My daughter, 3 years old, started pre-school at the beginning of this year. This was also the kick off of making kid lunches for the next decade and a half. As a Naturopath, I have to say, I am not an extremist. I really do try to keep it realistic- I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old, I am far from perfect. However, I will admit I am most neurotic about what my kids eat. I think about the stuff that I ate as a kid, and even what I ate while I was in undergrad, and it gives me palpitations. I run a pretty tight ship but also have a 3 year old who, when asked what she would like for dinner, requests Brussels Sprouts. No joke. This is not to say she hasn't eaten McDonald's before (she has) but on the whole we keep it pretty clean. So, when it came time for lunches, I obviously wanted to continue this trend. I know many parents struggle with what to send for lunches, so I have been documenting a selection of my daughter's lunches since January.
A few notes:
(Left to Right/Top to Bottom)
1. Watermelon, Apples, Raisins, Cucumber, Rice Cake with Hummus (Sunflower Kitchens).
2. Apples, Cucumber, Raisins, Hazelnut crackers with almond butter and raspberry jam, oatmeal with unsweetened applesauce and cinnamon (unfinished from breakfast).
3. Carrots, Cucumber, Raisins, Almonds, 1/2 GF/DF Morning Glory muffin, Greek Yogurt.
4. Peppers, Rice Cake with Hummus, Blackberries, Grapes, Almonds, Chocolate Chips and Raisins.
5. Blackberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, Grapes, Almonds, Cucumber, Rice Cake with Hummus.
6. Strawberries, Cucumber, Cauliflower, Ranch Dip, Dark Chocolate Almond Butter "Granola Bar" (Against All Grain), Brownie.
7. Watermelon, Strawberries, Blueberries, Cucumber, Apples with Almond Butter, Raisins and Cinnamon.
8. Cauliflower, Cucumber, Hummus, Apples, Raisins, "Granola Bar", GF Cake.
9. Peppers, Strawberries, Cucumber, "Granola Bar".
(Left to Right/Top to Bottom)
1. Strawberries, Apples, Grapes, Almonds, Dried Fruit, Peppers, Cucumbers, Carrots.
2. Carrots, Cucumber, Almonds, Grapes, Strawberries, Oatmeal.
3. Blackberries, Strawberries, Peppers, Carrots, Cucumber, Raisins, "Granola Bar".
4. Apples, Strawberries, Blackberries, Grapes, Cucumber, Almonds and Dried Fruit.
5. Strawberries, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Peppers, Veggie Dip, "Granola Bar".
6. Almond Butter and Raspberry Jam Rice Cake Sandwich, Bananas, Strawberries, Cucumber, Almonds and Blackberries.
7. Hazelnut Crackers with Almond Butter and Raspberry Jam, Apples, Cucumber, Raisins.
8. Bananas, Strawberries, Grapes, Almonds, Cucumber, Avocado, Rice Cake.
9. Strawberries, Blackberries, Mango, Grapes, Apples, Cucumber, Almonds and Dried Fruit.
This was Monday's lunch- Carrots, Strawberries, Apples, Grapes, Mango, Blackberries, Gluten Free Pancake 'Sandwich' with Almond butter and Raspberry Jam. Her class spent the day at the Community Garden getting the soil ready for planting, so I wanted to pack extra fruit to help keep her hydrated! She ate everything, except for the pancake sandwich. She started the morning with Oatmeal (with unsweetened apple sauce, cinnamon, coconut almond milk, raisins and a few chocolate chips- her favourite), this for school lunch and then she came home and had eggs and more veggies and dip to finish her lunch! That would be a pretty typical day for her meal/food wise. And then of course dinner is whatever we are having!
The recipe for the Dark Chocolate Almond Butter "Granola Bars" can be found here at the Against All Grain Blog. Though the original recipe calls for peanut butter, I substitute almond butter and use semi sweet chocolate chips. These bars are amazing and work great because you can make a tray of them and just keep them in the freezer, cutting off pieces as needed. My daughter loves these! I also like to keep things like no bake cookie balls and other no bakes bars in the freezer for more treat options! I will usually add a scoop of Vegan protein (Sunwarrior Warrior Blend is my preference) to increase the protein in her lunch and make even her treats a bit healthier. Overall, I find my daughter loves her lunches and I do tend to ask her every morning what she would like or give her options of what she could have so she feels like she has a say in what she is eating. It is not uncommon for her to get home with a lunch box that looks like this...
...and I'm not complaining!!
Disclaimer: Naturopathic Doctors strive to provide individualized health care. The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. This information shouldn’t take the place of seeing an ND for individualized health recommendations.
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