Back to School Lunches … Friend or Foe?

If you have school aged children, the “Back To School” craziness has no doubt taken over your household.  Hair cuts, shopping for new shoes, the perfect “first day” outfit, lunch boxes and backpacks.  I’m good with most of this, I actually enjoy the excitement surrounding the “back to school”.  There is just one thing that I absolutely dread…Lunches. Yes, I despise making lunches, and now I have two lunches to make going into this school year. This is going to be fun.  Not.

My preschooler is easy.  Slap some jelly and Sun Butter onto some bread, load the new minecraft lunchbox up with what ever fruit & snacks we have, fill up his water bottle and call it a day.

For my super picky 1st grader…It has to be a plain everything, nothing too sticky, nothing too crumby, nothing too slimy, just the right temperature lunch.  So generally he gets a jelly-only sandwich, strawberries, a go-gurt and a bag of some kind of cracker.  Not the best I know but I want to make sure the kid eats right?

My strategy last year was to let him buy the dreaded “hot” lunch at school.  I thought this would force him to try new foods in hopes of expanding his palette. That didn’t work because I discovered a month into the school year that by the time he got through the lunch line he only had 10 minutes to eat. He would eat the carrots and come home hungry.  What a bummer for him.  So I started looking into fun ideas for his lunch to help him eat healthier and expand his horizons.  Pinterest is FILLED with unrealistic ideas on what to do for lunches.  I mean, who has time to cut out PB&J stars and hearts and make celery caterpillars?  No one. So this year I’m taking an entirely new approach.  I’m letting him make his own lunch.  If he wants a deconstructed turkey sandwich and cold waffles.  Go for it kid.  The pressure is on you.

I will however demand that he choose one thing from the following categories:



This experiment may blow up in my face, but I’m going to give it the old college try – now lets hope he chooses wisely.

One of my favorite bloggers “The Rebel Mama” posted a brilliant back to school blog today called “School Lunch, WT-actual- F“? I loved this one, and thought it needed to be shared with everyone!  Its dead-on, especially for parents who are new to this whole “back to school” thing like I was last year.  I thought she did a great job sharing a list of foods to get us started in back to school grocery shopping as well – to read it click here!

A LUNCH-IDEA LIST (compliments of the Rebel Mama)

FRUITS – blueberries, raspberries, grapes, strawberries, cantaloupe, kiwi, apples, pears, banana, peaches… go nuts. The produce aisle is your friend.

VEGGIES – cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, baby spinach leaves with olive oil and lemon, pre steamed or raw brocolli, leftover roasted veggies, celery, asparagus, carrots, peppers, sweet potatoes, potato latkes and whatever else floats your boat as you cruise the supermarket.

PROTEIN – chick pea & corn salad, lentils with olive oil salt and lime, sliced organic meats, turkey or ham rolls, premade flavoured tofu, salmon / tuna salad sandwich, egg salad or hard boiled eggs, avocado mash with lemon for dipping.

DAIRY – sliced cheddar or swiss, Babybell cheese, Laughing Cow cheese, drinkable yogurt.

GRAIN – crackers, quinoa, rice with veggies, left over grain salad, sliced baguette, pasta pasta pasta, leftover pizza. All of the carbs.

SNACKS – popcorn, raisins, soy nuts, cereal, granola bars, mini muffins, veggie chips, pickles, olives.

* Pro Tip: Grab yourself a jar of Sun Butter for a PB sandwich that won’t get anyone expelled.

Thanks for the help Rebel Mama!  

Holistic Health By Valerie: Let them be Kids | September 9th

AND If you are in the Detroit area, Valerie Penz, Owner of Holistic Health by Valerie, certified Nutritionist & wellness coach is hosting an event called “Let them be Kids” on Sunday, September 9th beginning at 4pm at Victoria’s Reserve in Goodison, MI.  Guests will enjoy generous samples of 3 childhood favorites served with a holistic twist.  Plenty of cooking and nutrition instruction served up with an extra dose of Valerie style fun.  Reservation is required and space is limited!  Tickets are $44 with beer and wine available for purchase to complete the experience.

Click here for the Event page & registration details

Have a great back to school season and we will see you soon with some of my most favorite fall favorite recipes!!








Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s