We post a lot about what we make and eat in our house. People ask me, well that’s great but what do you feed your kids? Well, the answer is quite simple. They eat what we eat. We expose them to all different types of foods. Our rule is you have to try one bite and if you don’t like it, then it’s o.k. to pass, but you aren’t getting anything else to eat. Unless we are eating something with a fair amount of heat/spice or super unusual, the kids don’t get a separate meal.
Being a stay at home mom, I feed my kids three meals a day. We share a lot about what we eat for dinner, but here’s a little exposure to what we eat for lunch.
***Full Disclosure – we always buy organic meat, dairy, fruit, and vegetables and try to buy everything else organic that we can. It is not necessary to do the same, it’s just our personal philosophy on how we feed our family***
Protein – Pictured below you will see some baked chicken breast seasoned with tajin seasoning. Other options we go with typically include shredded chicken (leftover), hamburger patty (no bun), grilled cheese with sprouted bread and white cheddar, roast (leftover), or a peanut butter sandwich made with natural peanut butter and sprouted bread. I’ve heard it a lot, “but my kids won’t eat the natural stuff, they only like Jif.” Here’s my suggestion, if you don’t give it to them, they can’t eat it. We never gave our kids anything but the organic natural peanut butter and sprouted bread from the start, they don’t know the difference. If you are trying to switch to a natural peanut butter, take it slow. Flavor it with a little bit of honey and slowly wean it off. I guarantee that honey will be better for your little ones than all the sugar and chemicals in Jif.
Fruit – Here we have some organic gala apples. Other options we go with include pears, grapes, raisins, oranges, or anything organic that Aldi has on a particular week. In the summer we go with watermelon, and lots of it!
Vegetables – I try to keep to only fresh vegetables for lunch. On this particular day, the kids asked for salad (spinach), tomatoes, and cucumbers. Mini cucumbers are always a favorite at lunch time, but we also rotate through baby carrots, broccoli and hummus, cauliflower, and anything that Aldi has organic that week.
Carbs – Pictured was a request for blue chips. We buy the organic blue corn tortilla chips from, of course, Aldi. Other carbs we pick for lunch include brown rice (leftover), organic french fries, any organic crackers from Brandless, mini red potatoes (leftover), toasted sprouted bread with butter, or sweet potato chips.
This may look like a lot of work, but it actually only takes me about 5-10 minutes to prepare lunch. Many items come from leftovers during the week. I try to have prepared baked chicken breast in the fridge every week for a quick go-to lunch protein. The fresh fruit slices are usually already sliced as when I am slicing for a meal, I will slice up the entire fruit and put the leftovers in a bowl in the fridge for later. That way I reduce the amount of slicing and dirtying of dishes.
Feeding your family a healthy and affordable lunch can be easy with a little bit of preparation and a plan. Keep it simple and explore a variety of options.
Erica Beine is a former NCAA collegiate All-American with a passion to help people personalize their nutrition down to their genetics. Throughout 13 years of coaching Division I college athletics, she developed a nice for helping individuals fuel their personal bodies for performance. Erica retired from coaching in 2018 to start Beine Wellness Building, LLC to help people, not only athletes, achieve optimal health through nutrition personalization. She published her first cookbook in 2019 called, Let There Be Delicious Food, as a resource for quick and healthy meal solutions.