Tag Archives for " Lunch "

Getting Back to School: How to Pack Fresh Lunches

Greta, our resident MOM, tells us how she’s been able to get herself and her family back in the routine of packing lunches after the holidays. Thank you, Greta, for sharing!

My oldest just started back into his second semester of kindergarten, and I think it was harder for me to get back into the routine than him! Thankfully, the easiest horse to get back on was packing his lunches.

Henry is 6 years old and a very picky eater. I didn’t used to think of him in that way until he started school and began bringing his lunch menus home. I knew, as soon as I read the first one, that he wouldn’t eat any of those lunches! His school gives the option of choosing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but he would be eating one every single day. He doesn’t like pasta very much; there are only a handful of fruits that he will eat. He’s not a fan of cheese and hates almost any vegetable. He’s a good eater, when given the foods that he likes (just like anyone else), but the number of foods that he likes isn’t terribly large. And he does NOT like to try new things.

Thank goodness, I discovered MOMables before the school year started. I had already decided that I would pack his lunches, but I had no idea how I would change things up from day to day. But, after seeing the first couple of weeks of MOMables™ menus, I knew I wouldn’t have a problem. Even if he didn’t like an ingredient or two, I could easily substitute something else. Honestly, the lunches are much better, fresher, and healthier than anything they have ever offered at his school.

Even when our lives get crazy, and I don’t have a lot of time to prepare for the following weeks’ lunches, I don’t get stressed out. Henry and I have figured out his go-to lunch item and that gets made by default (instead of a boring PB&J).

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

One of these go-to lunches is the Turkey and Swiss Pinwheel (see the recipe below). What I love about these pinwheels is that I can change the fillings to suit Henry’s tastes (or myself, as I often make one or two for my own lunch, too). Like I said before, Henry isn’t crazy about cheese; he’s a meat guy. So, I skip the Swiss, and vary the meats and condiments. One day, it’s a turkey and mustard roll-up, the next, it could be roast beef and low-fat cream cheese (my personal favorite).What I love about these wraps is that they’re super quick to whip up (as MOMables™ meals always are), and they can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge covered in a damp paper towel for a few days.

Turkey and Swiss Pinwheels

  • Author:
  • Cuisine: Lunch

Ingredients

  • 1 flour tortilla (whole-wheat or any variety)
  • 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 2-3 slices deli turkey
  • 2 slices Swiss cheese

Instructions

  1. Lay the tortilla on a cutting board, and spread it with the mayonnaise. Lay the turkey slices, covering most of the tortilla. Lay the cheese slices over the turkey.
  2. Roll the tortilla from one end to the next.
  3. Cut the “roll” in half. Then cut in ½-inch-thick round sections. Serve with fresh fruit, veggies, and a snack or treat.

 

9

Greek Hummus Recipe

Who doesn’t love hummus?

Every time my dad comes to visit, we make hummus. His “Greek” recipe is so delicious, it tastes authentic. “Of course, it’s authentic! It’s Greek!” he says.

Having both my mom and stepdad over is a bit comical, almost like the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. My mom, the Spaniard, tries to tell him to use more or less olive oil or garlic, etc. He says: Hummus is Greek.  Don’t mess with the ingredients.

Yanni’s Hummus

4 from 1 reviews

As shared by Yanni

  • Author:
  • Cuisine: Snacks

Ingredients

  • 2 14-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine the chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, oil, cumin, and garlic. Mix for 1 minute.
  2. Begin to thin with the water, adding it in slowly until you reach the thickness/consistency you like. Season with the salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

 

Hummus isn’t just the perfect appetizer and snack; here at MOMables™, we love to use it from time to time in our lunch menus.

Pictured: Turkey & Hummus Sandwich on a favorite bread with fruit and veggies from the MOMables menus.

 

59

Whole-Wheat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

What’s better than a cookie? A whole-wheat chewy chocolate chip cookie, of course! This cookie will become the star of any lunch box.
whole wheat chocolate chip cookies - yes please!My kids love “chewy” cookies. They prefer warm and chewy versus crunchy and dunking. While having a glass of milk and cookies can be satisfying and ritualistic, we rarely do that at our house. No, I’m not the cookie Nazi; however, I like my cookies to be a bit more substantial and wholesome. I make a batch every week and place one or two inside their lunch box. They love having a “treat,” and I like knowing the ingredients that are in it. Double or triple the recipe, and freeze uncooked dough for future baking!

