Back to School Lunches

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Today is the first day back in school. Many moms I chat with all dread the making of school lunches. I think we can all agree that what you pack is often (not always) more nutritious than what is offered in the cafeteria.

I am here to help! We have created a simple framework from which we make our lunches. Not to take away from variety, but it helps in deciding, planning and knowing how much food your kid needs. This framework has been liberating since it gives you a base to build upon. Even better, I have created a menu in this framework for my kids to have power over their meals…

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We put in one protein. Our favorites are hard boiled eggs, Applegate organic salami or Applegate pepperoni . There’s always the possibility of leftovers too. Sometimes we’ll throw in homemade beef jerky or a Tanka bar. We then put in two sides (made easier by this handy lunch kit).

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I wrote on the menu what items were available in the kitchen this week to include. It is a desire for our family to eat locally, which also means seasonally. Therefore fruit these days means nectarines, plums, etc. in the fall, you’ll find lots of apples and applesauce.

Each kid picked out their items, placed how much they needed (this has taken lots of practice and still requires supervision) and voila! The true test will be seeing if it is empty when they get home. My 2nd grader will have done her older sibling duty if she informs my Kindergartner the penalties of not finishing…he’s a work in progress.

I should also mention how much easier it is if your fruits and veggies are prepped. As a meal planner, I make the most of my Sundays. Plucking grapes (my kids do this for me!) and cutting up carrots when you have time makes it easier to eat healthy when you do not. Good luck!

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