My husband is a stay-at-home dad to our two boys, but he also watches a cousin who is the same age as our oldest. Since I’m working full time as a teacher (with a 30 minute lunch period!) it’s important for both of us to have lunches ready to go that need very little preparation time… like 5 minutes or less. I love salads, but my husband does not (he hates dressing and without dressing salad is just a big pile of cold raw vegetables) so he gets the dinner leftovers and whatever I prepare for the toddlers.
My lunches this month are incredibly easy:
(pictures will be updated as I go)
1. Honey Mustard Chicken and Bacon Salad
2. Roasted Veggie Salad
3. Spinach Salad
4. Taco Salad
That leaves the toddlers and the husband. Transitioning myself to a cleaner more paleo/primal diet is easy especially since I ate this way before I became a parent and my husband eats what I make. But transitioning my toddler? That takes more effort. Thankfully he’s got a wide diet that includes lots of fruits, veggies, eggs, some dairy and some grains. When it comes to proteins he’s incredibly picky. He’ll eat shredded chicken in a burrito, but not a pan of enchiladas. He’ll eat a cheeseburger, but not a burger meatball. He’ll eat a chicken nugget, but not a chicken tender/popcorn chicken. He’ll try almost everything we make but if he doesn’t like it he won’t eat it. Typically at lunch he would eat leftover dinner if he liked it, pita bread pizzas (homemade), chicken nuggets (store bought), uncrustables (store bought), quesadillas (homemade), and ramen noodles. So here’s my plan:
1. Establish a weekend prep of SAD foods that are easy to reheat and serve, but are 100% homemade
2. Continue to find dinners and veggie sides he enjoys and then find ways to make them quick-prep or freezer friendly for lunches. For example, he loves spicy mung bean salad or butternut noodles with satay sauce. Can I make these ahead of time and make a jar of sauce to be quickly thrown together for lunch or snack?
3. Replace wheat products (buns/tortillas) with gluten-free alternatives such as bunless burgers, meat skewers, corn tortillas, cauliflower pizza crust, almond crust on nuggets, etc. We can’t afford gluten free bread products which are crazy pricey so I’d rather look for ways of just not including the typical bread item.
With the game plan in mind this past weekend I prepped 12 slider cheeseburgers and 10 chicken-rice burritos because he’s an independent kid who likes to feed himself sans fork and therefore needs handhelds:
Next month I’ll have experimented with a wider variety of dinners and hopefully be ready to make some healthy adjustments.