Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hats and scarves for cold kids, a tutorial

These are the scarves and hats that I made for the kid's school. Some were given to kids who needed them, and others will stay in school for kids who forget or loose their warm things. They were so quick to make, and really cute.
For the scarf, cut a 9" wide strip of fleece the width of the fabric, then fold in in half lengthwise to create a double layer of fleece that's 4.5" wide by 54". Then, topstitch along the sides and 4" from the ends. Make cuts on the unsewn ends about 3/4" apart to create fringe, being careful not to clip your topstitching.
I made the hats two different ways, depending on how much fleece I had left. About half the hats were doubled fleece, and the others were single layer, but with a wide fold on the bottom so that there was doubled fleece over the ears. 
For the single layer fleece hat, cut a 21"x18" piece of fleece (measurements are approximate, since I made some slightly smaller and some slightly larger so that we'd have various sizes of finished hats). Fold the fleece in half to make a 10.5"x18" rectangle, and sew a seam on the long side to create a tube. Fold up the bottom approximately 4" and topstitch to hem. Make cuts approximately 3/4" apart and about 3" long all along the top of the hat on the raw edge. Then, cut a 10"x1" strip of fleece and use it to gather the top of the hat evenly just below the fringe, creating a pom pom and closing the top of the hat securely.
For the doubled fleece hats, it is pretty much the same process as the single layer hat, but using a 21"x24" piece of fleece. Fold the fleece in half to make a 10.5"x 24" rectangle, and sew a single seam up the long side to create a tube. Then, instead of just making a hem, fold the entire lower edge to meet the top edge, doubling the tube and hiding the raw edges of the seam. Then, cut the fringe, and tie the top in the same way as the single hat.
Feel free to use this tutorial to make hats for yourself, your family, or anyone else. Consider making up a few sets for someone in need in your neighborhood.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Chocolate covered Christmas bean balls

The kids wanted to make Christmas cookies. I've made gluten and dairy free sugar cookies that looked good, but am not thrilled with the way they taste. I decided to do some poking around on the internets and see if I could find another treat that we had ingredients for. A large pot of garbanzo beans had just finished cooking when I came across this recipe for vegan chocolate chip cookie dough truffles. They are grain-free, full of protein, and covered in chocolate. Three things that make them worth a try in my opinion. They were really quick to make in the food processor, and not a lot of mess. After scooping the dough onto a cookie sheet, they did need to firm up in the fridge for about 15 minutes to be able to handle them enough for dipping into the melted chocolate. If we make them again, I'll definitely make them smaller so the dough-to-chocolate ratio is better, and they are more bite sized. The taste is pretty good, possibly a bit "healthy" tasting, but if you didn't know there were beans in there, you'd never know there were beans in there. The girl gave a big thumbs up, but the boy is on the fence (however, he's not feeling well enough to want to eat chocolate, so his vote won't count here.)

Thursday, December 20, 2012


It's been a crazy busy week, and I've been working on loads of projects in the evenings after the kids go to bed. I've asked the mister to be in charge of lunches for the past few days so that I can get some more work done, and don't have photos.
I found out that there are some families with children at the kids' school who are having a hard time staying warm and fed. A few of the parents have been scrambling this week to assemble warm clothing and grocery gift cards to get them through the holidays. I've been working on fleece hat and scarf sets, and have a pretty good pile going. It's a really quick sew, and they turn out pretty cute. I'll see about putting together a quick tutorial when things setting down a bit.
An exciting and unexpected thing heard from the boy today: "Papa put way, way, way too many chips in my lunch today. Two or three would have been plenty." Coming from a kid who was so carb craving just a few weeks ago, that is huge!! There was a small handful of chips in their lunches today, and the boy ate a few of his, and then brought the rest home to snack on later. So proud! The girl is still getting over her tummy bug, and her appetite hasn't fully returned.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


-Rice & beans
-Sliced apple
-Glutino pretzles
-Sunbutter for dipping

At a loss for lunch, I suggested we try packing rice and beans and the kids agreed. I know that they tend to dry out and aren't as tasty when cold, but thought it would be a good thing to try anyway. They would have been better if I'd been able to leave the beans a bit wetter, but they were leftovers and had already been drained. The kids did say that they weren't that yummy when they aren't warm, and the boy thought that it makes a better dinner than lunch. I was really proud of him for being willing to experiment with a meal that he's not used to eating in his lunch, and eating it even though it didn't taste the way he expected. Yay for new found flexibility!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Nutty and Noggy

-Half sunbutter and strawberry on Rudi's gf bread
-Raw nut & fruit bar
-Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies
-Noggy smoothie (So Delicious coconut milk nog, organic cashews, frozen banana)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Feeling good

-Wellshire turkey ham and Earth Balance mayo on Rudi's gf bread
-Favorite smoothie in the sili (again!)
-Honest kids apple juice

