School Lunch Day 50: getting our veggies in!

school lunch from

Listen, I'm no sanctimommy. I'm not even going to pretend that we eat like this 365 days a year. I'm working hard to do the best I can, as much as I can.  But even I sometimes need to take a break. 

We're living in the real world over here.  I try to feed my kids the healthiest food I can get them to eat most of the time.  But when we are on vacation, we eat like we're on vacation. I mean hey, it's my vacation too, I'm not interested in being the food police. I want to enjoy myself, and I want them to have fun too. They get burgers and fries and milkshakes. We order off the kids menu and they get to choose. They've had goldfish crackers, and those little snack size bags of cheez-its, and chocolate covered packaged granola bars, and those sandwich crackers that may or may not have real cheese in them. There were even a couple bowls of Fruit Loops from the hotel breakfast buffet (which I'm happy to say they didn't actually eat much of). There's a lot of stuff that I won't buy at home, but when we are on vacation I think relaxing the rules is just fine - it's two weeks out of the entire year and I don't think it's going to kill them. 

But we're home now, so it's back to real food...

The Lunch Idea:

Yeah, so, I just told you that we've been eating burgers and fries and packaged snacks for two weeks.  I feel like we're all sorely lacking in our fresh fruits and veggies.  So that was my goal today. I got a big pile of all of the veggies that I know (or at least think) they will eat, so today's lunches are veggie boxes, with a few strawberries and a little protein. 

What's in the Lunches: 

  • Leaf lettuce
  • Three have tomatoes
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Two have cucumbers
  • Three have cheese
  • One has sweet red peppers
  • Carrot sticks
  • Dried seaweed snacks
  • Strawberries
  • One has some dried bananas and yogurt covered raisins.

Questions and Tips:

  • I've said this before, but it's been a while.  Even if you think your kids won't eat any veggies in their lunch, don't let that stop you from packing them.  I packed celery almost every day for a month before my boy took a bite out of it.  Sometimes they just need to get used to the idea that veggies are a normal part of every day eating. Even if they are not eating it, they are benefitting by seeing it every day and by learning that it is normal food.
  • These lunches are nut free, gluten free, grain free, and the one without cheese is even dairy free. 
  • No, I don't think they'll eat it all.  But I know that they all have liked everything I've given each of them in the past.  And even if they only eat half of it, it will still be better than what they've been eating.
  • And no, I'm not concerned about the amount of protein here. My kids get plenty of protein throughout most of their days. 
  • The seaweed snacks are from Costco, but you can also get them at Trader Joe's or some grocery stores. If you haven't tried them, you'll be surprised.  Most kids who don't even like  green stuff really like these - they are crunchy and salty!
  • Lunches are packed in EasyLunchboxes.
A bright and fresh school lunch box full of veggies - from