lunch box

I was 12 minutes late leaving my house this morning.  Not 10, not 15, nope 12  minutes exactly.  Why??  Well of course it is the kiddos my fault!

I have to take the blame on this one.  You see last night all I could think about was pecan pie!  Yep, I totally missed out on this decadent dessert over the holidays.  For some odd reason no one made a pecan pie this year.  Did you know that pecans are one of my favorite nuts?  It is right up there with almonds 🙂

Of course I did not have any pecan pie at my house last night, and I wasn’t about to run out to the store and buy one of those full of artificial, chemical frozen pies.  So I had a bright idea….can’t you just see the light bulb going off now 🙂  What, might you ask, is the reason that this caused me to be 12 minutes late this morning?

Why not have “pecan pie” for breakfast!  Not an actual pecan pie but some yummy pecan pancakes.  These pancakes were sweet, full of pecans, and hit that lovely little craving spot.  Now while they may not taste like Grandma’s pecan pie, they did take care of that pesky little craving.

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Pecan Pancakes

  • 1 smashed banana
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (or flour of choice)
  • 1/4 cup pecan pieces
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 2 T flaxseed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1 T honey
  • dash of salt
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice ( I used coconut milk this morn)

Mix all ingredients into a bowl.  Preheat your griddle or pan and spray with non stick spray.  Cook the pancakes until nice and brown on both sides.

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Add a few more pecan pieces to the top and drizzle on the maple syrup.  The banana gave this pancake the sweetness that it needed to take care of the “pie” craving.  This was well worth the time taken to cook, and well worth being late!

Moving on to the topic for today’s post – LUNCH!

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This little beauty is what I had for lunch today.  2 slices of homemade bread spread with guacamole, topped with spinach, shredded chicken breast, a little salt & pepper, with a side of roasted veggies!  The perfect lunch 🙂

Of course I post occasionally about what I had for lunch, which is usually leftovers, but today’s post will be about the lunches that I pack for my boys.  I hate school cafeteria food!  It infuriates me that I will pay around 50$  for just one child to eat lunch at school per month only for them to be feed crap!  What is even worse is that the meals that are served at school are some of the only meals that some of our student’s get daily, that fact saddens me greatly.  We should feed our children more nutritious foods.  Why give them a lovely apple only to have it beside a “riblet” patty?

I will openly admit at this point that I pack lunch for my children, not because they are picky, but because I am picky.  I am in no way a perfect person, and yes my kids do occasionally get “junk food”, but I try to limit it as much as possible.  If they are having a snack I want it to be something that I have made in my own kitchen with real ingredients.  I have no problems with the boys enjoying cookies and cupcakes that I have made.  That being said, many of my friends/colleagues often ask what I pack for their lunches since I am such a “health fanatic” (their words not mine but yes I am).  I have devised a list of things that I use for school lunches 🙂

  1. Sandwiches – this food item is usually a daily addition to the lunch box.  I switch up what I use to keep them from getting tired of the sandwiches.  I buy  natural lunch meats and cheeses.  While they aren’t the healthiest choice it is better than the “riblet”.  I also use PB&J a lot.  The boys love those!  I only buy natural peanut butter and good real fruit jam.  I am a label reader.  Often I use stewed fruit or apple butter for their “jelly” part of the sammie.  Other types of sandwiches include grilled cheese, scrambled eggs, and egg salad.
  2. Fruit cups – again I make sure it is real fruit in natural fruit juices.  Now I am not talking about the ones that you find on the isle with the canned fruit.  I buy these little bowls in the produce section of the store, that way I know it is real sliced fruit. 
  3. Apple slices – sometimes I buy the pre-packaged/pre-sliced apples at the store, but more times than not I slice them a nice apple right out of our fruit bowl (which is always full).
  4. Fruit in general!  Grapes, sliced strawberries, cherries, sliced kiwi, etc.  I even place a banana in the lunch bag occasionally.  My kids love fruits of all kinds, and I must admit that they are more apt to eat it all at school as opposed to at home where they do have cookies, muffins, etc. 
  5. Yogurt – I try to buy the Stonyfield’s yogurt for my boys, but if we have to go with a basic yogurt I get Dannon since it has the least amount of added sugar in it.  I can at times get Kohl to eat Greek yogurt with honey, but I haven’t been able to get Noah to touch the stuff.  **Tip** freeze the yogurt the night before and it will not spoil in the bag.  By lunchtime it will “thaw” so  they can eat it!
  6. Hot foods – my boys love there thermos containers.  Whenever we cook something that I know can easily be packed in the thermos, the leftovers go to school with them.  Things such as spaghetti, chili, soup, casseroles, even the occasional spaghetti o’s.  I will send left over pizza and tacos with them as well since it can be eaten at room temperature.
  7. Chopped veggies and dip.  My kids really enjoy ranch dip.  I make it at home using good sour cream or Greek yogurt.  I have to work on Noah a little with the veggies but they love carrots and broccoli so those two items are always available at my house.
  8. Tortilla chips & salsa.  I can get a bag of organic tortilla chips at my local grocery store cheaper than the regular bags of chips!!  That is a no brainer right!
  9. Raisins, trail mix, or any other dried fruits that your child may like.  Make a mixture of their favorite fruits and nuts/seeds.  Add in a few chocolate chips for a sweet treat!  I also buy freeze dried pieces of fruit that are pre-packaged for the little ones.  They really love the dried apple chips 🙂

Now as I stated before my babies always have something yummy for snack at home that has been baked by mom.  I usually reserve these food items for after school/dinner snacks, but I do occasionally pack a nice home baked treat in their lunch bag as a surprise. 

Drinks seem to be my biggest challenge when it comes to my kids.  They love chocolate & strawberry milks, but it may not always be easy or economical to send this to school with them.  I try to get the silk milk cartons or the horizon organic milk cartons when I can, but I have to be honest and say that when you are packing for two this isn’t always an option.  I mean you only get like three cartons to the pack, that is not enough for one child for the week much less two.  The other problem is that my kids love capri suns!  While it is less sugar than some drinks it is not very clean and healthy.  I do let them have capri suns but balance it out with other drinks at home.  Those are only allowed in lunches or at parties.  They love tea and this is made at home, so it does make it into the lunch bag as well.  My biggest challenge is getting them to drink plain water. 

So there you have it!  Some of my ideas for school lunches.  Just be sure to purchase a good sturdy lunch bag, a few ice packs, and some small containers that will fit into the bag.  I hope this helps you guys with trying to pack for your own little ones.  If you have any questions or comments please leave one here or email me.  My contact information can be found to the right 🙂

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