Kelly, over at Kelly's Korner is hosting the "Show us your Life" series again and this week she is looking for What you feed your kids! I've talked in previous posts about how much I struggle with figuring out what to feed my kids for lunch. I followed all of the "good" rules and made my own baby food, introduced any and all fruits and vegetables (even the ones I did not like and make me gag to cook!) and my now 2 year old, ate every single one . .. until he turned 1 1/2 years old . . than he started to be a little pickier. Now, he comes to the table, looks at the plate and says . . "Nooooo, Thank you", and than smiles. I can already hear some of you saying - don't give them a choice or serve them the food and they will eat it. Well, this is what I've learned, every child is different! My 1 year old would eat a cob of corn WITHOUT the corn on it but my 2 year old, well, he'd prefer cheese or . . . .cheese. Don't worry, we don't have "kid food" in the house that is just for them or cook separate meals for them but what I do when I plan all of our meals is to try and include one item that I know each child will eat. (For Nate, that is ANYTHING and for Josh - well, I have to be creative) Than, when we fix their plates, we include a little of everything --every single time. Sometimes he surprises us and sometimes, he just doesn't eat more than a piece of bread. But again, guess what I've learned - when a kid is hungry, they will eat!! So here are a couple of pictures and a few more ideas :-)
Funky Lunch and yes, I ordered it! It is super cute and I made our first lunch using that book as a guide. Ok, so I'm not an artist - this is NOT a letter "A" but rather a rocket. I used ham and cheese for filling and than made the rocket flares from carrot and cheese. Our Teddy Grahams were the Astronauts :-) Did Josh eat it? NO! He was NOT impressed hahahaha But it is just a way to be creative. Normally, I always include a fruit (apples or grapes our his favorites) but it just didn't happen today.
Another thing I've done is incorporate Muffin Tin Monday. There are all kinds of websites out there but the concept is just to put foods in the tin. This weeks theme was "Favorite Foods" so I did cheese quesadillas, black olives, grapes, chips and salsa, and white chocolate chips. Notice the hand is grabbing the quesadilla??? I expected him to grab the chocolate chips first but he ate the whole tortilla first before moving on to the other things.
Some other ideas for lunch:
1) Crescent wrap ups - Either wrap a crescent roll around the little mini-hot dogs and cook them up or, lay out the crescent dough, spread a little cream cheese mixture on top and than roll up and cut into slices and cook. What to mix in the cream cheese? Anything! I use dry ranch dip and than will add chicken and veggies.
2) Squished Sandwiches - take a slice of bread and cut off the crust (it is easier to roll) than roll it thin like a tortilla, spread your favorite filling (PB and J) on it and roll it up! It is amazing how a "roll up" verses a sandwich tastes better
3) Quesadillas - you can throw anything in there - cheese, meat, veggies, the sky is the limit
4) Grilled Cheese - use cookie cutters to make it more festive and throw in some shredded carrot - it matches the cheese
** Again - I know that some people say "don't hide the veggies" - I disagree. If you have a child who sees a veggie and turns their nose up at, there isn't anything wrong with sneaking veggies into places they can't see. Trust me, as an adult, I sneak things into our food so we can't taste it too!!
5) Cheese and Crackers - again, use cookie cutters to cut the cheese into cute shapes and get fun crackers.
I do believe in the mantra that says if you just keep putting it on their plate they will taste it eventually so don't give up. Pick one fruit or veggie and use it every day for a month - your child may surprise you. My kids both LOVE apples and grapes, as I mentioned, so I try to keep those on hand all of the time than I try to introduce other fruits/veggies along with those.
The other BIG thing I've learned since planning lunches for kids - is that you HAVE to plan. For myself I can just say "leftovers" but with kids - you must have food on hand that they will eat and if you make something for the adults for dinner that the kids really can't eat - make sure and plan something for them (i.e - something way too spicy or even a true soup - make homemade bread and give them a PB and J sandwich with the bread along with some fruit)
For all of my regular readers (and non-regular readers!) I did a "ton" of posts today on everything from coupons to my Home Management Binder - just wrapping up some projects and getting some older posts finally posted so feel free to check those out as well! . . click on the header and than just scroll down to check them all out!