Lunchbox Nutrition Philosophy
I am very excited to start this blog series. I hope you are all just as excited.
So, a little about me, again, for those who are new: I am a Diplomat of Oriental Medicine. What does that mean? I have a Masters Degree in Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, and Nutrition. I love food! I love cooking, eating, and understanding it. I take it very seriously. So much so, that I can't let my husband go grocery shopping. I have a problem, it's okay, I admit it. As seriously as I take it, especially when it comes to what my kids eat, I try to keep it fun. I make up new recipes and I include my kids.