Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Lunchboxes Filled with Love: Tuesday
So, this week, I've decided to attempt to do a series on my humble little blog. The series: Lunchboxes Filled with Love. I'm going to do my very best to post each day this week what I'm packing for my 11 year old in his lunch. Ever since making the switch to whole foods, I've realized how unhealthy school lunches are and how they were affecting his ADHD.
So, to make the food as appetizing as I can to an 11 year old, I try to pack a colorful and fun lunch for him; out of love and for the sake of his health. I've learned that he will eat salad, with no dressing. He will not eat fruit that isn't bananas, apples, grapes, or clementines. I don't push the fruit thing too much since I can get him to eat just about any vegetable except for corn and peas. The kid will actually vomit when trying to eat them. It must be a texture thing. But recently, I've been able to get him to drink any kind of fruit in the smoothies I make in the VitaMix. He also loves my strawberry and mixed fruit sorbets I make.
Anyway, back to lunches. The best thing I ever invested in were those little Glad containers, which you can throw away or keep, that have the segmented compartments in them. They were cheap, so it doesn't matter if he forgets it at school. They also make the lunch look more fun and "put together". My goals for each lunch are: 1) Quick - I work full time, maintain my house, and keep up with a baby (I used to also go to school full-time while I was getting my MBA) it can't take more than 15 minutes to put together; 2) Healthy - It must have something green, a protein source, a fruit, and it must be whole food (or at least mostly whole food); 3) Fun - I want my son to enjoy his lunch and enjoy eating it, I believe that you eat with your eyes first.
What usually goes in my son's lunches are a version of leftovers from dinner the night before. So, the lunch I made on this Tuesday night was made from leftovers and a few other items. It consists of two chicken drumsticks in which the ends have been wrapped in tin foil. I saw that on a bento webstite once and thought it was a great idea. I threw together a small spinach salad with broccoli, grape tomato, and sunshine carrot sticks. For "dessert" I peeled a "cutie" clementine, cut a banana, and cut strips of natural fruit leather and made little circles out of them.
It turns out that making a healthy, whole lunch for my son that he will enjoy is a lot easier than the folks at Oscar Meyer make it out to be. I mean, they are marketing their Lunchables as being wholesome and a healthy lunch for their kids. And parents believe this! Judging by the number of kids in my son's school cafeteria who have them in their lunch box, I'd say they do. Well, take heart, those who's kids are begging for them so they can have a "cool" lunch. My son is now the hit of the cafeteria and the other kids gather around him just to see what is in his lunchbox. They all think his lunches are much cooler than the Lunchables.
And since making the switch to whole foods in his lunches, I have seen a noticeable change in his behavior and ability to focus. He's even excited about eating healthy and has begun to notice which food choices are healthy and which are not. That makes me smile and makes me feel good.