Whole-Wheat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

5 from 8 reviews

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown.

  • Author:
  • Cuisine: Baking

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2¼ cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1¼ cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda, and set aside.
  2. Pour the melted butter into a mixer’s bowl. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract, and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Chill the dough.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375F, and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Scoop the chilled dough onto the baking sheets.
  5. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 7 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely, and store in an airtight container.

 

**Photo Credit

 

4

The Farmers Market: Mom’s Secret Weapon

Do you utilize the local farmer’s market?

A couple of weeks ago, this was a rare sighting; my two kids, peacefully helping me in the kitchen. Lunchtime, let alone dinner time was more of a battle ground than a Norman Rockwell picturesque moment.

It was usually loud, chaotic, full of, “I’m NOT eating that!” or “I don’t want to help you!” Now, I am not saying that my kids are selfish monsters, but at times and especially at mealtimes, they can be.  What changed? Me.

I got fed up with all the negativity around our kitchen at mealtime and looked my screaming monsters darling babies in the eyes and said, “Well maybe mommy would make all the yummy things you like if you helped her every now and then.

I don’t know why or how, but they understood me completely. Now mealtime is full of, “I help you mommy? We make noo-noos?” [Barrett speak for noodles]

It was hard at first, but my secret weapon? My local Farmer’s Market.

Enter the local Farmer’s Market and life got a whole lot easier. This not only has helped educated my children about food and its origins, but it has become our Sunday family tradition and I couldn’t be happier about it.

The kids and I began just walking around the Farmer’s Market to check out all the local goodies, but slowly, with more visits, they began to run up to counters with their eyes lit up, “What’s this mommy?” asked Brayden pointing to an eggplant. “PURPLE!” blurts out Barrett, “My favorite color!

BAM! Eggplant was then introduced to my children. Seriously, I would have NEVER thought to buy an eggplant. 1: I can’t remember the last time I had an eggplant; 2: I have no idea how to cook an eggplant; and 3: what kid on earth is going to openly ask for it? However, purple food was an easy sell to Miss B, even when she didn’t like the taste all that much; she got really excited about trying it and having purple food for dinner.

This was when I experienced, firsthand, the power of making our children apart of meal planning and mealtime. They were excited, intrigued by the things they were seeing; the colors, the different textures, the sizes, the everything!

They were hooked and so was I.

I then began to ask for the kids’ advice and input when preparing their meals; “What do you think we should have with our chicken tonight? We need a vegetable. Did you see any vegetables at the Farmer’s Market?” The fact that I, the big mama, was asking for their help inspired and empowered them. They feel special and important when we, as parents ask for their input. The proof is all over their faces.

Does this mean that all my meals are now blissfully domestic? No, I wish, but it has made my nights a lot easier.

Lunchtime was just as difficult.

I would pick them up from preschool and see that they barely touched their lunches, even if it was the lame standard of pb&j. On days I don’t have my act together and forget to prepare ahead with MOMables, I turn to them and ask them what they would like for lunch. “We need a fruit and a veggie in our lunches today, can you help me pick?” The conversation opens up and again, makes their little minds think about what we saw last weekend at the Farmer’s Market.

I know it sounds simple and some of you are probably thinking, “DUH!”, as you read this, but this is huge for our family. I have a tendency to try to “do-it-all” and shush away the kids so I can just get it done, but that doesn’t work well on many levels. Take a calming breath and inviting the kids into the kitchen has been one of the greatest things I have ever done. It makes mealtime fun, a teaching moment, and empowers my little people.

I have even researched other local Farmer’s Markets that run not only on the weekends as a way to keep the kid’s engaged with our weekend tradition if we can’t make it on Sunday. Grocery stores are just as good, and we hit up Whole Food’s on a weekly basis, but I have a special place in my heart for local Farmer’s Markets. It is the easiest way to help educate the kids on where our food comes from and why. This lesson can get lost immediately when you walk into a grocery store that offers no seasons.

———-

How do you get your children to engage with your mealtime choices and preparation?

Do you explore your local farmer’s markets in the same way my family does?

What have you learned from asking your children their input on mealtime choices and preparation?

Any tips you would like to share?

* For more information on local Farmer’s Markets in your area please visit: LOCAL HARVEST

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