Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fancy's Spooktacular 1st of October Lunch

It's October! Fancy's first lunch of the month is all dressed up for Halloween!

From top left, clockwise: Turkey on whole wheat bread with an American ghost cheese that has turkey pepperoni eyes and mouth; crackers (a few each of white cheddar crackers and yellow cheddar crackers); string cheese ghosts with food coloring eyes, grapes, and pumpkin fluff dip with strawberry shapes.

One serving of pumpkin fluff dip: stir together one ounce of cream cheese, one tablespoon of marshmallow cream (fluff), and one tablespoon of pumpkin puree. Serve with fruit to dip.

To make the ghosts, I cut a mozzarella stick in half. Then, I fringe cut the bottom half and drew on eyes and mouths with a food coloring pen. The picks in the grapes I found at Michael's (craft store).

Fancy is taking pumpkin juice to drink. Okay, not really pumpkin juice, but I'm blending a smoothie with pumpkin, yogurt, honey, orange juice, and banana.

Off topic: Do your kids know what they want to be for Halloween yet? Fancy wants to be a ghost. I have the costume all planned out and I think it's going to be good. Bayberry (who isn't going to school tomorrow) is going to be a cat. Gotta love the classics.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fancy's Lunch for Wednesday

Bayberry will be home late this evening (with her dirty lunchbox), so I'm not sure I'll get her lunch posted today. But here's Fancy's lunch for Wednesday. Thursday, the girls have a dentist appointment, after which we'll be stopping at a restaurant for lunch, so there will be no Thursday lunch posting.

I've got to remember to put some interesting foods in my cart when I go shopping on Thursday. I'm in the mood to craft some creative lunches.

Anyway, here's Wednesday's lunch for Fancy:

She has a meatloaf sandwich; pasta salad; peas; and half of an apple drizzled with honey (both in lieu of a sweet AND to keep it fresh!)

PS: Have you noticed that she never takes a whole sandwich? Always 3/4 of one? My one complaint about this box is that it doesn't fit a sandwich in it. She gets to immediately eat the 1/4 that's left when I make sandwich lunches.

Kids' Lunches for Tuesday

Bayberry has a tuna salad sandwich; pasta salad; a piece of molten cake; and peach sauce (as in, like apple sauce, only with peaches)

Fancy has a tuna salad sandwich; pasta salad; a piece of molten cake; and (not pictured) an apple.

They're both taking flavored water to drink today.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Brown Lunches for Monday

I regret that the kids' lunches are so monochrome tomorrow, but they are tasty, so that makes up for the very brown-ness of them for tomorrow.

They're both taking the same things, just packed differently.

Steak sandwiches: focaccia rolls with steak, mayonnaise, and cheese; blueberry yogurt with blueberries and granola; Double Apple Cookies. Juice to drink.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lunch for Friday

TGIF! Phew! I hope you all had a great week and enjoy your weekend! Here are the last lunches of the week...

For Bayberry: Two lasagna rolls stuffed with meat sauce & mozzarella; two peach halves; a small whole wheat brownie with walnuts. Pineapple Orange Juice to dink.

Fancy has a cheese pizza made on half of a whole wheat English muffin; two peach halves; a hard-boiled egg; a small whole wheat brownie with walnuts. She's also taking Pineapple-Orange Juice.

Weight Watchers Lunch

I ate lunch with Fancy today. It's a weekly date we keep. Here's what I brought:

In the large compartment, I layered 1/2 cup fat-free refried black beans, 1/4 cup salsa, 1/4 cup chopped onions; 1/2 cup corn; and 1/3 cup 2% cheese. I toasted a Bagel Thin and sliced it into fourths for dipping. I cut up 14 baby carrots and 1 cup purple grapes.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lunch for the Kids

Here's lunch for Fancy & Bayberry on Thursday. I'm going to be lunching with Fancy, so whatever I make for myself has to be portable. I'll post that lunch tomorrow.

