Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lunch fail

Now that we're at a new daycare, I have to start making lunch every day for my picky three-year-old. Unfortunately, there are two rules we must follow:

1) food can neither be refrigerated nor heated

2) food cannot contain any sort of nuts

My daughter likes ham, so most days I've been sending her to school with ham and cheese sandwiches. She seems pretty unwilling to eat any other sort of lunch meat, so it must be ham. I put in a frozen go-gurt in order to keep it cold for lunch. Anyway, the last few days, we've been getting back the leftovers from her lunch: two pieces of bread and a piece of cheese. So essentially, she's just eating the ham and the yogurt.

I'm using massive quantities of bread lately, so it's tempting to just give her a big stack of ham. But that seems like bad parenting. I have no idea what to do for lunch now.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

18 comments:

  1. I would give the ham. I have done that alot for the youngest. I would suppliment with crackers & what ever fruit or veggie she will eat.

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  2. Just roll up the ham into little rolls - maybe add cheese and viola you have a fancy lunch for the munchkin

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  3. Add granola and dried or fresh fruits for her to eat with the yogurt, give her crackers to eat the ham with.

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  4. potato egg salad with ham

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  5. Skip the bread and try giving her goldfish crackers or pretzels instead, and just roll up the ham slices so they're easier to eat. Perhaps a kid-friendly granola bar (like Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip), popcorn, or a dry breakfast cereal to snack on (like Cheerios). Fruit/veggies like apple slices or applesauce (which you can buy in squeeze pouches), grapes (which could also be frozen), cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, or celery with cream cheese. In place of peanut butter there's SunButter (made from sunflower seeds). And if you don't already have one, a frozen ice pack will help with the no-refrigeration rule. — Heather

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  6. We send chunks/slices of lunch meat with cheese cubes fairly often. Add some fruit and veggies and some crackers and it's a nice lunch of finger foods which appeal to my kids a lot.

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  7. Google "freezable lunch bag." This has solved my packed-lunch refrigeration woes.

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  8. These are all really great ideas!

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  9. Pancakes, muffins, and tortillas are alternative sources of carbs for lunches. My daughter used to love refried beans and shredded cheese rolled in a tortilla. (it can look an awful lot like peanut butter, so maybe just let them know the first time you send it) Try cornmeal muffins with sausages, hot dogs or ham chunks baked in. If anyone dares criticize what you're sending, mention that you're trying to send what she'll eat since you know how cranky and unmanagable a preschooler can be when she hasn't eaten enough. You just have their best interest at heart.

    I like to have at least two freezer packs per kid: one for today's lunch and one for tomorrow's. Then you're covered if you forget to clean out the lunch box until you're packing the next lunch.

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  10. string cheese, piece of fruit, chopped fruit or berries, pouch, crackers, dry cereal

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  11. "Just Fruit" brand fruit bars. Flavorful like a fruit roll but perfectly healthy, because it is literally made of only fruit puree and fruit concentrate. A good way to make kids who don't care for fresh fruit still get their daily servings, easy to pack for daycare, not messy, no refrigeration needed.

    Turbana brand plantain chips. Kids seem to really like them. The plain ones are fairly low salt. Stick them in a small tupperware so they don't get crushed.

    Air popped popcorn.

    If she likes celery, put cream cheese in the center of the stalk -- Unless it's a hundred degrees out, it won't go bad if she eats it the same day.

    Scrambled egg (cheesy or plain) in a pita.

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  12. If ham is what she will reliably eat, then include in every lunch and skip the sandwich. Use the frozen go-gurt or ice pack to keep cool and then could try varying the fruit/carb selections to expand her eating parameters. (I usually tried one reach and one likely food choice -- eg. berries (likely)/triscuit (reach); broccoli (reach)/goldfish(likely). My personal opinion is that for a preschool/K age, a fruit and a veggie at lunch was likely to result in only one being chosen, so I mixed it up over the week rather than choices at each lunch.

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  13. Ugh we had a daycare with those same rules. So lame - the staff can't be trusted to microwave a lunch for fear of "hot-spots" but I'm supposed to trust them with the care of my beloved children???
    Anyway, we bought the freezable lunch bag which was awesome except for the days we forgot to put it in the freezer after cleaning it out. And we used a lot of sunflower butter. Most days I packed a sunflower butter and jelly (or honey) sandwich, string cheese, applesauce, fresh fruit. Sometimes a ham sandwich, sometimes pita and hummus.

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  14. Oh she sounds like Cecelia at that age. Would only eat sausage. As a resident I would wake up and make her sausage (on the skillet, really, as if I had the time - would be cooking sausage and pumping for Jack at the same time) and pack some in her lunch because peanut butter, her other love, was prohibited.

    I made lots of banana bread back then from scratch because it was the only way I could get fruit in her. Veggies? A distant pipe dream. Now she still hates most fruit unless it is in a smoothie or dessert dish but she loves raw spinach - prefers it to fruit in her lunch and with dinner. So there's hope. She's also a really good eater and not afraid to try things - much better than I was at her age.

    These days at lunch we are doing lots of chef boy ar dee (sp?) and raman noodles and pesto and roasted chicken sandwiches and fruit and spinach and carrots and goldfish and peanut butter (thank god it's allowed at this school) and macaroni and cheese. I use lots of little thermoses - heat it in the morning and it's still warm at lunch. They love to eat dinner leftovers too in their thermoses - tortellini or taco stuff or pizza in foil.

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  15. Let her eat ham and yogurt. Where is the law you have to have a carb at lunch?

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  16. The kids up here use eskys for lunches and with an ice brick in them they keep the food fairly cool even outside in the summer which is where their bags are kept. I live in Northern Australia so our days can get pretty gross with a year round average of about 84F

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  17. It is important to pick up healthy eating habits from an early age. Why doesn't daycare look after kids' lunches? WHy don't teachers sit kids down and teach them to eat all of their plates? We have thousands of fat kids who become fat adults and we just blame McDonalds...

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  18. Here's a link that I hope will prove helpful.

    http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/stories/the-9-nastiest-things-in-your-supermarket

    The bottom line: If you can choose organic, do so.

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