Daycare/ School lunches are a lot harder now with all restrictions placed on parents. Then add your kid who has their own preferences.
My top lunch tips I have learned in the last year while trying to feed my toddler a balanced diet low in sugar.
Lesson 1 – Relax!!
Okay yes low sugar and unprocessed foods are the best that’s not just for your kid but you too! What I mean by relax is it doesn’t have to be a gourmet lunch everyday! In the beginning i was so stressed out with making sure my son had the perfect breakfast / snack / lunch and dinner I was about to pull my own hair out. I also was pretty sure he wanted to actually spend time with me and not have me in the kitchen everyday for hours going a bit nutty. So relax , if 1 day your little one eats toast with nut (or alternative) butter and banana they will not drop 10 IQ points or develop horrible habits. Actually Toast and banana is a great breakfast and one that my son LOVES!!!
Lesson 2 – No one will die if they eat the same lunch 2 days in a row!!! Let me repeat no one will die if they eat the same lunch 2 days in a row!!!
I have learned to bulk make my son’s and my lunches. Which means I plan for us both to eat the same lunch for a few days. This way I can spend less time in the kitchen and have less waste. I also plan for 1 of my lunches to be left overs either from either from my sons lunches or last nights dinner. This way I know we won’t be throwing out as much food in case I over cook. Considering my son’s lunch is generally Mac & Cheese will with Peas , Grated Carrot and Baked Beans (or other protein) I tend not to complain if I get in on that action too!
Lesson 3 – Keep it simple.
Simple is sometimes the best. I like to think about my son’s lunch like filling little boxes. 1 box is fruit – 1 box is protein – 1 box carbs – 1 box vegetables. Then I think about how to break it up.
Fruit – Banana , Apple Sc.
Protein / Carbs/ Vegetables – Mac and Cheese with baked beans and Peas
Vegetables – Peas and Carrots ( Steamed )
Carbs – Mini Muffins , Cheerio’s , Granola Bars (with these I try to find low sugar ones from the store or make my own) Cheese Crackers.
Diary – Milk , Cheese cubes( I buy a brick and cut my own)
From this list I can make a balanced lunch for my son. I do my best to only give him natural sugars from whole fruit and again do my best to plan on doing my own baking.
All we can do it our best and if you are not an amazing cook then do your best and if you are out of ideas then use Pinterest or Google. We beat our selves up way too much for not having everything perfect. Sometimes life is not perfect sometimes it’s about surviving and our meals (yes important) should not kill us.