Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Great Shopping = Great Lunch

Molly's little brother and I dropped the girls off at school this morning and headed to Sam's Club.  We picked up a bunch of fruits and vegetables as well as a few staples.  Everything is so fresh and delicious! The weather here was so wonderful that it felt like we were leaving the farmer's market in the spring instead of the store in the winter.
Our main entree is a salami and cheese sandwich.  We haven't had this for a while and the kids have been asking for it so in our cart it went.  We have Castle Wood salami and provolone cheese on our whole grain white bread cut into a heart.  (I can't believe tomorrow is February 1st already!)

Our vegetable side is sugar snap peas.  We saw a big bag of these and they are so tender and delicious.  They are a great alternative to potato chips because they are very crunchy and filling.

Our fruit side is a kiwi.  We just sliced this one up and fanned it out so that Molly can enjoy the beauty of God's creation.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is a new favorite, Chobani Champions vanilla chocolate chunk Greek yogurt.  The kids are saying that it's just like chocolate chip ice cream.  We say, BRAVO to Chobani for making a delicious and nutritious alternative to ice cream.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Planning Ahead

Back to normal is within our reach and hopefully we will all stay well for a long time.  Normal means that we are back to our routine and the activities that go along with that.  Tonight was CCD and tomorrow is dance so these are our busy days.  I'm trying to plan ahead and rely on re-heating several things that we've already prepared.  I cooked the tortellini that is in Molly's lunch so that we would have an easy re-heat for her siblings' lunch but it's a nice cool pasta salad in hers.  Time savers are a necessity in our house.
Our main entree is Trader Joe's Cheese Tortellini made into a pasta salad by adding light Italian dressing to the cooled pasta.  Molly likes this salad because it is a great combination of carbs and protein so it fills her up nicely.

Our vegetable side is carrot sticks.  Molly requested that they be cut like this because she has a wiggly tooth and it's easier to bite these on the side.

Our fruit side is mixed fresh berries.  Strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are so delicious by themselves or mixed into a favorite treat.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is Chobani Champions Orange Vanilla Greek Yogurt.  Molly said that the Chocolate Chunk was super yummy and can't wait to have the orange vanilla flavor.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Back at it

I've been very sick for over a week and I'm finally feeling mildly human again.  Molly is very happy to be packing her lunch again.  She came home hungry on two days last week (she was home sick on Tuesday and didn't have school on Friday).  Those two days were the days she bought lunch.  She was thirsty because a 1/2 pint of milk isn't nearly enough to keep thirst at bay all day long.  She was hungry because most of the things that they served weren't really to her liking.  She said that she only ate some of most of what was served.

Now, we're back to almost normal and Molly will be getting a delicious, nutritious lunch that has the correct serving sizes for a growing 7 year old girl and plenty of love from home.  Plus, we've added something new!
Our main entree is cheese pizza.  Since Mom wasn't feeling good, we got a fresh pizza from the deli of our local grocery store.  Molly's Daddy baked and served it for lunch today and Molly requested some of the leftovers for her lunch.  There is a small container of light ranch dressing for her to dip the crust in, just in case it gets too tough.

Our vegetable side is a green salad.  It is served with light Italian dressing on the side.

Our fruit side is sliced strawberries.  Molly requested these as well.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is a NEW Chobani Champions vanilla chocolate chunk.  These just came out as well as an orange vanilla flavor.  All three of our kids gave them both a resounding two thumbs up.  My cousin reminds me to watch the sugars in these so that is why they are a special treat once in a while.  (Thanks, Sarah!) ☺

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Daddy's Lunch

Molly's Mommy (MM) is not feeling very well this weekend. She's suffering from some sort of evil Flu. Luckily, she has the best husband in the world to make Molly's lunch and write this super-awesome entry for her. ;) Actually, I am only half as awesome as MM's parents took all three kids today so that I could focus on taking care of the best thing to ever happen to me.
Our entree is Homemade Pasta with a meatball and red sauce. Molly, her sister, and Grandma made pasta today and sent it and the sauce home. 

Our veggie side is a salad with Italian dressing, 

Our fruit side is blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. 

Finally, for dessert, we have vanilla yogurt and gingerbread graham crackers. 

As much I enjoyed making Molly's lunch and writing this blog, I hope that We all home that MM feels better very soon.

Molly's Daddy

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Breakfast on Fun Friday!

We were trying to come up with ideas and looking in the fridge and pantry then we found a few things and breakfast was the winner.  This may not be our most nutritious lunch but it's still better than what the school is serving.
Our main entree is a waffle sandwich.  We toasted two whole grain waffles and added Nutella and peanut butter to them and sandwiched them together.

Our fruit side is a banana.  Something about a banana with peanut butter and Nutella.  YUM!

Our dairy side is vanilla yogurt with chocolate pearls for fun.  Molly really likes the chocolate pearls because they "stay crunchy" even when they have been in the yogurt over night.

Finally, our Fun Friday treat is two white chocolate Lindt truffles.  Molly got these in her stocking and they are the last two left.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Mom hasn't been feeling 100% lately so we're going for some easy meals.  We still try to keep it healthy but sometimes convenience trumps healthy and frozen pizzas won the race tonight for dinner.  That means that Molly is the lucky recipient of leftover cold pizza for lunch.
Our main entree is leftover Freschetta cheese pizza.  The taste is pretty great with a nice crust that isn't too chewy or too cardboard-like.  It also isn't greasy like the pizza parlor around the corner.

Our vegetable side is a vegetable salad.  It's actually called veggie lovers salad because it has carrots, snap peas and radishes in it.  We added some light ranch dressing on the side.  It's in the pizza container so that there was more room for the actual salad in the salad container.

Our fruit side is fresh blackberries and raspberries.  These are great in yogurt, on ice cream, in oatmeal or just plain by themselves.

Finally, our dessert is New Ocean Spray fruit snacks.  We received these in the mail as a sample and the kids just love them.  They are made with real fruit juice instead of tons of sugar like other fruit snacks.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

School Lunch

Molly will be buying her lunch tomorrow because it's one of her favorites, a chicken sandwich. Mom is okay with this because it is on a whole grain bun and served with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Sandwich

After a long weekend, we are ready to try a little something new in Molly's lunch.  We are big fans of Castle Wood lunch meats and cheese because they are real meat, not something processed.  While at a Sam's Club we found a new Castle Wood lunch meat called Buffalo Style Chicken Breast Slices.  Our whole family likes spicy food, especially Buffalo style so this was definitely a no-brainer.  Molly's Daddy and I tried it yesterday for our lunch and it is delicious.
Our main entree is a Buffalo Style Chicken sandwich.  We added the new Castle Wood Buffalo Style Chicken Breast Slices, provolone and honey mustard to whole grain white bread then cut it into triangles.

Our vegetable side is carrot sticks.  Molly asked for them to be cut this way because, "they taste really good like that."

Our fruit side is a mix of fresh berries.  Blackberries, Blueberries and Raspberries are looking so yummy at the store these days so we couldn't resist.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is our regular vanilla yogurt but we added the Trader Joe's Elegant Cocoa Pearls for a little crunch and flavor variety.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fun Friday with a BIG Surprise!

My kids are all big time snackers.  In the middle of the morning when they are playing, they stop and say..."Mom, can I have a snack, please?"  Then, after school, that's the first thing we do, have a snack.  So, I figured, why not have a snack-like lunch?  This lunch includes many of our favorite munchies and snacks along with a BIG surprise for Miss Molly!
Snack #1 is Scrabble Cheezit Crackers, in a heart shaped silicone cupcake liner.  (per Molly's request.)

Snack #2 is salted peanuts and honey roasted peanuts for a nice mix.

Snack #3 is strawberries that are all sliced up and ready to just pop in her mouth.

Snack #4 is a cheese stick.  This is our "go-to" snack when we can't think of anything else.

Snack #5 is vanilla yogurt.  This is a great dessert alternative or mid-morning snack.

Finally, THE BIG SURPRISE......Molly gets to buy ice cream at school!  She's never done this before.  She's only had ice cream there when it came with a purchased lunch.  Molly is going to be so excited!  We can't wait to hear her reaction. ☺

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Warm Lunch!

Winter is coming into it's own now in Western PA.  This means that we will be using Molly's thermos more often so that she can have something warm in her lunch.  This is the first of many warm lunches to come.
Our main entree is Trader Joe's Gnocchi al Gorgonzola.  This is a HUGE hit with all three of our kids.  It was part of tonight's dinner and Molly asked for the leftovers in her lunch.  It has tremendous flavor and it more filling than you might expect.

Our vegetable side is canned green beans.  These are the no salt added variety.

Our fruit side is strawberries, blueberries and star fruit.  There were lots of great fruits available at the store today.

Our dairy side is a colby jack cheese stick.  This will serve as Molly's protein in her lunch.  We also added some new Club Mini Crackers to go with the cheese.

Finally, our dessert is vanilla yogurt.  Molly will most likely put some of the berries in it so we left it nice and plain.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tortilla Chip Lunch

Molly's school is serving baked tortilla scoops with taco meat for lunch tomorrow. This is something that we make at home on taco night. Sometimes the kids don't want soft tacos and the hard shells are too hard to manage so the baked scoops are perfect. I applaud the school (yes, you read that correctly) for choosing baked chips, low fat dairy and salsa as part of the kids' lunches. They are also serving tossed salad and fresh vegetables and fruit. This is definitely a school lunch that meets our standards. Molly is so excited to be buying this delicious and healthy choice tomorrow.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Something Different

Today was kind of strange when I was making Molly's lunch.  I usually have a main entree in mind when I am preparing Molly's lunch.  Today, I only had the sides planned and decided to just go with it and fill in from there.
Our main/vegetable entree is cucumber boats.  We mixed dill with some light cream cheese, scooped the seeds out of some small cucumbers and filled them with the cheese mixture.  YUM!

Our fruit side is sliced kiwi.  We weren't really going for a green and white theme but it just kind of happened.

Our dairy side is strawberry yogurt.  Molly likes strawberry yogurt once in a while for something a little different.

Our extra side is Scrabble Cheezit Crackers and Annie's Homegrown Bunny Graham Friends.  We thought that the Cheezits would be nice to scoop out any extra cream cheese.  The bunny crackers are a little something extra special.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Pizza Time!

After a fun weekend, we're ready to get back to a full week of school.  We are taking a cue from the school lunch menu again and made some pizza for Molly's Monday lunch.
Our main entree is cheese pizza.  We used a Trader Joe's Middle Eastern Flatbread as our crust, added sauce and cheese, then baked it off.  Molly said that she really likes having this pizza because it tastes like home.

Our vegetable side is a green salad.  When we were in school, salad was always served with pizza.  This is accompanied by some light ranch dressing.

Our fruit side is Granny Smith apple slices.  Our family goes through a lot of apples because all of the kids like  them, especially Molly's little brother.  He's the only person we know that would eat an apple at every meal.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is vanilla yogurt.  It's still Molly's favorite.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fun Friday Surprise!

Molly is a bit down in the dumps right now because I think she would rather be home instead of school.  She keeps complaining that her belly hurts and that is the thing that bothers her the most when her nerves are shot.  I want to be that stern Mother that says, "suck it up kid, you'll make it."  Then another part of me wants to be the soft Mother that holds her child close and says, "Mommy will make it all better," and keep her home from school.  I need to find the happy medium in this parenthood thing.

I have all intentions of sending Molly to school tomorrow (unless it does end up being a true illness) and teach her that sometimes you may not want to do things but they aren't nearly as bad as your head makes them out to be once you are there.  I always had this problem when going back to school after an extended break.  But, when I got back to it, I was fine.  This is why we've decided to let Molly buy her lunch tomorrow as a surprise.  They are having something that she likes (cheese crunchers) or she can choose to buy peanut butter and jelly, a turkey or ham sandwich or a chef salad.  Hopefully, one of these options will help her belly feel a little better and make her feel special because she gets a choice, like at a restaurant.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Soup, Salad and Bread Stick Lunch

Molly ended up staying home from school today because her belly hurt, so no popcorn chicken for her.  We figured that if she isn't feeling 100% tomorrow, soup would be a nice lunch for her.  Also, if this combination works for the big restaurants, it should be perfect for our girl.
Our main entree is Chickarina soup from Progresso.  Molly really enjoys this soup because it is just like Wedding soup.  We like it because it has a good combination of carbs and protein.

Our vegetable side is a green salad with light Italian dressing on the side.  We used the large container but didn't fill it too much so that Molly won't get too full.

Our fruit side does not exist today but we'll make sure that she gets in some fruit with her breakfast and snack.  This isn't a problem because Molly probably doesn't know any type of fruit that she doesn't like.

Our fun side is a bread stick that has been torn into smaller pieces.  We figured that she could either dunk it in her soup or just enjoy it with her salad.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is vanilla yogurt, as usual.  This should be soothing for her if her tummy is upset at all.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Buying Lunch

Popcorn chicken calls again! Molly saw it on the school lunch menu and the rest is history. Mom's happy for a night off.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year!

Happy 2012!!!

One of our resolutions is to eat healthier all of the time.  Molly's lunch is generally on the healthy side but we are trying to get away from some of the other things that we have for breakfast and dinner.  We are just like everyone else and fall victim to convenient food.  Yes, it's easier to grab a pop tart or a bowl of sugar cereal than it is to cook oatmeal or eggs but if you plan ahead and get up five minutes earlier, it can make for a much better day.  We also will grab take out more regularly than we should.  Last year, we gave up fast food for lent and we've decided that it wasn't too terrible so we are cutting our drive thru trips to two times a month at most.

I find that planning a weekly menu, shopping the sales and prepping ahead can make it much easier to stick to the plan.  Hopefully the kids won't rally and scream for pizza every week.  But, if they do, we can make our own.
Our main entree is a faux pizza sandwich.  Since it is the first day back after the holidays, the kids will be served pizza for lunch.  We figured that using a bagel thin with provolone and salami all toasted together would be a nice alternative.

Our vegetable side is yellow bell pepper pieces.  We think that it will taste nice with our faux pizza sandwich.

Our fruit side is fresh pineapple and strawberries.  We found this incredibly sweet and juicy pineapple the other day and the flavor is fantastic.

Finally, our dairy/dessert is vanilla yogurt with Trader Joe's Elegant Cocoa Pearls.  They are sweet and crunchy and make the yogurt extra special.