I have challenged myself to be more healthy and less wasteful. I am going to journal my efforts to feed my kids healthy, waste free lunches and snacks. I will have some winners and some losers but I'm putting it all here...the good, the bad and even the ugly!
This is my interpretation of fireworks! This is a pb & j pocket sandwich "painted" with Wilton Icing Writer. There is string cheese with fruit leather letters, a red twizzler banner, angel food cake cubes and greek yogurt with strawberries and blueberries.
In case you missed it here is the lunch that I made for Flag Day. It fits today's theme!!
Now click on the 4th of July button below to hop on over and see what Crystal cooked up!
There is nothing original or special about this recipe. I am only posting it because D made it with me and she was very proud. They did come out rather pretty :)
For the cupcake I used a boxed chocolate cake mix and added 1 TBS of dark chocolate cocoa powder. That makes it mine right? LOL I followed the directions on the box and then cooled the cupcakes completely. The frosting is just a basic meringue. I believe it is a Martha Stewart recipe but I saw it here. I followed the directions on that website but if I were going to make it again I'd reduce the amount of vanilla extract. I actually liked what it tasted like before I added the extract and it had that distinct alcohol/extract taste. I would also reduce the recipe. I generously frosted 30 cupcakes and I still had about 2 cups of frosting left over. It was a fun rainy day activity anyway! I used my Wilton 1M tip to frost the cupcake using this technique.
A couple of weeks ago Kristie at Beneficial Bento posted about a salad bar she had set up for her family. I love the idea but my kids are not big salad eaters. They like their veggie plate. However, we eat a TON of oatmeal. I have tried making the DIY instant oatmeal packets that I saw on A Little Yumminess. I used her recipe as a jumping off point when making my own packets. We go through so many of them though it was becoming wasteful. I decided to make an Oatmeal Station based off of Kristie's salad bar idea.
I have a large Lock & Lock container (I think I'll invest in the Snapware container Kristie has!) with smaller containers inside. These contain freeze dried fruits.
Then in a Rubbermaid container I have 2 layers of Wilton silicone cups with other mix-ins.
The mix-ins will change from time to time depending on what I have on hand. I usually store my seeds/nuts in the freezer but these are such small amounts that I know we will go through quickly so I don't mind leaving them out. I also keep a container of freshly ground flax seeds in my fridge that we mix in pretty much every bowl. I also have chocolate and original Whey Crisps that we sometimes mix in. You can mix them in and let them sit to soften but we like the texture of them when they are crispy so we add them at the last minute.
This is my set up. I have seen lots of recipes online for the oat mixture. What I did was 5 cups of oats (I have used quick oats and old fashioned oats, my kids like a mix of the two best) and 1 1/2 nonfat dry milk powder. I choose not to sweeten the entire mixture. Depending on the mix-ins it can get pretty sweet before you are done. So we sweeten on a bowl by bowl basis. To make a bowl of oatmeal we use 1/3 cup oatmeal mixture, 1/3 cup hot water and a couple of scoops of mixins. For the water I just eyeball it. If it is too watery we just had a little more chia seeds or ground flax seeds and it thickens up nicely.
Today is the first day of Summer! To celebrate the Bento Bloggers & Friends are having a summer themed blog hop! I made flip flop sandwiches for D and A. They are just pb & j then I put some Wilton Cookie Icing on top and used a Twizzler to make the straps.
Next I made some s/f vanilla pudding and topped it with toasted coconut to look like beach sand. Then I added a palm tree pick.
And the last compartment contains beach balls, errr I mean grapes!
Click on the summer picture below to hop on over to Keitha's Chaos and see what she made for lunch!
Day 248 - This is it. The last lunch of the school year. Goodbye First Gade, Hello Second! D has from the top left yellow pepper strips with cherry tomatoes, yogurt topped with strawberries and a salami sandwich with american cheese letters.
Day 247 - Last full day of school today! There are lots of activites planned for today. The first grade field day has been postponed a few times due to rain so they are adding that to today's already planned icecream and bubble party! I am part of the afternoon volunteer squad so it is my hope that they are doing field day in the morning and the icecream party in the afternoon. That way I'll only have to deal my own sugar overloaded kid! LOL Her lunch is just simple left overs. Taco meat mixed with salsa, some shredded cheddar cheese, cherry tomatoes, corn chips and some angel food cake cubes with strawberries and a smidge of whipped cream.
