A better lunchbox – healthy, sustainable and fun

September 10, 2010 at 4:24 pm Leave a comment

Who knew packing a preschooler’s lunch would involve so much thought and leg work?

My little 2.5 year old started preschool this week (wow, that was fast) which also means packed lunches.  As soon as we sent in the deposit, I started researching safe, functional and fun lunch gear. I tend to be a planner and hate waiting till the last minute. In addition, I started thinking about what I would actually pack in her lunch box. How do I make it something that she will love to eat? and be able to eat on her own? Without being there to guide who through her meal, this was a big concern. Extra challenging since like most toddlers, she has gotten a lot more picky about what she eats. We are also trying to be as organic, local and sustainable as possible – or as I like to put it… people and planet friendly. I feel that should continue with school lunches. I am determined to keep her meals healthy, enjoyable and as organic and sustainable as possible. There is no reason a packed lunch can’t nurture her body and her love for great food. No lunchables for my little one.

It is no easy task to plan and prepare packed lunches for your kids, let alone healthy, waste-free ones. While I’m not an expert and will be learning as I go, given all of the energy and thought I’m putting into this, I thought I’d share these ideas with you. Maybe you’ll pick up a tip or two or get inspired to be more creative/sustainable with your child’s lunches or even have some great tips to share with me. Either way, I welcome you to follow this journal of a preschooler’s lunchbox.

I’ll include a list of everything in her meal and a photo. I’ll also include a report on how well she ate, incase you are wondering, “Did this kid actually eat this stuff?”. If you are interested in any recipes or techniques, let me know. I’m happy to share. Nothing is too complicated. I’m also planning on another blog entry just on the gear used. I found some great items and am looking forward to sharing. They have been working out so well this week.

I should also note that my daughter is allergic to eggs and peanuts, so nothing you see will have either. And she gets a thermos with 2% Straus organic milk with her lunch each day.

Week One

Tuesday: Sofie's First Day of School (14)

    • Homemade chicken fingers – organic free range chicken, dipped in organic milk, coated in a seasoned brown rice flour and corn starch mix, then pan fried in olive oil.
    • Organic white rice balls – shaped into a heart and star with a rice mold
    • Organic broccoli – steamed
    • Organic raspberries – from our farm CSA

    Consumption: She ate everything except the broccoli.

Wednesday:  IMG_6253

    • Pan seared organic pork chop – pounded thin, sprinkled with garlic salt and then pan seared in a little olive oil. Dice up for easy eating.
    • Organic spouted whole wheat sandwiches – toasted with a light smeared of organic cream cheese. Cut into flower shapes with a cookie cutter.
    • Organic strawberries – from our farm CSA share Eating With The Seasons
    • Organic edamame – steamed
    • Organic baby carrots – steamed

    Consumption: She ate everything except for 3 carrots and the toast. We were trying new bread this week…and well, we have decided that while we like their hamburger and hot dog buns, we aren’t thrilled with the bread. So I can’t fault her for not eating it. We’ll shop for a new kind to try this weekend.

Thursday: IMG_6259

    • Homemade organic brown-rice coated chicken fingers
    • Organic mini-pita bread
    • Organic peaches – from our fruit CSA share with Frog Hollow Farm
    • Organic Colby Cheese – I snuck this in after I took the photo, cubed and added in the peach container

    Consumption: She ate all the tomatoes, peaches, cheese and pita. But barely touched the rest. Sofie has a nose for fresh food, somehow she tends to gobble down what I prepare fresh for her and skips anything that had been in the fridge for a couple days. She also had a bit of a meltdown over something at school,
    which didn’t help. 

Friday: Sofie's school lunch - 2010 09 10 (4)

    • Boccalone Italian sausage – grilled the night before with our dinner, then sliced and served cold with this lunch
    • Trader Joe’s Multi grain crackers
    • Organic peaches – from our fruit CSA share with Frog Hollow Farm
    • Organic edamame – steamed and very very lightly salted with sea salt
    • Organic baby carrots – steamed and very very lightly salted with sea salt

    Consumption: She ate all the peaches and edamame, half of the sausage, a few crackers and one carrot.


Entry filed under: A Better Lunchbox, Kid Topics & Parent Tips, Living a Greener Life. Tags: , .

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