Wednesday, 5 June 2013

What To Make For Lunch...

My daughter is 9 years old and almost finished grade 4.  She has adapted extremely well to our "healthier lifestyle" and she has her favourites and lets us know with enthusiasm when a new meal makes her happy.  You can't go wrong with anything "avocado" with her.  She LOVES them.  Whether they are used for guacamole, as a sauce for pasta, or stuffed in her sushi - avocados make her happy. 

As any Mom knows, packing a school lunch for 10 months can become tedious.  Coming up with new ideas, keeping it interesting as well as healthy can be difficult.  My daughter is very much like her Dad, in that she can eat the same thing EVERY day for a LONG time without getting bored.  For over 2 years, my husband eats the exact same thing for lunch every work day:  2 sandwiches on Stonemill Bread, made with sliced cucumber and homemade hummus that is made with chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, dill, cayenne, salt/pepper to taste, olive oil AND crushed walnuts.  He LOVES his lunch and looks forward to it every day.  For dessert he packs an unsweetened applesauce with pomegranate. 

I will say that I have NOT made the same thing every day for my daughter for the past 2 years...but there are a couple of "staples" that she always asks for.  One is an unsweetened applesauce with cinnamon.  It's her favourite kind.  If you were to give her "sweetened", she'll tell you it makes her feel sick to her tummy.  She finds it far too sweet.  The other is Liberte Greek Yogurt with Vanilla.  She WILL eat plain unsweetened Greek Yogurt by the spoonful.  She gets excited when I serve it on the side with tuna patties and likes to lick the spoon the way you would with cookie batter.  But in her lunch for school she prefers some flavour, and Vanilla is by far her favourite.  So those 2 are a given.  Otherwise, it's always 1 treat that is preferably homemade, 1 "main dish" and 2 other healthy choices (veggies and/or fruit).  My daughter likes 6 items in her lunch as they have 2 nutrition breaks at school so she divides her lunch in 1/2.  3 items for first break and 3 items for second break.  She also brings 1 litre of water to school (no juice/milk).  She drinks most of it during the day and what she doesn't finish she'll drink on our walk home from school.

I'd say the lunches I pack for my daughter are all and all fairly healthy.  Some might say the yogurt has too much sugar, but it's something she enjoys and with us not drinking cows milk, it gives her some calcium. 

Here are examples of 3 lunches/snacks I made in the past week:

 "Rudolph's" bread (HIGHLY recommend) with Gouda Cheese and grainy Dijon mustard, fresh raspberries and blueberries, cucumber with Herbamare Sea Salt, homemade banana bread, and of course yogurt and applesauce.
 Whole Wheat Rotini Pasta with homemade Avocado/Lemon sauce, cucumber, strawberries, homemade banana muffin, yogurt and applesauce
Whole Wheat Spaghettini with Parmesan, cucumber, 2 kiwis sliced, homemade banana muffin, yogurt and applesauce.

I will also note that once a month or so I try to bake a large batch of homemade muffins and/or cookies.  that way I can control the amount of sugar (I use organic cane sugar most times) I use (I normally cut at least 1/2 if not 3/4 of the sugar), and I can add things like ground flax to them.  I then let them cool and pack in freezer bags to freeze.  By the time she eats it, it's defrosted.  

I will try to take photos of other lunch ideas I come up with...although there are only a few weeks left of the school year (woo hoo!!!).  I hope you enjoyed this topic!  I'm going to try to mix things up a bit on the blog as I begin to focus less on my healing, and more on the healthy changes my family has made over the past few years.  More to come...

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