Both of them have the same lunch: Zucchini Stromboli; Oat Applesauce Muffins (I added cinnamon to the batter); grapes & oranges. They're both taking juice to drink.

Weight Watchers Lunch

So I went to my meeting this week and I lost 5.6 pounds! Way to go, me! Here's my lunch today:

This is simple and filling. It's a bagel thin, topped with 1/2 cup fat-free refried black beans, 1/4 cup salsa, 1/4 cup chopped onion, and 1/3 cup Weight Watchers Mexican cheese blend. I topped it off with 2 Tbsp low-fat sour cream. Yum!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kids' Lunches for Wednesday

Already halfway through the school week! I can't believe how fast time passes when you're packing lunches. One of these days, I'm going to do something super creative in the kids' lunches. It's just a matter of finding the time. ;) Anyone have some they can spare? Time, that is. I'm fresh out.

Bayberry is taking a nitrate/nitrite-free hot dog on whole wheat bun; a handful of muscadine grapes; some homemade macaroni and cheese; some peas & carrots (frozen...just pop them in the lunchbox and they're thawed perfectly for lunchtime munching); and a couple homemade oatmeal cookies with butterscotch chips (effectively using up the last of my butterscotch chips, which I mistakenly purchased, somehow thinking they were caramel. Work, brain, work!). She's taking juice to drink.

Fancy didn't want mac & cheese. She asked for another peanut butter sandwich. This time, we opted for Nutella as the complement to the peanut butter. The sandwich is on 12 grain bread. Some peas & carrots and a couple cookies round out this classic lunch. She's taking milk to drink.

Let's Do Lunch: Weight Watchers Style

Okay, folks. Here it is. My lunch. It's not exciting. But it's filling, healthy, and fits in my daily POINTS allowance. Tomorrow's lunch plan is a little more exciting, so stay tuned. =)

1 Tbsp full-fat peanut butter and 1 Tbsp Cascadian Farms grape jelly on 2 slices of Arnold whole grains 12 Grain bread; 5 dried dates (1/4 cup); a serving of 0 Points Garden Vegetable Soup.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Packed Lunches for Tuesday

Here are the kids' and Army Man's lunches for Tuesday. Tomorrow, I'll share my lunch.

For Army Man:

Cream cheese & turkey pepperoni on a flour tortilla; mini sweet potato muffins, green & purple grapes; Crystal Light.

For Bayberry:

Cream cheese & turkey pepperoni on a flour tortilla; green grapes; candy buttons ("I thought you said they taste like paper." "Oh, I like them now."); mini sweet potato muffins on top of a small handful of butterscotch chips. Orange Juice. A sweet lunch.

For Fancy:

Peanut butter & honey on a bagel thin; two baby carrots; candy buttons; mini sweet potato muffin with a few butterscotch chips; green and purple grapes; orange juice.

After School Snacks

As I've mentioned before, my kids are involved in after-school activities, ranging from running, soccer, youth group, and Spanish club (soon to begin), plus my oldest goes to a couple other clubs. They need something to eat between school and activity time, so I pack them little snack kits some of those days.

Even if your kids (or you, or significant other) just come straight home, it's handy to have a snack ready to go.

Here's Bayberry's snack for today.

In a Tupperware sandwich holder, I made a frame out of grapes and a peanut butter tortilla. Strawberry eyes, a grape nose, and orange mouth. Simple, small, and cute.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lunches for Monday

Hello Readers!

I hope you enjoyed your weekend. Both of my children had parties to attend this weekend. One came back with a swollen nose (ball, meet face. face, ball.) and the other with a swollen attitude (why do sleepovers always, always result in bad attitudes? Oh, yeah -- it's the lack of sleep!). And here we are, back at Sunday, getting ready for a new week ahead.

Before I start with the packed lunches, I have a question for you. I've begun Weight Watchers. Is anyone interested in seeing my lunches daily? They aren't packed, but I'd be happy to share them if anyone needs "diet" inspiration. Let me know: Should I post my lunches, or shouldn't I?

The Army Man is taking a not pictured meal tomorrow: whole wheat pasta tossed with olive oil and black pepper, with sauteed spring vegetables and turkey kielbasa, topped with Parmesan cheese; a few strawberries, and a mini muffin.

Bayberry's lunch:

A leaf of lettuce holds a baked potato. On top of the potato is a serving of meat sauce (like you use for a pasta dish) and some shredded mozzarella cheese. She has two mini sweet potato muffins (made from a mix) and a few strawberries and grapes. She's taking water to drink.

Fancy's Lunch:

Nothing fancy about it: peanut butter & banana with a drizzle of honey on a small flour tortilla; two mini muffins, grapes, and halved strawberries. She's taking milk to drink.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Last Lunch of the School Week

I've been so busy that I have actually been spacing out appointments and skipping practices. I missed the girls' dentist exams today and had to reschedule them. We skipped soccer practice yesterday because everything was becoming too much. Knowing when to let go is a valuable parenting tool I wish I'd learned a decade ago. I'm thankful I have it now. We all needed that breather last night. My husband comes home tomorrow. Phew! We've almost made it! I can't believe I'm the same woman who handled everything for 8, 12, and 15 months while her husband was in a foreign land. It's amazing how much I've come to expect his role in this family (that statement surely must sound odd to a nonmilitary family). Once so used to doing it all myself, now I welcome the division of responsibility and miss it sorely when it's gone. :)

Anyway, lunch. I can't believe I'm letting myself do this, but Fancy talked me into making her a Breakfast for Lunch like her classmates had. Oh, well. At least I know what's in it.

She has cold cereal (milk to pour over also serves as her drink), orange segments, grapes, and strawberry cream top yogurt.

Bayberry's lunch is more traditional. For those of you new to the blog, Bayberry has access to a microwave at school, which broadens our lunch-packing horizons.

A hot dog on a whole wheat bun (ketchup in the little container), a tomato, whole wheat pasta with cheese & turkey pepperoni; orange segments and grapes, and pomegranate yogurt. Apple cider to drink.

Lunches for Thursday

Nothing fancy today. This week is whizzing by and I'll be thankful for the weekend breather. TGTF (thank goodness tomorrow's Friday!).

For Bayberry, peanut butter & grape jelly on whole wheat bread; green grapes; cream top strawberry yogurt. Apple cider to drink (I love Autumn!).

For Fancy: Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly on whole wheat bread cut into bite-size pieces for fun; green and purple grapes (Bayberry doesn't like the purple ones); baby carrots (Bayberry can't have them); and a sweet treat: candy buttons (something else Bayberry doesn't like. "I taste the paper," she says). Milk to drink.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lunch for Wednesday

With a husband in the field (Army camping, for you civilians), kids in cross country, soccer, youth group, cup stacking, drama, doctors appointments, and more, it's a wonder I can catch my breath. Now more than ever, though, my girls need nutrient-dense lunches.

I went back to school to eat with Fancy today. We're going to try and make it a weekly thing. I wanted to take pictures of the school lunches but felt awkward (especially since I didn't buy one). I saw corn dogs, syrup, potato chips, flavored milk, sweetened cereal, and juice on the kids' plates. Those kids were surely on a sugar high for about 30 minutes (recess time), then must have crashed once they went back to class. Not a great way to spend an afternoon of learning. I'm thankful that I'm able to pack lunch for my kids.

Here's tomorrow's lunch:

Bayberry has Harvest Chicken Salad on tortillas, lettuce, and tomato; pluots (hybrid of plum and apricot); and sliced Asian pears. She's taking water to drink.

