Monday, March 2, 2009

protein and packing lunches

So the daily task of packing lunch for school/daycare. I always try to include a protein, fat and carb at every meal/snack. Some days I do better than others. (The protein might be left-overs, turkey sandwich, yogurt, rolled up ham and miracle-whip, hummus... Carbs can be fruits/grape tomatoes, apple-sauce, Tings, tortilla chips, crackers...  Fat would be butter, dips and dressings (I don't recommend fat-free), miracle whip, oatmeal cookie...
After a crazy weekend, I realized we had no left-overs and no lunch meats– our primary sources of packable protein. 
So, I made eggs for breakfast (medium boiled with her special lady-bug egg cup.) M still only eats the whites, but I figured she's get a good start to the day along with the cereal and banana on offer.
For lunch I packed her thermos with some corn (one of her favorites), apple-sauce, grape tomatoes and an oatmeal cookie. I try to include the carb/protein/fat, but I don't worry about it too much if I don't get it all offered at every meal. (And though I'm used to basically narrating everything I do and chatting with M, I consciously stopped myself from sharing my thinking. I did not say, "We'll have some eggs this morning so you can have some protein!" She doesn't need to know that yet, and why give her the opening to object?  Her job is to eat from what I put in front of her. Its my job to be thoughtful about what I present.)
 Its reassuring for parents of picky or "under" eaters to know that you can think of the food pyramid over a period of days. If you watch kids, most will get what they need that way. Maybe more chicken one night, more fruit the next day. If you try to get most young kids to eat the pyramid every day, or god forbid every meal as I've seen advise, you are setting yourself up for food struggles and misery.  Anyone have any great meal packing tips to share?

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