#1 lunch option: Leftovers. I know, I use my leftovers to feed my hubby lunch the next day too, but if you make a bunch for dinner while you're already cooking, it can feed the whole fam twice with one meal prep. Nice.
#2: When leftovers aren't an option, I like to have some cooked grains all ready in my fridge most of the time. When you have a whole grain or two already done, all you need to do is add some fresh or frozen veggies, a little butter, salt and pepper (or go all out and add some cheese!), heat, and serve. That's one of my favorite options. Yes, I got the idea to have cooked grains on hand from Kara. Love that lady. Check out this post.
Today, actually, I didn't have anything else ready, so I pulled out some broccoli, boiled it a bit, added some already-cooked quinoa, butter, s&p, and it was great. Plus, you can eat a bunch of broccoli and not feel bad about it one bit. Yum.
#3: Fresh seasonal fruit is, of course, a fabulous snack and starter for lunch. Fresh, raw veggies and fruits can make up most of a lunch. Try the muffin tin method, which is this:
1.Get muffin tin.
2.Put some dips in some of the holes, such as a yogurt dip, hummus, guacamole, real peanut butter, ranch, etc.
3.Put fruits and veggies in the remaining holes, and dip away.
This picture is thanks to my bff, Shayla. I hope she doesn't mind. :)
Here's a video on teaching kids to eat right, and she does the muffin tin thing at the end. She also gives ideas for great, healthful dips.
They say it's for kids, but who doesn't like some finger foods now and then?
#4: I have no problem with real food pb&j's now and again. If you don't want to or can't currently make your own bread, get some actual whole wheat bread (read the ingredients list. If there are names you don't recognize, try another loaf.), some whole fruit jam and some real nut butter of your choice--or peanut butter and honey, yum! Pair that with some carrots, celery, whatever your kids like, and take it to the park for a picnic!
#5: How about keeping some other sandwich makings in the fridge? Egg salad, tuna, or, for a treat, grilled cheese sandwiches are great, and you can add some veggies and even grains in to some of those.
For ideas with tuna, see this post.
For grilled cheese, you can add in pureed yams or squash in there with some shredded cheese, and it's fabulous.
#6: Some kids will eat salads, you know. Give it a try. Make sure to have some cool textures (like some nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and veggies chopped in different ways) and a good dressing. If they don't eat it, have a treat for yourself, Mom.
With all meals, try to incorporate a lot of variety and color. Color is a good indicator of nutrients (if it's God-made food, that is) and antioxidants. Stuck in an apple rut? Try some blueberries or something.
Here are some fun finger foods and dips that kids love:
Sweet Potato Fries
Incredible Edible Veggie Bowls
Hummus (I hope to have my friend post her recipe for hummus as well, because it is fabulous.)
Anybody have some other ideas? Please share, as always.