Tuesday, June 26

Summer Lunches

Summer vacation is here and the flow and energy about the house is so lively.  Kid's in and out of the house every so often, although it seems like the door is opening every 5 minutes.  I don't know about the rest of you, but when I was my children's ages my mother never saw me and my friends.  You know (or maybe you don't) but back in the day when neighborhoods were safe and "strangers" were friendly, you could disappear for hours and play so long and hard that you would come home dirty and yet still happy and excited for summer.  Home just long enough to get fed and go back out. 

Not today, today the kids are "hungry" every half hour, or so it seems.  Are they bored? Are the attention spans not the same as the "older days" because society has our kids wanting everything "right now", "quick", "fast".  Are they really hungry or just bored?  This comes to the questions that has been asked to me many times by loyal fans of fitnessmomwinecountry.  "What do you feed your kids"?  "How can I feed my kids healthy food and keep it exciting"?  Well I am no different than the rest of you "mommies" out there.  I often ask myself the exact same questions as I stand in the middle of my kitchen just staring at the fridge and cupboards thinking what, what can I make them today.  Of course as both my children have now rushed into the house pretty much grumpy and aruging because they are "hungry" or just in need of a nap.  That rush of panic hits me, but I have learned that if I am shopping properly I can produce a healthy lunch/snack and whip it up in a matter of minutes and look like I am the Super Mom of the neighborhood.

First tip to successful and healthy kids meals, shopping. Hit the market and stay smart, stay focussed.  Don't get pulled into the frozen food aisles, you know the one's with the bagel bites, or taquitos, or whatever quick micro meals kids can heat and eat.  I am not saying don't pick up the box of popsicles or icecream for the cones.  The kids have to be kids and it is summer for crying out loud, but you know what I mean.

We can't let society feed our children, we need to feed our children.  We are in control, we are the adults here and we are teaching the kids. I remember growing up and eating bologna sandwiches on white sliced sourdough bread with mayo and lettuce.  I can still taste them and go right back to the sandy beach of Lake Tahoe where I grew up like it was yesterday, boy those were the best and even better with the crunch of the sand granuals.  I don't feed the kids bologna, nor do they even like it. However, I do go with the good old standby Peanut Butter and Jelly, that is always a winner.   Lean turkey, albacore tuna, even salami every once in a while.  I have even gone ahead and whipped up lunch burritos of beans of whatever I have in the pantry, let's say pinto, white and kidney.  Wash and rinse well, heat them up grate some cheddar cheese into them to make a glue like formation and wrap with whole wheat wraps.  If I am really ready I will even have leftover brown rice (although the kids like white) and add that to the beans.  Great healthy lunch that holds them over for sometime and gives them the protein they need. 

We have a child who is hypoglycemic so getting the right foods into him is really important to help the blood sugar and yes a meal/snack every 1 1/2 hour is a must.  Anything after that becomes dangerous to his health as we have found out after watching him black out and hit the floor.  You become aware of the signs after a while, and thank goodness he has learned to read his body.  So eating healthy and wholesome meals is a must.  Not the processed and pre-packaged with all the crap and additives.

 Making lunches at home can become easy, but what about packing up and leaving for a day trip?  Well that should not be any more difficult. Packing up and heading to the beach or off for a family hike or picnic can be just as healthy and easy as staying home.  This will again take smart shopping and planning.  You don't want to get caught up in running to the snack shack and buying the corn dog or greasy burger.  Although we all know they can be tasty.  Think fruit, veggies sure you have the chips and the treat but overall keep with the healthy.  Make it fun, cut the sandwiches into shapes or use cookie cutters.  Pack individual lunch bags for each family member and don't tell them what is in them.  This makes it a fun surprise and they have no choice but to eat what you packed because well you are away from home and they need to eat.

Go with leftovers.  That grilled or baked chicken you cooked the night before, what a great next day sandwich.  Even the leftover grilled veggies can be turned into a wrap of some sort.  It is just about being creative and having fun.  Don't get into the trap of thinking of buying the box of Lunchables, ewww really? No, never.  Make your own.  Buy the deli meat, get your own crackers and cheese and create a fun lunchable that you make from home.

So whether you are staying home, heading out on a picnic, family hike or a day at the beach, basically, summer lunches and snacks can be successful and amazing if you put forth the effort.  You are teaching your kids at a young age about good food.  You are  really giving them a great foundation to look back on and you can be the "Cool Mom" that makes fun lunches.

No comments: