How to make homemade lunchbox chicken nuggets

I first noticed Noah’s affinity for chicken nuggets on our summer road trip. We ate out more on that vacation that we have all year and he never failed to peruse the menu for this rarity in our family diet.

(Side note, why did no one warn me about the risks of taking a new reader to a restaurant? Suddenly, they are acutely aware of menu options. Milkshakes! Sundaes! Side of fries! And where did this sense of entitlement come from? It must be an eight-year-old thing. But I digress.)

I have no clue where his affections formed for this item (they don’t fit into our whole foods diet) , but Noah maintained a steady request for chicken nuggets at any diner, cafe or restaurant that listed them on the menu. I, true to form, stood my ground and played the “while we’re on the coast we’re going to enjoy the good seafood” card, and he had to be content with fish and chips. Oh gee, the hardship of enduring fresh-caught halibut and haddock. Actually, the boys both love fish, and, nugget notions aside, they were easy to please most evenings.

Homemade lunchbox chicken nuggets n #schoollunch

[Read more…]

Bite this Book: Weelicious Lunches (giveaway)

Well, we’ve made it through back to school week for our busy family. Littlest member Clara donned an oversized painting smock and Noah’s size 12 sneakers and was prepared to march out the door with her big brothers on the first day. Thankfully, I still have a few years before I have to think about that milestone.

School lunches are now part of the weekday morning routine, and like most of you, I need all the inspiration I can get in that department. Fortunately, my friend Catherine of Weelicious fame is about to release her second cookbook, Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunch Box with More Than 160 Happier Meals!

I think I audibly sighed when I opened the Weelicious Lunches cookbook for the first time. Catherine really understands what appeals to kids and offers over 160 recipes for fresh and creative healthy lunch ideas. Her tips on reinventing leftovers, strategies for picky eaters, and principals for a balanced lunch are all incredibly useful – both for school lunch and around the home.

Read on for an interview with Catherine and a chance to win a copy of Weelicious Lunches!

[Read more…]

How to make homemade chewy fruit snacks

Yesterday my son walked through the doors of his elementary school for the first time. The milestone was bittersweet, of course. He had been going to daycare since he was three months old, but this was different. This was real.

Now that we have a baby in the house, it’s been startling to look at my firstborn. To see how his baby fat is melting away. To see how big his feet are getting as we buy yet another pair of shoes, the ones that take him into that big, unfamiliar school full of strangers.

My son inherited many of my traits, including my sensitivity. Kindergarten was a fraught-filled time for me, and while my son has more experience navigating the social world of children than I had, I want to do what I can to remind him that no matter what is going on during the day, he is loved.

One of the ways I express love is through food, and I thought his entry into elementary school would be the perfect time to expand my homemade snack repertoire. I’m trying to keep his packed lunches as healthy as possible, but we all deserve a treat now and then. These homemade fruit snacks fit both orders.

[Read more…]

A free Back-to-School lunch e-book

Since we’ve been back from our road trip, I’ve cast off the lazy days of summer mindset and am hitting the ground running every morning. I’ve been unprepared for the start of school before and don’t care to go down that painfully bumpy road again.

Our  lists of school supplies have been crossed off and the new items zipped into new backpacks. We’ve spent a few afternoons cooking and tucked away some quick dinners in the freezer.  We have a menu plan and the laundry pile is even down to zero. I know.

All that is left to do is to get organized for back-to-school lunches. Fortunately, I’ve got back up for that.

[Read more…]

Honey Wheat Sandwich Bread: Tackling the lunchbox

Written by Shaina of Food for My Family.

I can still hear the tin of my Voltron lunchbox echo as I swung it up onto the long, laminated tables and plopped down on the long blue bench. Carefully I would pull out the packaged contents of my lunch: peanut butter and honey or ham and Swiss on wheat. A random mix of fruit and vegetables accompanied them, but each day my mom would press fillings between two soft pieces of bread, tuck them into a red Tupperware container with a white lid and slide it into my lunch box.

My children don’t often have sandwiches tucked into their lunchbox. This is not because they don’t fancy two slices of bread filled with a variety of meat and cheeses, spread, lettuce, and a pickle spear side. It is more due to the fact that I have not been good at baking sandwich breads that fit my sandwich bread needs: soft, evenly shaped for slicing, not too dense, nor too sweet.

Instead, I buy them infrequently when I find myself near a suitable bakery, and in between I stuff their sacks with alternative items: Frittatas, soups, fried rice, pasta salads, tortilla wraps, and baked oatmeal.
[Read more…]