Fancy has Harvest Chicken salad on tortillas; pluots; sliced Asian pears; and sweet potato muffins with butterscotch chips (I wish I had a recipe for you but I just used the recipe on the back of the Bruce's sweet potato pancake mix and added a mashed banana and some butterscotch chips). She's taking water to drink.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Lunches for Tuesday

I'm going to eat lunch with Fancy tomorrow (we're trying to maintain a weekly lunch date this year), so I packed myself a lunch, too, that looks a lot like the girls' lunches. I toyed with the idea of buying a school lunch, and blogging about it, but I can spend my $3.00 in better ways, like buying wholesome ingredients for my children's lunches. Here they are...

They have identical lunches today in different proportions. Main entree is cheese tortellini tossed with olive oil and basil, topped with shredded mozzarella cheese. Fancy will eat hers chilled and Bayberry has the option of heating hers. Steamed sugar snap peas. Pineapple and papaya. Fudge brownie with a few butterscotch chips on top round out the meal. They're both taking juice to drink.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tummy Pleasing Autumn Menu

I just noticed my front yard tree's leaves changing color, and the leaves on my wild rose bushes are changing, too. There's a slight crispness to the morning air: Autumn is coming. Last week, I made beef stew and bought ten pounds of apples. The girls' lunches for Monday reflect my mood's shift from summer to autumn.

The same lunch with one difference. They both have sweet potato rolls, rotisserie lemon-pepper chicken (I have a George Foreman rotisserie that's wonderful! But deli rotisserie chicken is great, too, and usually a good grocery bargain.)with dried cranberries, slow cooker cinnamon apples, bacon-ranch bites, and apple cake with brown sugar glaze. Bayberry also has lettuce and tomato.

Bacon Ranch Bites:

Finely minced 2 carrots and 1 cup steamed broccoli and 1/4 cup red onion. Stir in 3 oz softened cream cheese and 8 oz ranch dip. Add 4 slices cooked, crumbled bacon. Spread on 8" round flour tortillas. Roll tightly. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Slice into pinwheels. (Mine got flattened a bit).

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Apples:

Peel, core, and slice 12 tart apples into 8 slices each. Place in slow cooker. Drizzle with the juice of one lemon.

Combine 1 cup brown sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, and 1/4 cup flour. Sprinkle over top, stirring to coat all the apples.

Drizzle 3 Tbsp melted butter over top. Cover and cook on low about 4 hours, until apples are soft but not mushy.

These are great warm or chilled.

The apple cake recipe -- I'll share it later in the week and post it here.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Lunch

I'm thankful for weekends! Not that they mean sleeping in and slacking off around here. Oh, no. They mean soccer games and cross country practice, housework, dinner guests, and weekly planning. I'm thankful for weekends because they give me a chance to catch up on things. Here are Friday's lunches for the kids. Have a great weekend, all, and I'll see you again Sunday evening.

Bayberry has a ham, cheese, and lettuce tortilla; cut-up chocolate chip cookies; sliced pluots; lettuce, tomato, and cheese; and chicken nuggets. She's taking juice.

Fancy has sliced pluots; cut-up chocolate chip cookie; baby carrots; chicken nuggets; lettuce and cheese. She's taking juice as well, plus a little sauce container full of ketchup for her nuggets.

I just got these silicone baking cups. Aren't they adorable? They're perfect bento dividers, and the best part is that they officially eliminate the last bit of disposable waste from my lunches. They're made by Wilton and I found them at

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

3 Lunches for Thursday

To make these cute sandwiches, cut out bread with cookie cutters. Use a tiny cutter to cut a "window" in the top slice of bread. Spread peanut butter on the bottom bread, top with the window bread, then spoon jam into your window.

Pluots are a cross between plums and apricots and are delicious.

Here are the lunches:

Green grapes under four mini window peanut butter & jelly sandwiches; pluots, and dessert bites (brownie, teddy bear grahams, and rice krispies treats).

Green grapes under two mini window PB&Js; pluots; lettuce, half a hard-boiled egg (it's cut jagged like it was hatched), a cheese-stuffed tomato, ham roll-ups, and dessert bites.

