Saturday, September 27, 2008

Out to lunch

Now that we all seem to be settling into our routines, I am starting to get back into better lunch planning and packing habits. I like to sleep in the morning. For as obsessive as I am about lunch, odd as it seems, I like to sleep more than I like to make lunch. Go figure.

This was the older one's lunch on Friday. He got a clementine, a reusable bottle of Powerade (diluted with some water), graham crackers, smoked turkey with white American cheese on whole wheat bread, trail mix with cashews, raisins, and yogurt raisins, raw green beans (my weird kids like to snack on these and make a beeline for them when we go to the grocery store), and honey wheat pretzels, a recent discovery that none of us can get enough of.

The little one got mostly the same thing without the sandwich. She also requested animal crackers in lieu of graham crackers. She is in half day Kindergarten, so she eats lunch before she leaves for school and gets a snack.

Now that the nights and mornings are getting a bit chilly, I am going to start filling their thermal containers for lunch. The older one has already made specific requests, so he'll start getting a container a few days a week.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Stressed in the City

Dear Patty Perfect,

I am a stressed out mom of two who has a new job, a new schedule, and a food blog about healthy eco-friendly lunches for kids with no new entries in nearly three weeks!


Stressed in the City

Dear Stressed,

Fear not, my fine friend! Inspiration and organization will get you, your family, and your blog back in business in no time. With a good bit of advanced planning, your kids' lunches will once again be the envy of the cafeteria.

Patty Perfect

Um, ok. I'll let you know how that works out for me.

My first full week at my new job was last week, so I was happy to get through it. Lunches, for all three of us, were less than inspired, and while blogworthy, did not get photographed, documented, or posted in a timely manner. My only noteworthy lunch was leftover lemon rosemary chicken with mixed vegetables over penne that my husband made that was out of this world. The rest of the week was yogurt, a Clif bar, water, and a handful of Teddy Grahams to have with my coffee.

This week my focus is dinner. Apparently my kids need to eat. Apparently this phenomenon called dinner takes place in the evenings and regularly. I'm still figuring that out.

I have a plan, so I am well on my way with dinner, so I am hoping to be back to lunch by next week.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Autumn is coming!

Change is in the air. In some parts of the country, the cooler mornings are a sure sign that autumn is on its way. With rising food costs, apparently there are parents who are changing their spending and lunch packing habits as well, looking to economize where they can.

I just read this article released just this afternoon about how more parents are jumping on the economizing bandwagon. One of the first items to go? Prepackaged snacks, especially 100-calorie snacks! The article mentioned that a grocery store is making suggestions for budget-friendly lunch items and outlining the cost per serving.

According to Marcia Mogelonsky, a senior research analyst at Mintel International, "It's a good time to teach economics, nutrition and budgeting. It could become a major focus in parent-child relations, making lunches." I couldn't agree more.

I am excited for the school year to begin in just a few days. My daughter is starting kindergarten and will have a healthy snack sent to school with her each day, much like last school year. My son will be in third grade and will be bringing his lunch to school at least four out of five days a week. We will continue to allow him to buy his lunch one day a week if he wants.

I am also starting a new job tomorrow, which means I will be packing something healthy for breakfast and lunch outside the home. Breakfast will have to be something fast and easy to eat in the car during my morning commute. Lunch will likely be the same as my job entails being out of the office and having a quick bite between appointments, often in the car, sometimes at my desk. It's crazy, I know, but that's my life for the moment. I have resolved to make sure that I have something more inventive than a Clif bar and water, which is my standby. Additionally, both kids will be in after school activities and after care, so I will be packing snacks for them for those days as well.

I'm looking forward to making lots fun, healthy, interesting, and cost-effective lunches this school year. With my job changing, both kids will have to get more involved with helping make their own lunches this year than in the past. They want to get involved and help so this will be their opportunity.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

How 'bout them apples?

Aren't they gorgeous? We picked up these glorious locally grown apples from a farm stand a few miles away from our house. They were sweet, tart, and juicy and the flesh had a wash of pink close to the skin, as if the brilliant red skin had seeped into the fruit like water color paint. I would have taken a picture, but the kids and I inhaled them too quickly.
I think they are red delicious, but they might be something else. There were some stunning heirloom tomatoes at the stand as well, but I resisted the temptation to buy them because we have so many tomatoes from our garden.