Tag Archives for " kids food "

5

Lunch Packing for 2, 4, or 28. Here’s How!

Would you get overwhelmed if you had to pack lunches for 28? Don’t worry, I don’t pack this many every day, but I’m going to show you how easy it is to pack lunches for 2, 6, or 20!

I recently volunteered to make lunches for a school that is in the poorest, most-diverse neighborhood in the entire county.

The thought of making 28 lunches could seem daunting, but I’m here to tell you, with a little preparation and helpful ideas from the MOMables menu plan, it went very smoothly!

My daughter and I always bake together on the weekends.  This allows me to be prepared and have ready-made snacks and breakfast items that will suit her gluten-free diet.

We baked up a batch of chocolate chip mini zucchini muffins. They were perfect for a treat in the lunches for the school!

A small amount of time baking = easy, healthy treats for desserts, whether for just your family for the week or to share! Not to mention the bonding time in the kitchen, as well as it being educational teaching fractions and how to read recipes.

We also made MOMables-style Pinwheels for the lunches. A flour tortilla, cream cheese, oven roasted deli turkey, and roll! Little Miss and I prepared these the night before because they are simple to make.

Tip #1:  Set up an assembly line for each step.  Instead of making each individual pinwheel, make all of them at the same time. 

By spreading all the lunch boxes out on our dining table, we were able to quickly fill the EasyLunchBoxes containers with Veggie Straws, fruits, and carrots with dip.

Tip #2:  Sandwiches, wraps, pinwheels, and many other items are easier to slice cleanly after chilling for at least an hour—or until the next morning.

Thanks to my MOMables subscription, making lunches every day for my daughter takes minutes! If I can do it for 28 people, anyone can do it for their family! Having a plan, a shopping list, and a make-ahead tips section saves a lot of time!

Tip #3: Make lunches ahead of time.  Most menu items give tips on keeping the items fresh and reheating suggestions. If you’re able to prepare your menu items, say Sunday afternoon, it can save you time and energy during your busy workweek!

Tip #4: Incorporate leftovers. Another reason MOMables saves me time and money is because they tell me in the menu if I will need chicken, rice, or pasta for a menu item. I can easily cook it at the same time I’m making dinner for my family!

Healthy lunches for 1 or 28, it all comes down to planning! Let MOMables help you get the most out of your time and energy so your family can have the lunches they deserve.

Tip #5: Plan year-round.  Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean your kids aren’t eating lunch!  Even with hectic summer schedules, fresh is still best.  Between June 25th and August 10th, MOMables will share three fresh dinner ideas and two lunch options your family will love.

Planning during the summer helps avoid costly convenience foods and unhealthy drive-thru meals. As always, your weekly download will be filled with prep-ahead tips, five meals and a convenient shopping list.

17 Whole Grain Brown Rice Krispy Treats

Do your kids ask for the familiar rice krispy treats but you want a little more fiber and nutrition? How about a recipe without corn syrup?

I try to keep a well stocked pantry of snacks. Having a variety of them on hand allows my family to enjoy the convenience without sacrificing nutrition.  By making my own, I know exactly what ingredients go in my food.  Finally, these snacks need to come together quickly, because like yourself, I am a busy mom.

Whole Grain Brown Rice Krispy TreatsI make these whole grain rice krispy treat recipe so often, I actually had to look up the recipe to share it with you! It’s measurements have become engrained in my memory and now I make it on my own.

Not only are these gluten-free treats great for packing in lunches,  they also work well individually wrapped to take along on summer road trips and picnics.  They are the perfect portable snack.

These definitely aren’t the rice krispy treats I grew up with–super sweet and marshmallowy.  Instead, these are peanut buttery and not too sweet, almost a bit salty.  The perfect balance of sweet and salty if you ask me!

The brown rice syrup has a lower glycemic index than its high fructose corn syrup marshmallow counterparts.  What’s not to love about that?

Dark chocolate sweetness and brown rice krispy crunch… yumm.

brown rice crispy treats

 Melt, mix and pour. So easy the kids will love to help!

brown rice crispy treats

Brown Rice Krispy Treats

brown rice crispy treats
  • Author:
  • Cuisine: Treats

Ingredients

  • 1 10 ounce box brown rice krispies
  • 1 3/4 cups brown rice syrup
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter (almond butter or non nut butter)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet or non-dairy chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Pour the rice cereal in a large bowl. Heat the syrup with a pinch of salt in a saucepan over low heat. When the rice syrup liquifies, add the peanut butter and stir well until combined. Pour over the rice cereal. Mix well.
  2. Once thoroughly cooled , stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Pour the mixture into a 8×8 or 9×13 baking dish. Let cool for 1 hour before cutting into bars.

 

I found this recipe in the Kind Diet.

