I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution. Some of what I have seen on the show is pretty shocking. I feel like we do pretty well, all things considered. You know I’ve been ranting about junk food in our schools for quite a while now, and I have cut out most of the pre-packaged foods in our diet, though honestly that had more to do with saving money than with nutrition.
But the thing is, we can all do better, right? And school lunches and snacks are the toughest part of that for me. Fletcher doesn’t buy his lunch at school – he would like to, but there really aren’t any vegetarian options so instead Raymond & I pack him lunch and snack every day. And I think we pack pretty boring stuff. PB&J pretty much every day. Sometimes soup or pasta in a thermos, but pretty much it is the same old thing day in and day out.
I don’t have a problem with the PB&J, mind you. Especially when it is natural peanut butter with homemade jam and home baked bread. But more often than not he just eats half the sandwich and a few goldfish crackers. The carrot I sent him with yesterday came home completely untouched. And if I send yogurt and fresh fruit, the mess that comes home in the lunch box is so ridiculous it makes it hard to tell if he has eaten anything or not!
So, what’s a mom to do?
Last night I made a batch of Morning Glory Muffins, using whole wheat flour and about twice the amount of fruit and veggies called for. I also substituted sunflower seeds for the walnuts. I stuck 3 tiny chocolate chips on the top of each muffin and suddenly I am the best mom in the world! Chocolate!! Two for breakfast, one in his lunch box and Fletcher should be a happy camper.
I also made the easiest ever peanutbutter cookies, and though they have a good bit of sugar in them they can’t be all that bad, right? Right??
But what else? I found this recipe for Mac ‘n Cheese-ish muffins from The Sneaky Chef, and I think I’m willing to give it a try. I’m not generally a fan of tricking my kids into eating veggies. I would rather encourage them to eat them in their recognizable form, you know? But still, it isn’t a bad idea for school lunch. . .
And then, I hit the mother load! Laptop Lunches not only has bento boxes and carriers available for sale, they also have loads of menus for things to put in the boxes! My friend Atsuko sometimes posts photos of the beautiful bento lunches she prepares for her daughter, Mina. I’m not sure I could ever present lunch with her artistry . . . but perhaps Fletcher would be more willing to eat his cherry tomatoes (which he loves) or orange slices (also loves) or black beans (ditto) if they weren’t smushed in plastic sandwich bags? It is worth a try at least.
I know there are a lot of you out there in the same boat, and I know you must have some clever lunch ideas. Please help me!! Leave your suggestions in the comment section so we can all give them a try!