Day 246 - I thought I'd make a Father's Day inspired lunch today. So D has an almond butter and strawberry jam sandwich cut to look like a shirt (umm sort of :/ ) with an american cheese tie. She has a string cheese and an Andros Fruit Bar.
Day 245 - Today is Flag Day so I decided to do something patriotic for lunch. D has another pb & j sandwich because that seems to be all she is getting down this week. Her sandwich is decorated with frosting, icing writer and sprinkles. Then she has a few marshmallows, a twizzler, strawberries/blueberries and yogurt with fruit leather letters.
Day 244 - Very simple today. D has not really gotten her appetite back yet. She has a pb & j princess sandwich, grapes, cucumber slices, string cheese and chick m & ms and fruit snacks. She is already home from school..I'm running quite late today. She ate the sandwich, half the grapes and the fruit snacks.
Day 243 - D didn't eat too much of her lunch yesterday. I'm not surprised, glad I packed the crackers! Today I gave her some mini pancakes with syrup, chicken/apple sausage, yogurt and blueberries/strawberries with mini marshmallow stars.
What a crazy, awful weekend we had! D became sick on Thursday evening. She ran a high temp all day Friday and was unable to keep anything down. Saturday morning she was no better so we took her to the doctor. They gave her a prescription for Zofran (anti-nausea) and gave us strict instructions on when to call back and what improvements to look for. It took 2 doses of Zofran but she finally was able to keep some water down and we were able to avoid a hospital admission. By Sunday you wouldn't have known she was sick at all! She seemed a little "off" this morning but wanted to go to school so I told her if she started to feel yucky to go to the nurse and I'd pick her up. We just hate for her to miss all the end of the year fun at school!
After all that....this is what she requested for lunch!
Day 242 - She has another spinach salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots and ham/salami, yogurt with sour cherries and 2 chocolate covered strawberries. I also packed her some crackers and water and told her not to feel like she had to eat her lunch if she wasn't up to it.
Day 241 - D and I are working on getting back to our routine. Since my surgery 2 weeks ago I have not been able to go to the gym so I have not been getting up as early. I have been making lunch the night before so that I'm not in a mad scramble in the morning trying to find something. I got my stitches out today so I can go back to the gym now!! I want to ease back into my routine (I get up at 4:30am to go to the gym...with out the gym I don't HAVE to get up till 7:30am). I got up at 6 this morning, so D and I were ready in plenty of time for her to help me with her lunch. She decided on a salad. She has baby spinach, cucumbers, red/yellow grape tomatoes, carrot stars, ham/turkey/salami rolled up and sliced and a small bottle of greek dressing, she also has "garlic bread" stars (aka grilled pizza dough) and a chocolate covered strawberry and banana. All packed into one of her new Easy Lunch Boxes!
Day 240 - Yesterday I was headed outside to get my mail and when I opened the door there was a large box on my steps. The mailman had brought my mail to the door. That was a nice surprise! Even nicer was when I opened up the box and found 2 sets of Easy Lunch Boxes! Courtesy of Kelly Lester, the Singing CEO of Easy Lunch Boxes!! Again Kelly, thank you so much for your generosity! I was so excited to pack my first ELB!! D was pretty excited about it too! All my local peeps know that we have been having the worst, dreary, rainy week! To kill some time D and I made chocolate covered bananas and strawberries. So top left is a chocolate covered strawberry rolled in crushed oreos and a chocolate covered banana rolled in coconut, in the other small section is kiwi and blueberries, she has a turkey sandwich with cheese decorations, red/yellow grape tomatoes and a dill pickle.
I'm not really sure why yesterday's post never posted...it was hiding in my drafts folder! Weird! So bonus you get 2 posts today!!
Day 239 - D helped me pack her lunch for today. From the top left she has s/f pistachio pudding, watermelon balls, cheddar cheese and wheat thin crackers, turkey with red grape tomates and ham with yellow grape tomatoes and some green grapes.
Day 237 - Field Trip Day!! Which means, disposable lunch day :( I'll be honest with you. This one was much prettier in my head than it is in the container. I know D will love it so that's what matters...right? She has a Dolphin ham/cheese sandwich, red/yellow grape tomatoes, strawberry applesauce, 2 s'mores and some dried cranberries and walnuts. D's class is going to the ocean to collect shells and check out the tide pools. They have been learning about the ocean and different sea creatures so this will help reinforce the lessons.
M's class is also going on a field trip today. She goes to a vocational school and is a Criminal Justice Major. They will be hiking in one of the state parks casting foot prints, collecting evidence and practicing their "tracking" skills. Sounds like a fun day all around!