 

3

Chicken Parmesan Cups

One of the challenges in family cooking is finding a recipe that everyone will eat and can be adjusted to the proper portions.  This Chicken Parmesan Loaf was a hit with my family.  Rethinking the whole portion-control thing, I made this recipe in a muffin pan for perfect individual-size portions.

This recipe is simple to make without the breading, coating, and frying of traditional Chicken Parmesan recipes.  Zero hassle and 100% authentic tasting.

These individual cups make a great meal for the entire family. Oh, and let’s not forget that leftovers are perfect for lunches too, MOMables style!

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

Chicken Parmesan Cups

Recipe yields 12 cup-size portions. Tip: For this recipe, silicone or foil muffin liners will work best in lieu of paper liners.

  • Author:
  • Cuisine: Lunch

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with Italian herbs (oregano, basil, & garlic)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup pasta sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Coat muffin liners lightly with cooking spray, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, egg, bread crumbs, tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese. Mix with your hands, just like a meatloaf.
  3. Place the mixture into each cup, leaving enough room to add sauce on the top.
  4. Top each cup with 1 to 2 teaspoons of sauce.
  5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a meat thermometer registers 165F.
  6. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on each cup. Place back in the oven until the cheese has melted.
  7. Remove from the oven, and allow each cup to rest before removing the liners, if serving immediately.
  8. Make-ahead tip: This recipe can be frozen after mixing and dividing among the lined cups. Just thaw, top with sauce, and bake following the directions above.

 

15 fresh fruit water

How to make aguas frescas: fresh fruit water

With the recent buzz on the hazards of too much sugar in our diets, I’ve found myself looking for ways to trim sugar wherever I can while maintaining a bit of fun.  My boys drink a lot of water, but every now and again they want something different, something sweeter.

fresh fruit water

That’s when I turn to making a pitcher of fresh fruit water.  In the latin community, this is often referred to as “aguas frescas.”  A few slices of lemon, lime and orange makes a glass of cold water even more refreshing. One of our favorite combinations include a few lemon slices along with some sweet, ruby-red strawberries.  Instant strawberry lemonade without all the added sugar!

Try adding some fruit to your child’s lunch box water bottle as a change from the usual juice, milk or (hopefully) water.

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

fresh fruit water

A few flavor combination suggestions…

  • Strawberries and lemons
  • Lemon, orange and lime slices
  • Strawberries and blueberries

Make sure your water is chilled and give the lemons, limes or oranges a little squeeze to release the juices as you add them to the water.  Enjoy!

fresh fruit water

 

6

Three Tips on How to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthier

Ever struggle just getting your kids to pick up their clothes, let alone eat healthier?

Guest Post by Jenny Solar from The Happy Family Movement.

We started making the transition toward healthier eating sometime during the middle of last year. My husband, Josh, and I had just finished reading The Unhealthy Truth, and we knew that we had to make some serious changes.

At the time, our kids diets were full of artificial colors, high-fructose corn syrup, BHT, and crazy amounts of pesticides and hormones found in our milk, produce, and meat. We started on a long and slow journey toward changing our diet as a family. We’ve had some successes and some failures; so today, I’m going to share with you a few things we learned along the way!

Tip #1: Include your kids in the plan. I know it sounds obvious, but it will be a lot easier to change the things you’re eating if your kids are on board. We started having regular conversations with our three little kids about eating healthier. We explained to them exactly why artificial colors are bad. We told them why we didn’t want them eating high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). And then we taught them to read nutrition labels and ingredients lists. And we (successfully) enrolled them in the cause! Another reason to use the MOMables menus and let them pick their fruits and veggies.

Tip #2: Slow and steady wins the race. I was terrified that our kids would freak out about any changes we made to their food. Our kids are really picky, even to the extent of being brand-specific. So we started out slowly. The first thing I changed was the peanut butter. I started buying all-natural instead of the regular kind, which is loaded with HFCS. Then we switched to 100% organic fruit jelly and mostly organic produce and meats, and so on. We made these changes over 6 months; so both my family and our wallet got used to the changes one substitution at a time.

Tip #3: Don’t go crazy. One of the things Josh and I have said from the beginning is that we don’t want to take things to the extreme. Our kids still eat ice cream and cookies. If they’re at a birthday party with Cheetos and blue-iced cake, that’s fine. We recognize that the rules don’t have to apply 100% of the time—it’s more like an 80/20 thing; life should be lived in moderation. When we took the kids to see The Lorax recently, we bought M&M’s, GummieSavers, and Skittles. Then again, we go to the movies about twice a year.

What other things helped your family make the transition to healthier eating?

 

Josh and Jenny Solar are parents to three kids, Max, Ava, and Lia (and a basset hound named Banana). In addition to being full-time photographers, they created The Happy Family Movement in the spring of 2011 to encourage and inspire family togetherness through memorable family experiences and simple ideas for happy family living. The overarching goal of The Happy Family Movement is to rewrite the way our generation views raising kids—to seek out a happy family and find the JOY in parenting all over again.

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