Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Here are our Halloween costumes for this year:

Fancy was a ghost.

Bayberry was a black cat.

And Army Man and I were an old married couple.

We had lots of fun handing out candy last night to all the trick or treaters. Tonight, it's off to a haunted farm for more Halloween fun.

What did you do for Halloween?

Here are tomorrow's lunches. You'll note that I will be using up some candy in this week's lunches. Anything to be rid of it around the house.

Both girls have peanut butter, Nutella, and banana wraps. Bayberry has an organic red pear, while Fancy has red grapes. Bayberry has some Cheetos from Halloween. Fancy has a granola bar from Halloween. Both girls chose three small candies to bring. And both are bringing orange juice to drink.

Stay safe. Have fun. Brush your teeth! :) Oh, and check out All Home Cooking. All Year Long. for a great giveaway. You can enter to win a CSN shopping code!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fancy's Lunch

Whew! This morning, we awoke to tornado watches, thunderstorms, and pouring rain. It seems to have calmed down now. How's your weather?

A birthday party kept me from packing lunches last night, so I packed them this morning instead. Here's Fancy's:

That dark stuff actually looks much more appetizing in person. It's four mini meatballs on toothpick skewers, and shredded cheese. In the middle, lettuce and cucumber salad. On the right, she has baked sweet potato sticks. Sliced apples (dipped in fruit fresh) and a zebra cake fill the top portion of her bento box. She took juice to drink.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lunch for Wednesday

An easy way to assemble a school lunch box is by answering some "favorites" questions. Packing favorites can become tedious day after day, but it does make for quick packing.

What's your child's favorite sandwich?

What's your child's favorite fruit?

What's your child's favorite dairy product?

What's your child's favorite protein source?

What's your child's favorite vegetable?

What's your child's favorite savory snack?

What's your child's favorite sweet treat?

Obviously, these questions don't all have to be answered for every lunch. Just pick a few based on what's on hand and pack a quick lunch. Today, my kids brought a Favorites Lunch. Their favorite sandwich is a peanut butter sandwich. They both love string cheese. Hard-boiled eggs are a favorite protein source, and they are both crazy about pomegranate and kiwi.

I tucked in a cinnamon roll with orange icing for Halloween and added some milk to drink. A nutritious, delicious lunch that is certain to come home empty.

Note: I left Bayberry's eggs unpeeled so that they didn't make her whole lunch smell like egg. Fancy needs help peeling eggs, so I went ahead and peeled hers.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday's Lunch

(Scroll down to skip soapbox and get right to the food.)

Yesterday's peanut butter pasta was a big hit with both kids. Bayberry ate it on the way to the emergency room -- she got dizzy, fell, and hit her head on her locker at school, so we went in to get her examined. The CT scan came back clear, and her blood work was perfect, so they sent us home and told us to contact a neurologist. He can't see us until November 2nd. So we wait.

Nutrition is, in my opinion, wonderful medicine. I can't cure whatever is ailing Bayberry, but I can give her the best nutrition I know how, pumping her full of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, good protein, and carbohydrates. That's what I aim to do in my children's lunch boxes: arm them with daily doses of health (with a dash of junkiness thrown in now and then for balance, because all work and no play makes Bento a dull box).

I wonder to myself what people are hoping to achieve when they sent their children to school with a Lunchables for their meals. One of the kids in my daughter's lunchroom takes the same lunch every day, and trades up for healthier items. She takes an Uncrustable, a bag of chips, a bag of cookies, and a Hi-C "juice" box. Never any fruits or vegetables. Never any whole grains. Never any fiber. Never any calcium. Of course, her family could be making up for this deficit at breakfast and dinner. I simply don't know. Odds are, though, that they aren't. Probably, it's cold cereal and milk for breakfast every morning and something fast for dinner, such as Hamburger Helper, or a frozen entree.

Are we too busy? Are we too programmed from commercial television? Are we unaware of the current health climate? I don't know what the problem is, or how to fix it for anyone except my own family. All I know is that my lunches are healthier, cheaper, and almost as simple to prepare.

