Y’all asked for it so I’m trying my darndest to bring it to ya!
I used to get so frustrated trying to make lunches for L. I didn’t want to be sending her with the same ol’ thing all the time but I also just felt like there weren’t that many options that fit in to what I was willing to feed her. I mean there’s bad oils, dairy or questionable ingredients in everything these days! Combine that with the fact that my kid doesn’t just LOVE raw veggies and I was feeling in a bit of a predicament. Ya feel me?
So with that in mind, I figured I’d share a few photos of meals I’ve served and lunches I’ve sent with my little. Some days they come back completely empty, sometimes the whole thing is left intact and she barely even touches it. Most days we’re somewhere in between.
Now I definitely recognize I can be a bit much when it comes to food. I think just with all I’ve learned over the past few years and with the work I do now, it’s hard to NOT notice every little ingredient. So, no, I don’t count my kid’s macros. Yes, I do try to limit certain oils, dairy, products containing gluten and just generally questionable ingredients, but more than that, I just try to focus on emphasizing real, whole foods from quality sources. As a family, we definitely go through phases where we pull more from the pantry than from the fresh options or the fridge, but we always try to refocus on what’s important to us.
Something I think is worth noting is that our school does not have a “no nut” rule. Well, they do for their toddler class but not for elementary and primary. I know this is something a lot of schools do have and may I just encourage you to be understanding of those rules. There’s a lot of mama’s out there worried their kids are going to die from being exposed to peanuts. So can we all just agree to try to support each other in that and work together to keep our kids healthy here?! Gotta pick your battles, ya know, and this doesn’t seem like the one to fight if yours is the kid without allergies. Just my two scents. But what do I know?!
First of, I absolutely LOVE these stainless steel lunch boxes. They’re the perfect size for L right now. I loved them so much I bought two because I couldn’t get them clean fast enough. I know there’s a lot of good options for stainless steel lunch boxes out there and especially Amazon has a pretty good selection. I used to use a mix of plastic and glass but then I learned that plastic is basically fucking all of our hormones and the glass just gets heavy and broken so stainless it is!
One of my lunch time go-tos for L and for me is sunflower seed butter. There’s a few different brands out there, but I love this option from Trader Joe’s because there’s no added sugar or other weird ingredients.
Another lunch time fave is this Organic sliced turkey also from Trader Joe’s. Y’all it taste so good. If you’re someone who counts your macros for yourself, there’s literally no fat or carbs and the sodium isn’t terrible either. This turkey or boiled eggs are my main protein go-to’s for lunch time.
Most weeks, I prep Monday and Tuesday lunches on Sunday night while I prep my own. Then I made the rest the night before as needed.
L honestly prefers her food cold or unheated. Maybe it’s because we never warmed up her bottles, haha who knows!! But so she never seems to have an issue with her food being cool or room temp when she’s at school but of course I definitely throw an ice pack in there with her lunch box.
Here I’m throwing in some lunches and breakfasts we’ve had while at home. This is still a busy time so most things are cooked prior and heated up (or not) as needed.
While we definitely try to encourage L to include a protein, carb, fat and veggie at each meal, I definitely don’t force it, as you can see. I don’t want to make it a “thing” ya know? But I still think it’s important to talk about what food does for our bodies, what each macronutrient helps out body do and which foods fall in each category. Who knows it she retains any of it, but a mom can dream right?
I also encourage L to make her own breakfasts and snack as much as possible. She’s to an age (almost 4) and ability level now where she can move her stool to reach about anything she needs, and she’s very capable with our children’s knife (also from Amazon). Of course I supervise and never leave her unattended with a knife but she’s definitely made meals for herself completely on her own before (actually she made a snack on her own as I’ve been here typing this LOL). Mostly I just want her to feel confident and self sufficient in the kitchen and when it comes to feeding herself.
Well, hope this helps all you mamas out there!! I’d love to hear some of your favorite lunch ideas and products you love in the comments section!!
MEL BELL SHEFF
p.s. I’ll try to update this every so often as more ideas come to me.