Green grapes under one mini PB&J window; lettuce, egg, and cheese with ham roll-ups; pluots.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lunch for Wednesday

Three lunch pictures today. Remember me telling you that Army Man wanted fancy lunches, too? Well, he's got one. It's hardly a lunch I'd assume belonged to an Army Man, but there you have it.

Army Man has ham & cheddar quesadillas with cheddar & turkey pepperoni flowers on top; an egg shaped like a teddy bear's face (and colored with food coloring pens) on a bed of shaved uncured black forest ham; cut-out brownie bits and cookies.

Bayberry has the same quesadilla; cucumbers and tomatoes; cookies and brownie bits, and fruit (Crenshaw and cantaloupe and strawberries, all cut into stars). She's taking apple cider to drink.

Fancy has the same lunch as Bayberry aside from no tomatoes. She's taking drinkable yogurt (see if your stores carry Lucky Layla Farms drinkable yogurt. It's real stuff, rather than those colorful kid-marketed yogurt drinks).

***There was lots of "waste" in making today's lunch, which is why I had a couple of bowls beside me while cutting things. I just handed each kid a bowl of scraps and called it snack time. They devoured everything. Another option for fruit "waste" is to add it to tomorrow's breakfast smoothie.

Snack Bento for Bayberry

Today marks the start of the cross country season at Bayberry's school, so I'm making her an extra mini-meal each day that she can eat quickly between school and practice. Here's today's snack bento:

Hard-boiled egg in bunny shape (colored with food color markers) resting on a piece of uncured black forest ham. Strawberries and Crenshaw melon cutouts and Brownie Bits round out the snack.

This is in the new snack box I chose. I chose it for its price ($3.99!) and its features (small, easy to use, no BPA, no lead, nothing bad). It's a Sistema sandwich box. Perfect snack size for Bayberry.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Lunch for the Kids

Happy Labor Day! Tomorrow is the traditional back to school day for much of the northeastern United States. Is it your first day back? We've been in school for a month already. We've gotten progress reports and started extra-curricular activities. We're comfortable with schedules and teachers, and are settling in for the second half of the first term.

Here's the girls' lunches for Tuesday:

We have tortillas with peanut butter and Nutella, sliced into manageable bits; cookies; cantaloupe and Crenshaw melons, tomato slices for Bayberry and cucumbers for Fancy, and bananas, pineapple, and walnuts drizzled with honey. Fancy's taking drinkable yogurt. Bayberry's taking orange juice.

To make the sandwich, I spread peanut butter on one tortilla. Then, I top it with a second tortilla, and spread that one with Nutella. I roll them up like jelly rolls and slice with a serrated knife. Using two stacked tortillas keeps the ingredients separated and makes a better presentation.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hot Diggity

Tomorrow's Friday, and my girls are bringing hot dogs in their lunches. I found some no nitrate/nitrite, all beef, natural, REAL meat hot dogs to send them to school with (way better than the weird greenish-grey "hot dogs" they could get at the cafeteria.

Bayberry has a microwave at school, so she'll be using that to warm hers. Fancy doesn't, so I'm packing hers in hot water in her Thermos and she can assemble it at lunchtime.

Both have the same lunch, just different amounts. Hot dogs on wheat buns, cheese bits, cookies with frosting, cucumbers, and muscadine grapes. Orange juice to drink.

Enjoy your three-day weekend. I'll see you Monday for another lunch!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

DIY Taco Lunch

As I was saying...the girls want cafeteria food. And I can't let them do that. So I improvise! Thursday: Tacos! (Oh, and Picky Eater's new nickname is Fancy, because she eats whatever tickles her fancy.)

Fancy has taco meat in her Thermos, green grapes, a mini cupcake, blue corn taco shells, shredded cheddar, lettuce, and sour cream. Juice to drink.

Bayberry is taking the same thing, except she also has tomatoes, green onions, and yogurt star cookies. She's also taking juice.