What’s For Lunch?

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What's For Lunch?

Julie Meekins

For most families, school is in full swing. Whether you homeschool or your children attend school outside the home, they still need lunch. What a dilemma it can be to provide nutritious food that our children will actually eat. As parents, we always desire to provide tasty and healthy food but it is not easy. If planning, shopping, prepping and packing food were the only project we had on our plate, it would be hard enough. But, most parents have many more tasks to accomplish and more importantly, relationships to foster. What's a parent to do?

My friend, Maureen, got me thinking about lunches during the school year and that is why I have decided to make "What's For Lunch" the topic of this blog post. See my tips below so you can Rock the Lunch Box without exhausting the preparer!  A little later on, I will share with you some things Maureen prepares for her kid's lunches. Another great resource for you is my friend, Angelle Batten. See her blog link below. So, after reading Maureen's and Angelle's lunch ideas, I got on a roll. At the end of this article, there are a few more links to awesome ideas for packing and preparing lunches that I found online.

Tips for you to Rock the Lunch Box and keep your sanity:

1. Keep it as simple as you can.

2. Pack last night's dinner for lunch.

3. Lunch containers with separate compartments are awesome. Look for the BPA free ones.

4. Be creative with presentation. (i.e. smiley faces, Kabobs, colorful foods)

5. Chop veggies at the beginning of the week for a quick grab when making lunches.

6. For the picky eater:  If your child sometimes gets stuck wanting to eat the same foods every single day -- maybe every single meal, here's a tip to help him or her learn to be okay with new foods.  Digital recordings:

First:  Make a recording for your child to listen to. Here are some components to the recording:

a) It is in the child’s perspective. So, it will be in first person.

b) It gives specific information you would like them to have.

c) It gives the correct thinking and an action step they can take

d) For daytime listening, we suggest the recording be no more than 5 minutes long. It can be played several times during the day but short five minute stints work better.

e) For nighttime listening (while they are asleep) you can make the recording as long as you like. The important thing is that the recording be positive and uplifting.

An example recording could go something like this: "Today is a new adventure. I love new adventures. Today I am going to take a bite of a new food. (you can name the specific food). New foods are fun because they help me to grow strong and healthy. When I am healthy I get to (mention something they love to do -- go to the library, playground, friend's or grandparents' house). I want to try more and more new foods. New foods are safe and good."

You know your particular child and what is important to her. Use words in your recording that are familiar and particular to him. The idea is to speak as if the mindset you want them to have is already there. It is truth that you are speaking into their mind. Eventually when the pathways in the brain opened and new connections take place, your child will be a more courageous eater. The length of time it takes for the connections to take place is different for each child. The important thing is to keep going with the recording until you see a change.

Now for great lunch ideas from creative moms:

First, my friends, Maureen and Angelle:

Maureen Halnon Wheeler -

It's a new school year and that means time to pack lunch. And yes, I am a "lunch lady" one day per week and teach meal planning and cooking classes, but even I sometimes (um, most of the time) do battle with what to pack. It all comes down to planning. This year the boys helped me make lists of foods to stock and it really helps. I'll post what they are in comments. Here's to feeding kids Real Food!

Day 1 - egg salad sandwich on millet flax bread, tomato & mozzarella pesto salad, raspberries, blueberries and a coconut almond bar. Day 2 - Moroccan sweet potato burgers, quinoa chips, Caesar salad, red pepper strips and plums.

We organized our lunch containers and they know protein will go in one, salad in at least one, fruit in at least one and a snack - maybe hummus, olives, chips, etc... In an optional flex container. Those are minimums - teenage boys eat a lot!

Angelle Batten:

And more:

And remember...

Tom and I would love to help you with the challenges you may be facing with parenting, child development, behavior, and nutrition. Check out our twice a month eZines, our blogs, classes on our Products page, monthly Webinars, and for private coaching -- look into our Get Acquainted Calls:

Julie Meekins

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