Photo by Tiffany Washko
This post was originally published on May 12, 2009.
Packing lunches is one of my least favorite duties. Even before having children, I hated preparing my own lunch when heading to work. Thankfully, I've avoided this task in recent years, since the kids and I usually eat our meals at home.
But no matter whether your children go on the school bus or hang out at the kitchen table, those little bodies still want food at lunchtime!
My mantra in all things meal-related is SIMPLICITY.
Throughout my overseas travels, I've had the chance to see how
various cultures view food and meal preparation. These insights frame
most of my thoughts on the subject.
In many countries,
people often eat the same staple three times a day. The staple of
choice varies depending on location. In Asian countries, rice appears at
most meals. In South America, it's tortillas. This isn't just due to
poverty - it comes from the fact that people tend to eat what's grown
Feeling like we need a different menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day of the month is really a Western-mentality born out of excess.
Photo by Karin Dalziel
With that said, here's what works for us:
1. I always aim for three items on our lunch
plates (less seems bare, more too complicated).
2. We have the same
lunch menu every day during the week (Monday - Friday). We save
variety and more time-consuming lunches for the weekends.
3. Our weekday lunch
- Slices of homemade bread (from our amazing bread machine) topped with a little jam, light cream cheese, or hummus
- An easy vegetable
- An easy serving of fruit
That's it! It takes me about five minutes to make lunch for the four of us, and everyone eats happily.
Quick can still be healthy. Don't settle for processed store-bought lunches. You can feed your kids well while also maximizing your time.
Photo by DeusXFlorida
More Simple Ideas:
Entrees: Pita bread,
bagels, tortillas - all can be filled with a little cream cheese or a
slice of turkey
Easy Vegetables: Baby carrots work well because you can buy them pre-washed. We also like cucumber slices.
Easy Fruits: Raisins, Apples, Bananas, Grapes
**Do you have any other lunch thoughts to add? What do your kids usually eat?**
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Jamie is founder of this little spot called Steady Mom, editor of the blog Simple Homeschool, mama to three cute kids born on three different continents, and author of Steady Days: A Journey Toward Intentional, Professional Motherhood.