Sunday, September 25, 2011

An Apple a Day... Will Help You Get Straight A's!

That's probably a little bit of a stretch, but it's fall and apples are everywhere and what kid doesn't like a sweet, crunchy apple!   Today's little lunch is brought to you by the huge amounts of apples we have available to us in the Pacific Northwest, my favorite are Honeycrisp apples, but my girls love them all.    LiLi helped make these lunches and I swear she was eating all the little apples (cucumbers and cheese) as fast I could cut them, and when I pulled out the chocolate chips, good night! that child acted like she had never had a sweet before!

But we got them packed, and I'm guessing they will be eaten in record time.

This lunch has a Sunbutter and raspberry jam sandwich and a raspberry fruit leather apple slice on top.  Cheddar cheese and cucumbers cut into apple shapes and whole wheat crackers.  A darling little fuji apple and for a sweet "A" is for apple graham cookies, a tiny bit of chocolate chips and 2 pieces of caramel apple taffy.  I've got little cans of apple juice to go along with lunch. 

As always, I used my very favorite EasyLunchBoxes!  I can't gush enough about these lunch boxes...they hold loads of food, keep it separate and everything still looks cute when it's actually time to eat!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bigger Breakfast for Little Tummy's

We've been eating well this morning, the girls had breakfast for breakfast and breakfast for lunch!  The name Breakfast literally means to break the fast, the period of time through the night that you don't eat.  Guess that means you had better make it good!  Fill your body up with healthy, protein  and fiber full food to set the tone for your day.  It's even more important for our kid's to be filled up, it helps their brains and bodies work hard and meet their full potentials.

I love baking breakfast breads, I can make them the day before and slice them up and slather them with cream cheese, butter, jam, nutella or peanut butter.  Since we're entering into fall I made a really yummy pumpkin bread and topped it with cream cheese, grabbed a jar of applesauce and topped it with a little cinnamon...lots of fiber and protein.  (Cinnamon helps to stabilize blood sugar, so no crashes!)
I make quick cook oats, it takes about 5 minutes and I always use milk...I just like the creaminess and extra protein.  And then the girls mix in whatever sounds yummy that morning.  Here I've added a little brown sugar, raisins and pecans.  Now there's a breakfast with staying power!  Add jam, peanut butter, any dried fruit, maple syrup, honey, yogurt, fresh fruit...the options are endless!  For a special treat we have oatmeal with brown sugar and vanilla ice cream, seriously the yummiest thing ever!

Just for fun, oatmeal with ice cream.

This is a quick and easy breakfast, two scrambled eggs, one slice of bacon and some cinnamon swirl toast.  You could make the bread from scratch, but I buy it from a local bakery.

Egg in the Hole, looks sort of fancy, but it's's easy and you can change it up!  I just put a little butter in the pan, cut whatever shape you want out of the center of your bread, lay your bread in the pan, crack an egg in to the hole.  Cook on one side the entire time, or if you'd like the egg more done (my kids don't like runny yolk) just flip and cook a little longer on the other side.   Serve with a little fresh fruit and a slice of bacon.

Yogurt Parfaits take very little time, a little prep and then you've got a fancy little breakfast!  This is my Peach Melba Parfait; I've layered peaches, plain greek yogurt, raspberry jelly and granola.  Both of my girls love creating these, mostly because every time they make one they get to create new flavors! 

Someone wise once said, "Eat like a King at Breakfast, a Prince at Noon and a Pauper at Supper."  I know how difficult adding one more thing into a crazed morning routine can be, but it might also be an amazing quiet time for you and your kids to connect in before the insanity of daily life takes over.  Give yourself an extra 15 minutes in the morning (yes I'm suggesting setting the alarm a little earlier) and see if you don't like what that sacrifice does for the health of your family!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Breakfast For Little Tummies

Not all mornings are created equal; most Mom's don't have thirty minutes every morning to get a full breakfast on the table, and some kids just don't feel hungry first thing in the morning!  Here's the first installment of three that will hopefully help with the morning madness and get something into your little one's stomachs before they hit the ground running.

Today is dedicated to breakfast you can grab and go.   Hopefully, one of these easy, on the road breakfasts' will appeal to your kiddos!

A banana, granola bar and string cheese...the perfect mix of fruit, fiber and protein! 

A hard boiled egg and piece of fruit, gets some good protein and fiber in and it's really a little breakfast for those who just can't stomach (Literally) much food.

A breakfast sandwich (took me less then 3 minutes to make)  toast a whole wheat english muffin, scramble one egg, melt cheese and Viola! Healthy fast food!  Feel free to top with a slice of bacon, ham or turkey to really bulk up the protein!

Toast and Peanut butter, topped with fresh strawberries or bananas.  (change it up by using a waffle instead of toast)  (Change out the peanut butter for other nut butter or our new favorite Biscoff Spread)  Let your kids experiment with all sorts of toppings like, nutella, honey, cream cheese, honey and every fruit you can imagine!

And finally, Aaryn's Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies.  You don't have to add anything to make this a complete meal, but I think some cold milk is a really nice touch!   Recipe Below
We add our mix ins right before they go into the over, but I think it taste better blended all the way...this way allows everyone to custom make their breakfast cookie.
                                 GiGi snuck down just in time to help with production and baking!
  Aaryn's Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

3/4 c. soft butter
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3 tbsp. molasses
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 c. low fat milk
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. bran
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 c. quick cooking oats
1-2 c. raisins, or any combination of mix in's you'd like

    Mix In Suggestions, chopped nuts, chocolate or butterscotch chips, dried fruit (cherries, raisins, cranberries, blueberries, apricots), graham cracker, marshmallow, the options are endless!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Have your cookie sheet prepped, either grease it or use parchment paper. Mix together butter, sugar, eggs, molasses and milk. Add flour, bran, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and mix well. Blend in oats and raisins (or other mix ins). Drop by large tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on rack.  I make large cookies, so I get about 18.  But you could make them much smaller and get up to 4 dozen.  Store in an airtight container for one week (if they last that long!)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Muffin Tin TUESDAY...I know it's revolutionary!

It's Tuesday, not why, why am I posting a Muffin Tin lunch?  I love them! But we're not home on Mondays, which means no Muffin Tin Monday.   I realize that Muffin Tin Tuesday is a little wacky, but hey, so am I.

Lunch was inspired by the left over spaghetti taking up space in the fridge.  Well, that and the girls really love pasta.   It was so easy to fill in the other cups with sides that go great with spaghetti and an Italian theme.    And you have the benefit of really good serving sizes in a traditional size muffin tin cup.

We have a bit of spaghetti, some cheddar and string cheese on picks, sliced mini peppers, a clementine orange, a couple strawberries, some green beans and some garlic toast sticks.  I served it with a glass of cold milk to round it out.  They've been busy eating for about 10 minutes and I haven't heard a sound, I guess that means they're loving it!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Princess and The Pea

Long ago, in a village far, far away lived two little Princesses, and in another village; even farther away lived another little Princess...this lunch is for these three Darling, Perfectly, Perfect Princesses!  This little Princess had a Mom who loved her so much she wanted to give her the most perfect lunch filled with lots of yummy fruits and all the things she loved.  I hope the Royal Chef has gotten it just right!

This lunch has a yummy Unicorn sandwich filled with cream cheese, strawberry jam and sliced strawberries.  A pink, sparkly, tiara apple hand pie, a clementine, a cheese with the star cut out; because every Princess knows to wish upon a star! (You can't really see it, but the star has gold luster dust to make it nice and shiny.)  It also has star shaped kiwi, heart shaped pineapple and strawberry slices.   Heart shaped carrots and cucumbers help a Princess find her hearts true every one knows that the true test of a Princess is if she can feel a pea hidden under her mattress when she sleeps, so I threw in some snap peas for good measure!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ahoy Matey!

I hope the little Pirate Girl I made this lunch for is happy enough that she doesn't make me walk to the plank!  A lunch filled with all sorts of yummy goodies, lots of fiber, whole grains and proteins make it possible for any Pirate to sail the Seven Seas.

I gave some of the Mom's on FaceBook a challenge; give me your childs gender, age, favorite foods, favorite things (Pirates, princesses, frogs, ect...) and I'll custom design a lunch just for them.  A few of you responded and I'd love more.  I'll do my best to stay true to your kiddo's requests, and of course you can always change it up to their exact needs.

This Pirate Princess loves peanut butter sandwiches, and veggies...she also loves yogurt (which I was totally out of), so I filled this lunch with a Pirate PB, his head kerchief is made out of cheddar cheese and his eyes and mouth are cut out of cucumber skin and can be removed really easily.  There is Walk The Plank Celery sticks with cream cheese and a Mermaid (what pirate is complete without a Siren?),  broccoli seaweed, organic whole wheat crackers (because  Hard Tack isn't good and you could break a tooth!), some chocolate gold coins, oranges to keep the scurvy away, and some cucumbers and carrots that have been speared with swords.

Plus a reusable bag with Pirates Booty and a bottle of Grog (apple juice).

As always, I used my easylunchboxes...I love them and you can get loads of food in!