Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What’s in The Lunch Box Today?



Now that school is back in full swing is time to unleash your inner chef on, and start planning healthy school lunches that are balanced, healthy, and strong 4 life.

Yesterday, my youngest came home from school saying how much he enjoyed bringing his own lunch to school. "Mom, the lines at the cafeteria are so long. I loved not having to get in line and eat what you make me." 

When I asked him what did the school served for lunch that day he answered: "Oh you know, the usual. That weird piece of meat that they say it's chicken. It's disgusting." 

I swear, I had to contained myself and try not to laugh. This was the same "meat" he used to loved to eat when he was younger.

It's funny how schools always try to blame parents for how bad our children eating habits are, when the reality is that they are the ones to blame.

I would serve healthy meals at home and my kids would not touch them because they were used to eat pizza, hot dogs, and chicken sandwiches at school.

When I realized this was the reason why my children preferred junk food over a home-cooked meal, I knew something had to change. Unless I regained control of what they eat for lunch, we were going down a path of childhood obesity, and unhealthy eating habits.

I am not going to lie, the transition was difficult for everyone, including myself. My mornings became more hectic, as I now had to make two breakfasts and two school lunches, all within 45 minutes. But, as we took this commitment more serious we realized it was not as bad as we thought. You would be amazed how many things I can cook in 20 minutes ;)

GRILLED CHICKEN SALAD A LA BLUEBIRD PATCH

Ingredients
  • Chicken breast
  • Spring salad mix
  • Yellow peppers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Toasted (chopped) pecans
  • Seedless grapes
  • Feta cheese
  • Wish-BoneSalad Spritzers Balsamic Breeze


Season chicken with salt and pepper and grill it over medium heat. You can always use the skillet and cook it with extra virgin olive oil.  Mix together the spring mix, diced yellow peppers, grape tomatoes and seedless grapes. Spray salad with the spritzer and top it with the grilled chicken and feta cheese.

This is a kid friendly salad. I personally loved adding kalamata olives, cucumbers and red onions but since it's for the kids I try to keep the flavors simple and clean if I want them to eat it. Research has found that parents’ food preferences are linked to their children's food preferences. Familiarity with foods is key, as a child may need up to be exposed to new foods more than 10 times before they try it.
 
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