I wanted the kids to keep hydrated since they had been sick for a couple of days, and they don't tend to drink a lot of water at school. I had a request for a second day of their favorite smoothie, which is great since it has protein and fruit, as well as some extra hydration. I tossed the juice pouch in there for good measure. This is the first substantial lunch since catching this nasty little bug, and I'm happy to see my littles eating well again.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sick day cuddles

 -Favorite smoothie (in the sili)
-Half sunbutter & strawberry on Rudi's gf bread
-Apple pie millet, based on an oatmeal recipe I found on pinterest (we can't eat oats)
-Homemade trail mix with cashews, golden raisins, goji berries, & a few mini vegan chocolate chips

This ended up being a home lunchbox since the kids didn't feel well and stayed home from school. The girl loved the apple pie millet, and I'm thrilled to be able to add a new grain to our menu. The boy still isn't sure about it, but tried it twice. I'm so proud of all his tasting! He also didn't want the sb&j, but his belly was bothering him. We ended up making a huge nest on the living room floor with pillows, blankets, and the crash pad, and hanging out in front of a couple of movies all day (we did some reading too). They got some much needed rest, and I got my fill of hugs and cuddles.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ready for fancy lunches again

This one is actually from early last week. The boy had been asking for pizza with a spider made of olives, so I did an extra fancy version for him. I made the web by meticulously placing individual strands of daiya shreds, and the spider is a halved olive with miniscule slivers of olive for the legs. I made sure to remind them that spiders have 8 legs,but it's too hard to get 8 legs out of an olive half.
The sili has their favorite smoothie, strawberry cashew, and up in the corner is a half of a peanut butter bar.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Missing Pipik

Instead of taking pictures of fancy lunches, today I'm just missing my dog.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The week of eating less, and eating more

Day after thanksgiving lunch
-Mashed potatoes
-Pumpkin muffin
-Grain-free bread (so good!)
-Boiled egg

-Honest Kids lemonade
-Dried cherries and coconut macaroon
-Baked pumpkin french toast
-Bell&Evans organic frank

Only one lunch, since the boy stayed home sick
-Dried apple chips
-Pumpkin muffin
-Dried cherries and coconut macaroon (left over from the day before)
-Baked pumpkin french toast (also left over)

-Glutino pretzels
-Clemintine halves
-Sunbutter and strawberry jam sandwich on Rudi's gf multigrain bread

Only 3 lunches last week since we had some sort of bug that passed from one of us to the other. Both kids had a few days of very light eating, and stayed home from school. By Friday, we were all back to normal, and ready to tackle the weekend. The boy has been on a trying new foods kick. Since thanksgiving, he's tasted fresh cranberries, brussels sprouts, french toast, mashed potatoes, black pepper (on eggs and potato), hot cereal, polenta, clementines, corn, and shrimp. The most amazing thing? All of those have moved to the "yes list" except for the fresh cranberries and brussels sprouts. These are all things that he's liked in the past, but hasn't been able to eat recently. Though he's had a self-limited diet for years, within the past 8 months or so, he's been loosing foods pretty dramatically, and was down to about 9 foods that he'd consistently be able to eat. However, during the past 2 weeks, he's made a major turnaround and is willingly tasting, and even requesting new foods. I'm crediting the yeast protocol we've been doing for the past month. The first two weeks were really rough, with lots of behavior issues, poor sleep, and a constant desire for sugary foods. It was fairly consistent with what we expected to see during the yeast die-off period. After that, we started to see an increase in his patience, fewer outbursts of frustration and anger, and much more flexibility (of routine) then is usual. He's been making lots of progress, and I'm very excited to see where we'll be able to go from here.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Last week

The school week was only 2 days long last week, and we spent lots of time preparing for our holiday feast and visit with family. Since I didn't get a chance to write about lunches then, I thought I'd put together a quick post to start this week. Thanksgiving meal highlights are coming soon!

 -Half bagel with sunbutter & jelly
-Kit's Organic fruit & nut bar
-Bare Fruit cinnamon apple chips
-Sili Squeeze with favorite smoothie

-Wellshire turkey ham & Earth Balance Mindful Mayo sandwich on Rudi's gf multigrain bread
-Sili Squeeze with favorite smoothie

Saturday, November 17, 2012


-Honest Kids apple juice
-Kit's Organic fruit and nut bar
-Glutino apple breakfast bar
-Organic cranberry fruit strip
-Andean Dream quinoa cookie
-Glutino crackers and Wellshire turkey ham cut into circles

