Tag Archives: Planetbox

Reimagined Tasty and Healthy Lunches (No Sandwiches Thank You)

First day of pre-school? It’s tough seeing your little one all grown up! For me, that was awhile ago, my kids are now 11 and 9 years old, but I do remember those days… Your kids are going to have so much fun, it’s great for socialization and independence, and, most importantly, more time to yourself! The school routine will work itself out, but now’s the time to get a head start on what your child will eat for lunch.

I’ve always been a firm believer of using whole ingredients to feed my kids. From the first time they started to eat, I was steaming up fruits and veggies and blending them up. I couldn’t face giving them anything that could sit on the shelf for ages with all the additives and preservatives. Besides, that jarred stuff tasted pretty disgusting! I believe there are some great frozen brands out in the supermarket now, in fact, I had pondered on launching a line of baby foods back when I was in the thick of it. Anyway, as a result of starting out on real foods, it was an easy transition to solids and happily my kids both continue to eat really well.

Packing a school lunch shouldn’t be daunting, you want something fast and easy that you KNOW your child will eat. You already know his/her food likes and dislikes, so there’s no reason why you can’t utilize your dinner food and save a bit for your little one’s lunch. I promise, this is just as easy as reaching for those packed-with-processed-everything Lunchables and other “convenient” snacks. A lot of parents tell me their kids don’t like sandwiches. Personally I think that’s a great thing, where it allows you to pack real food, make it fun and colorful with lots of fruits and vegetables. It’s much more nutritious than bread and luncheon meat of any sort. While homemade, and even organic is ideal, there are still ways you can make each of these meals work if you purchase from a reputable (non-fast food) establishment – where you know that people actually make the food, not machines.

I use a PlanetBox lunchbox which is great because it makes me want to fill each section up with lots of goodies. It’s like a picnic (or the healthy version of those old-fashioned TV dinners, ha ha). I’ve seen some really cute packed lunches, where people cut sandwiches into cute shapes with cookie cutters and really make an effort to decorate their kids lunch. But to be honest, I have no time or patience for that, and at the end of the day, I know that all my kid really needs is to eat a substantial lunch to get through the school day.

We always have a bag of frozen dumplings in the freezer. I fry a few of them up in the morning and put it in a thermos for a nice hot meal.

We always have a bag of frozen dumplings in the freezer. I fry a few of them up in the morning and put it in a thermos for a nice hot meal.

Whether homemade, or store-bought, this muffin and chicken can be a tasty treat. Fruit that can be eaten without being too messy is perfect.

Whether homemade, or store-bought, this muffin and chicken can be a tasty treat. Fruit that can be eaten without being too messy is perfect.

A true "picnic" style lunch. While the weather is hot out, save a bit from the weekend barbecue for Monday's lunch! When we make burgers, we usually make  sliders (mini-burgers), which are fun for both kids and adults to eat.

A true “picnic” style lunch. While the weather is hot out, save a bit from the weekend barbecue for Monday’s lunch! When we make burgers, we usually make sliders (mini-burgers), which are fun for both kids and adults to eat.

Almonds or any nuts (if your school allows them) are a great source of protein. These are pizza rolls with a small bit of fresh tomato sauce for dipping. Give a variety of fruit throughout the week, taking advantage of what's in season.

Almonds or any nuts (if your school allows them) are a great source of protein. These are pizza rolls with a small bit of fresh tomato sauce for dipping. Give a variety of fruit throughout the week, taking advantage of what’s in season.

Avocado, pasta, meatballs and a little sauce from the other night (I saved this before putting it all together).

Avocado, pasta, meatballs and a little sauce from the other night (I saved this before putting it all together).

Add some fresh vegetables to a leftover stir-fry.

Add some fresh vegetables to a leftover stir-fry.

 Leftover pasta with ragu. Just prepare the thermos with hot water, heat it up the food, and you're ready to go! Fun cocktail toothpicks for happy, easy eating. Usually my kids have water with their lunch, and only on occasion milk or an organic juice.

Leftover pasta with ragu. Just prepare the thermos with hot water, heat up the food, and you’re ready to go! Fun cocktail toothpicks for happy, easy eating. Usually my kids have water with their lunch, and only on occasional milk or an organic juice.

For more creative ways to feed the family visit c-cooking.