Back To School for parents means coming up with healthy kids lunch ideas each day. This is a task that isn't easy and I am one of those moms that finds herself out of lunch ideas during week 2! We are excited to introduce you to MOMables.
MOMables is a school lunch meal planning service that helps parents feed their children a variety of lunches they will love. Their one simple plan approach has built in substitutions for vegetarian, gluten free and nut free options when needed. MOMables is all about making life easier for parents but making sure kids eat healthy lunches! We LOVE that. Laura is a mom of 3 kids under 7 years old and the founder of MOMables. We had the chance to find more about MOMables.
Three years ago, my oldest daughter began pre-school. At first, I was very excited to make lunches and had all sorts of ideas of what I thought would pack well for school. Three weeks into lunch packing with many soggy leftovers and uneaten lunches later, I was desperate to find fresh ideas. Soon, she began asking for pre-packaged lunches filled with ingredients she couldn’t have (she is allergic to phosphates and some nitrates). My poor girl begged for those colorful boxes every time we went to the grocery store, because her classmates had crackers and cheese lunches that included a sugary treat as well. Filled with determination to help my daughter “fit-in” among her friends, I found myself making lunches that looked like what her friends were eating, but were made fresh in my kitchen. I soon became known as the “mom who made fun lunches” because the other kids began noticing her whole-wheat pancake sandwiches and cool “swords” for lunch. At birthday parties, other moms began asking me to email recipes and give them tips on how to pack fresh lunches every day. When my email list grew to more than 100 moms, I knew I was onto something.
What can we as parents do to continue to incorporate more fresh foods into all of our diets and cut back on processed foods?
I deconstruct processed foods in my own kitchen all the time by “going back to basics”. My suggestion is to look at convenience foods with unidentifiable ingredients and ask yourself: what exactly is the basis for this recipe? If it’s “cream-of” or “cheesy” begin your recipe from scratch by using milk, butter, cheese. Canned vegetables tend to be high in sodium; for this reason, I prefer to use fresh or frozen vegetables. Fruit tends to be eaten quickly when it’s conveniently served; this is why I wash all of my produce the day I bring them home from the grocery. This way, they are easy to pack in the lunch box, they are cleaned and available for snacks and even dessert. The more available we make fresh fruit and vegetables for our kids, the easier it is to eat them.
MOMables offers a weekly school lunch meal plan with 5 lunch ideas, a prep-ahead sheet and a shopping list to help us busy parents feed our kids good food they will actually eat for only $6 per month!