/end soapbox

Today's Lunch: Peanut butter & banana sandwich on WhiteWheat bread; cucumber rounds; Campari tomato for Bayberry; strawberries & cream; low-fat cheese crackers. Fancy has a spider pick for fun.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Gopher Guts

*First, my apologies for no posts Thursday and Friday. I see I actually lost a couple of followers when I didn't post for several days, and that makes me sad. :*( However, my oldest, Bayberry, got her third HPV vaccine (Gardasil) and immediately went into a full-blown seizure, had loss of feeling in her leg, and has been dizzy and headache-y ever since. Nothing like this has ever happened to her. We have a pediatric neurologist visit this week to see what's going on. I would advise anyone considering this vaccine to read up on it online. That's all I'll say for now.

Onto lunch! Do you remember the song about gopher guts from childhood? There are so many versions, but this is the one I was raised with:

Miles and miles of greasy, grimy gopher guts
Mutilated monkey meat
Chopped up parakeet
Eyeballs, eyeballs, floating in my bloody soup
Me without my spoon

So that's what the kids are taking, in honor of the month of October and Halloween, for lunch this Monday.

Miles and Miles of Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts (Chilled Peanut Butter Pasta Salad)
Mutilated Monkey Meat (Cut-up chocolate chip cookies and Halloween theme mini marshmallows)
Chopped Up Parakeet (Kiwi)
Eyeballs Eyeballs Floating in my bloody soup (pomegranate seeds)

Peanut Butter Pasta:

Cook 1/4 lb of whole wheat spaghetti al dente. Drain and toss with a bit of olive oil.
In a small sauce pan, combine 1 cup beef broth, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 cup green peas, 1/3 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy, your choice)/ Cook and stir until thickened. Toss with pasta. Serve warm or chilled, with sesame seeds on top.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fancy's Lunch for Wednesday

Bayberry and Fancy are taking the same lunch, so I'm just posting one picture. Wednesday, it's a peanut butter explosion. This lunch is definitely NOT safe for schools with nut allergy kids. Thankfully, my school isn't one of those. Peanut butter is practically its own food group in my daughters' minds.

Whipped peanut butter & muscadine grape jelly (locally produced) on whole grain white bread; apples with whipped peanut butter for dipping (sprinkled with Fruit Fresh to keep from browning); homemade peanut butter cookies, cut up. Milk to drink.

For the cookies: combine 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, and 1 egg. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheet. Flatten with fork dipped in sugar. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned. Three ingredients. Simple and delicious. :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

First Lunch of the School Week

Hi! I hope you all had a great weekend. We had a four-day weekend here and enjoyed the time as a family. Tomorrow, it's back to school for the kids and work for Army Man (he's officially done with his school, having graduated with distinguished honors -- top in his class!). And so, it's back to lunch packing for me.

I'm in dire need of I could use a trip to the store but am trying to postpone it until Wednesday. I'm trying to use my car/gas as efficiently as possible, and that means combining trips. I can get by just fine until Wednesday. It'll just take planning and preparation.

Here are the kids' lunches for Tuesday:

They're taking almost identical lunches: Half a wrap each (pepperoni & cream cheese on a spinach tortilla: a favorite); some multigrain tortilla chips (found at The Fresh Market); fruit (a mix of some pineapple, some kiwi, and some mandarin orange segments); and a chocolate-peanut butter-oat no-bake cookie bar. Bayberry has some locally produced Vidalia Onion-Georgia Peach Salsa for her chips. Milk is the beverage of the day.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Thursday Lunch Boxes

So you say that your kids want PB&J everyday? You can still offer them some variety. Thursday, my kids (and husband) are taking PB&J "Sushi" Rolls.

To make the peanut butter & jelly "sushi" rolls: Trim the crusts off of your bread slices. Roll flat with a rolling pin. Spread peanut butter thinly all the way to the edges. Smear a little bit of jelly over the peanut butter. Roll tightly. Slice carefully.

