This month I’m participating in October Unprocessed on Eating Rules. Today’s menu is a look at school lunches and what to pack for kids when avoiding fruit snacks, packaged cookies and juice boxes. Plus, how to manage busy home and work lives.
I admit that Friday is not the day to be planning a menu, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll be doing your grocery shopping sometime this coming weekend, so consider it a gift to get you thinking about what to put in those lunch boxes that doesn’t come in its own shiny packaging.
This week I shared some of 10 of our favorite unprocessed foods for school lunches on Eating Rules. I fully intended on then posting this lovely offering that same day. However, life interfered. I’m not talking about the kind of life that gets out of hand when you have four kids all going in four different directions, a full-time job as a freelance writer and plenty of other responsibilities piled on top of all that.
When life is crazy, I simply manage. Having a good memory works a lot of the time, but if I rely completely on that…I falter. Everyone does. No matter how impeccably like an elephant’s your brain may be, you’re bound to mess up sometime.
Luckily, when times are hectic, whether it’s as a result of travel schedules for work or unexpected ER visits and stays in the PICU, online calendars can make life a lot easier to manage away from home. They’re easy to pull up anywhere and can be shared with family members who happen to be graciously staying at your home while you are away.
As part of my work with Day-Timer and the Enough Time Moms group, I had the opportunity to try out the HomeLife calendar, which has been a great resource, both in the last month of travel and as my family made its way through another stay in the pediatric intensive care unit with Kjell.
I wanted to thank all of you for your care and support earlier in the week. We appreciate everyone who prayed for us, said kind words and thought about Kjell as he was recovering. For now, we’re back home, recovering and returning to life as normal, including many a packed school lunch.
Monday – Homemade bagels with cream cheese and strawberries, banana, cucumber slices, roasted pumpkin seeds
Tuesday – Red pepper hummus, homemade naan, cucumber slices, pumpkin pie fruit rolls
Wednesday – Homemade granola bars, apple, sunflower seeds, carrots and avocado ranch dip
Thursday – Hard-boiled eggs, cinnamon popcorn, dried mangoes, raw mini bell peppers
Friday – Frozen fruit smoothies, carrots, roasted pumpkin seeds, apple
The Preparation Shortcuts:
1. Plan ahead to use similar foods in your dinner menu. We love naan pizzas as a meal, and making a big batch of naan is just as easy as making a small one.
2. Hummus can be made ahead and stores for 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
3. Bagels can be made and frozen far in advance if you want, and it’s a fun baking project if you’ve never tried to make your own before. Otherwise, we love visiting our local bagelry here, too.
Last week from Food for My Family: