Wow! Where did summer go??? It sounds so cliché, but I truly believe that the months go faster with children around. There were moments this summer that I just wanted time to freeze so I could soak it in even more. Alas though time moves on and to be honest, there is something quite refreshing about a season change and a move back into more routine.
This is my first year with “school aged” children. Some moments I feel okay and others I have uncontrolled tears running down my face. There is so much emotional attachment to the move into this next phase of life for them and mom-hood for me.
One of the practical things that has been on my mind all summer is making snacks and lunches. My boys are fairly big eaters and I want to make sure that they have enough food, but also that it is balanced and fairly easy to eat as I know that they will not have a lot of time. I made a 10 day lunch cycle to help me in the day-to-day rush so that I do not have to think too hard about what to make. I will be using the Planet Box lunch boxes for most lunches and the Contigo Thermoses for any portions that I want to keep exceptionally warm or cold. Within the meal plan there is room for choice on some days and I also know that I may send leftovers at times. In addition, if my children as for a particular fruit or vegetable, I plan to just add that in to what I am already making so that they know I value their contribution, but I am also keeping up with offering variety and not just favourite foods….this is a hard balance with young children I am finding.
So, without delay, here is the meal plan that I will be using. It is nut free and for us, will be dairy free as well; however, I have included options with dairy as you may wish to send that instead. Please feel free to add other ideas for meals that have worked for your children in the comments section here or on my IG feed (@mealsformeandmyminis). We are all in this together mamas and I want to learn from you too!!!
Lunch: Whole grain wrap or ½ bagel with nitrate free turkey or chicken and cheese of choice (Daiya, feta, goat, Swiss, Havarti, Cheddar, etc.) with Cucumber slices and hummus or guacamole, and Grapes
Snack 1: Aussie bite
Snack 2: Applesauce pouch
Lunch: Manicotti with Peas and Diced cantaloupe
Snack 1: Almonds and raisins
Snack 2: Apple slices
Lunch: Sweet potato and Beet crackers with Roasted chickpeas, soy nuts, raisins, and dried blueberries mixed together, and Peppers and hummus or guacamole
Snack 1: Yogurt in a pouch
Snack 2: Pomegranate seeds
Lunch: Homemade mac and cheese with Roasted sweet potato cubes and Watermelon chunks
Snack 1: Homemade smoothie pouch
Snack 2: Whole grain fig bar
Lunch: Homemade muffin with Yogurt, Apple slices, and Baby carrots and hummus
Snack 1: Homemade nut free trail mix
Snack 2: Mango chunks
Lunch: Whole grain wrap or ½ bagel with nitrate free turkey or chicken and cheese of choice (Daiya, feta, goat, Swiss, Havarti, Cheddar, etc.) with Cucumber slices and hummus or guacamole and Strawberries
Snack 1: Flavoured roasted soy nuts
Snack 2: Pretzel and popcorn mix
Lunch: Tuna salad with whole grain pita triangles or crackers and Peppers with hummus or guacamole
Snack 1: Banana
Snack 2: Sliced peppers
Lunch: Meatballs, rice, and corn with Pomegranate seeds
Snack 1: Grapes
Snack 2: Einstein bite
Lunch: Whole grain crackers, Hard-boiled egg and/or rolled nitrate free lunch meat and/or cheese chunks with Carrots and hummus, and Blueberries
Snack 1: Whole grain fig bar
Snack 2: Roasted chickpeas
Lunch: Breakfast pita cut into quarters with Yogurt, Mandarin oranges (already peeled and sectioned), and Snap peas with hummus
Snack 1: Watermelon chunks
Snack 2: Quinoa cookie (recipe coming soon!)
I also plan to send water to drink. I hope that you find this helpful.
Until next time….stay healthy!