Thursday, September 22, 2011

school lunches and happy faces

I've asked Denise Molina, founder of The Honey Crew, to share her school lunch ideas with Honey Girl Kitchen fans.  Once the Fall semester began Moms everywhere were fretting about what to pack their children for lunch.   I thought Denise would be perfect on this subject...every morning she packs a lunch for her kids and husband.
My daughter is in PK4 till noon, so I make her lunch at home...however 2 weeks out of the year I will be responsible for classroom snacks for 12 beautiful babies (Carmella's my only, she is my baby).  Look for the snack blog in the next week. 
I know this special contribution from Denise will be a good inspiration to pack healthy and easy lunches for your children, your self and your spouse.  Denise thank you for sharing .  Please enjoy.

school is back in session, and i am constantly on a quest for different, simple, and healthy lunches that will excite my girls' palettes.    our lunch schedule is up on our refrigerator and broken down by main, side, snack, and drink.  there is also a place for my girls to create their own lunch.  they can mix and match the mains, sides, snacks, and drinks....or they can make requests.  i pack a school lunch for my 4 year old twice a week for her 2 extended days.  for my 8 year old, she is allowed to buy lunch once a week (she almost always chooses wednesdays, pizza day), we pick a lunch together from our lunch schedule twice a week, and she mixes and matches the other 2 days.  for this to be successful, i must be organized. i love a well thought out good old fashioned handwritten grocery list.  i love the grocery store, as long as i have my organized list.
school lunch for 9/16/11:
fresh organic baby spinach and organic carrot salad, organic apple slices, raw dried fruit and seed mix, organic hard boiled egg, probiotic smoothie, mini cheddar round

school lunch schedule adapted from kiwi magazine (love that magazine):

if you would like to have the google spreadsheet version, click on this link and request to have it shared.

3 staples:
  • i always boil at least half a dozen eggs at the beginning of every week.  my 8 year old likes them whole.  my 4 year old likes the yolk taken out.  for us, the hard boiled egg is sometimes used as a snack, a side, or a main.

  • another school lunch staple (and dinner too for that matter) is chicken noodle soup.  although i must confess, it's rarely homemade by me.  darlene - i know you are so disappointed!  it's usually homemade by whole foods.  on the occasion that i do make it, the girls always request the whole foods version saying it is "so much better".  they win.
  • lastly - the honey crew granola, of course.  my girls eat it as cereal, eat it for a snack, or eat it for breakfast on the go on those mornings that we just can't get it together in time.  it's always in my purse to provide that high protein, high fiber, energy source whenever we are on the verge of a meltdown or about to embark on some kind of activity.
3 favorite resources:
  • itty bitty foodies - great restaurant reviews and food ideas/activities when kids are in tow.
  • gwenyth paltrow's my father's daughter - i know i know.  she leveraged her fame with getting a cookbook deal.  maybe.  but it has lots of really great, high quality, simple, family friendly recipes.  i love it.  speaking of gwenyth, i also love her blog, goop.
  • whole foods, particularly whole foods park lane - so lame.  i know.  but i am here all the time.  in my post-mom life i want to work here, and i bet my husband would welcome the discount!  my 8 year old and i stroll through the aisles and come up with school lunch ideas together.  it gives her a sense of control and contribution, and i feel i can trust almost all things there without spending too much time reading labels, etc.  win win.  lately, i have been trying lots of different foods from their raw foods section, like raw cacao powder.  a chocolate lovers dream come true with amazing benefits.  try this raw cacao and mint smoothie:  1 cup almond milk, 1/2 banana, 1T raw cacao, 4 fresh mint leaves, touch of salt and a little cold water.  mmmm!
school lunch for 9/1911:
organic grapes, mixed nuts, bean and cheese burrito (reheated in my new favorite toaster thanks to darlene, stays warm until lunchtime), organic greek yogurt with a honey swirl, organic fruit punch for the 4 year old, organic strawberry milk for the 8 year old
thank you, darlene and honey girl kitchen, for the opportunity to share.  maybe you'll invite me back sometime.  :-)


  1. These are really great ideas for lunches or any meal of the day. I loved getting some new ideas. Lynda Bethel

  2. Pikelet has the same Sistema Lunch Cube. it's AWESOME! Great latches for little hands and enough storage for different types of food. Denise and Darlene, thanks for posting.

    PS.... i love the Whole Foods Chicken noodle soup too. It's a staple for Lollo.

  3. I love these ideas, unfortunately I gave up too soon on exposing my kids to a broad range of healthy foods. I am going to have to start incorporating these great ideas slowly so they don't revolt. I am also planning on getting that lunch box with the hot/cold pack that actually heats the lunch as opposed to keeping it warm. I hear you can find them at Sams. That will surely open up many more warm lunch options.