The girls are taking the same lunch Thursday. PB&J "Sushi" Rolls; TLC Country Cheddar crackers; Grapes & Asian Pear; and French Vanilla Yogurt with homemade granola. They're bringing orange juice to drink. Bayberry's yogurt has a lid. Fancy's will be encased in plastic wrap, then lidded, to ensure its safe arrival at the cafeteria table.

These are the last kids' lunches of the school week. We have a four-day weekend. See you Monday with another lunch!

My Giant Weight Watchers Lunch

I was in the mood for something indulgent, but I didn't want to spend serious points on it. That's the great thing about turkey burgers. Seriously, even if you are certain that ground turkey tastes like ____, give Jennie O Lean Turkey Burgers a shot. They're so delicious that you might not even miss the beef. I'm a serious beef eater and I can't tell a difference. They're that good.

I also treated myself in a real way with some chocolate. I haven't had any chocolate candy in three weeks. The wonderful thing about Weight Watchers is that I can choose to have my chocolate candies. I just plan for them. Like today.

What I ate: Jennie O Turkey Burger on a Whitewheat 100 calorie hamburger bun. I added a slice of Weight Watchers brand American cheese, a cup of green leaf lettuce, three strips of lower sodium turkey bacon (cooked crisp), a sliced Campari tomato, 1/4 cup sliced onion, 1 tsp each mustard and light mayonnaise. Also, nine milk chocolate Hershey kisses.

This burger was so huge that it was hard to get my mouth around it. It felt really super indulgent, but I stayed within my points allowance. And, there's nothing like a sweet ending to a delicious meal like this. Nine kisses really did satisfy me.

Keeping track? I lost 1.4 pounds this week, bringing my 3 week Weight Watchers total weight loss to 10.8 pounds!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wednesday Lunches

I love these little baby sweet bell peppers. They're so darn cute, plus they fit in lunch boxes easily, add a splash of color, a bit of crunch, and lots of flavor.

We had turkey bacon leftovers from dinner (breakfast for dinner) so I decided to turn them into BLT sandwiches.

So both kids have a BLT, a string cheese, some animal crackers, and cantaloupe. Bayberry has two mini bell peppers in addition. She likes to bite off the tip and stuff the pepper with the string cheese and eat both together. Sounds yummy to me. They'll take orange juice to drink.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Kids' Lunches for Tuesday

Yummy pumpkin graces our lunchboxes for Tuesday. :)

Pinwheel wraps: hummus on a spinach tortilla; pesto and ham on a whole wheat tortilla. Bayberry has sweet mini bell peppers. Both have strawberries and kiwi; animal crackers, string cheese; and Chocolate Pumpkin Pudding. The puddings will both be secured with lids. Both will take juice to drink.

Weight Watchers Lunch

*Remember, I can't post POINTS values due to copyright issues. However, I'm providing the measurements and exact items so that you can calculate for yourself.

The sandwich: 2 slices of light wheat bread; 1 serving (5 slices 98% fat-free oven roasted turkey breast; 1 slice Weight Watchers American cheese; 2 tsp mustard; 1 cup lettuce; 1/2 cup tomato; 1/4 cup onion

The side: 1/4 cup dried kiwi fruit (OMG You must find this and try it. I found it at The Fresh Market!)

A few slices of crisp-cooked turkey bacon would have made this sandwich awesome.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Monday's Lunch

We're back to colorful basics for lunch on Monday:

For Bayberry: Two whole wheat mini bagels with peanut butter & fluff ("marshmallow cream" for you uninitiated folks); a small salad with lettuce, cucumbers, and French dressing; string cheese, sweet mini peppers; apple pie & grapes. Packed in her Laptop Lunch System. The salad compartment will be lidded to keep the dressing still.

Fancy has PB&F mini whole wheat bagels, grapes, string cheese, carrots, and apple pie. Her lunch is packed in a Hello Kitty bento box I found on

Both girls are taking juice to drink.