Yesterday was a Professional Development day at school, so the kids had the day off. We asked one of their friends (E) from school if she wanted to spend the day with us. Both kids adore her, and she's the first person that the boy has ever identified (on his own) as a friend. It is so very sweet to watch the three of them play together so well. We planned to share one of the kids' favorite places to play with her, so I packed up a bunch of lunches in preparation for our little adventure.
The idea was to have a bunch of easy to grab items so that they could eat for a bit, then run off and play, and then come back to the table as desired. These would have been perfect lunches for that, if all had gone according to plan. In reality, the second they got their shoes off, they ran to play for a solid 4 minutes, then the boy sauntered over and declared his need to eat. I handed him his lunch box, and he proceeded to devour the entire contents (except the quinoa cookie, which he gave to E!) within about 15 minutes. The girl had a similar reaction to the suggestion of lunch, but did pace herself a bit more. They blasted through their lunch so quickly and early, that we ended up having to cut our playtime short so that we could come home to refuel. Once at home, they went through 3 or 4 different snacks, and then ate a fairly substantial dinner. I'm not sure if entertaining E was using up a lot of energy, or if her presence somehow instigated a growth spurt, but I'm not sure I've seen either one of them eat like this before.

The easy way

 -Bare Fruit cinnamon apple chips
-Honest Kids organic apple juice
-Organic chicken breast (in the lidded container)
-Half sunbutter & strawberry on Rudi's gf bread

This was packed on an especially difficult evening. The day was full of tantrums and tears, and by the time it came to packing lunches, I was exhausted. The kids wouldn't touch the chicken, but happily ate everything else. The next day, the boy complained that I should stop packing such small lunches, but later went on to refuse his breakfast and most of his dinner.

-Wellshire turkey ham with Earth Balance soy-free mayo on Rudi's gf bread
-Carrot sticks
-Sunbutter for dipping

They loved the sandwiches, even with the mayo! I usually ask if they want mayo, since the bread can be pretty dry on it's own. Usually, the girl wants some, but the boy declines. This time I didn't ask, but both kids were pretty happy with it. It probably helped that they were quartered and in little cups. The girl had about half of her carrots, but ran out of time to finish, the boy didn't want his. Neither one wanted the sunbutter, which is usually one of the first things to be eaten.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Planning to be thankful

Yikes, terrible pic!
-Gluten-free pizza with daiya cheese on Kinnickinnick crust and turkey ham shapes on top
-small container of trail mix
-Banana/blueberry/honey/apple juice smoothie

This one was pretty neutral. Not a favorite, but didn't make it onto the "no" list either. They did like the turkey ham shapes that I put on their pizza, but said that I should put them on after baking it next time so that it doesn't curl.

-Half sunbutter and strawberry sandwich on Udi's gf raisin bread
-Wellshire turkey sausage with a cocktail fork
-Tiny container of dried pinapple
-Sweet potato bites

Neither one of them liked the sweet potato bites, but they both liked everything else. The boy is in the beginning stages of a yeast protocol. We're hoping that he comes out the other side with less cravings for carbs and sugar, and more willingness to try different foods. Worth a shot.

With just over a week until Thanksgiving, and family visiting this year, I'm just starting to seriously plan our gf/df holiday menu. I have some favorites from past years that will make an appearance, and a few new dishes that I'm excited to try. I have a feeling I'll be visting the Gluten Free Goddess for some recipe ideas,  since she hasn't failed me yet. It should be extra interesting since this year is our first without soy and with poultry. We'll be getting an organic pasture-raised turkey from Tea Hills Farm, and I'm planning on hitting the winter farmer's market for our thanksgiving produce. It will be nice to have a family thanksgiving where we can all eat and not worry about getting accidental allergens.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election Day Lunch

Election day lunch:
-WayBetter sweet potato chips (and guacamole for the girl)
-Sections of pomelo
-Bell&Evans organic uncured turkey hotdog and small dipper of organic ketchup

Somehow the kids' lunchboxes got switched and he ended up with her guacamole. The boy said that he didn't even see it, lol. The veggie-ness of it probably overwhelmed him just enough to block it from his reality. He was excited about the pomelo pieces, he loves the texture. He takes so long to eat them that he was only able to get a few tiny bits in, but at least he'd eaten the other food first so he wasn't hungry all day. The girl ate everything in her lunchbox, and thanked me for putting the pomelo in there. If you haven't tried one before, and enjoy citrus, pick one up the next time you see one at the grocery. They taste like a grapefruit and tangerine cross, with fairly firm sections (the kids call them juice packs). They are usually a little pricy, but can be easily shared by 3 people, so it evens out.

Day after election day lunch:
-Homemade organic cornbread with sunbutter and strawberry jam
-Favorite smoothie
-Kit's Organic peanut butter bar

A little bit of a cheat in my no-sandwich week, but since it's made with homemade cornbread (with banana!), I'll let it slide. It would have been fun to have had an Ohio-themed lunch planned, but I didn't think about it until I was packing this up while watching the election results roll in. This lunch wasn't interesting enough to justify it's own post, but the kids enjoy having a visual representation of the lunches they've had, so it can hang out here with yesterday's lunch.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pancakes with friends

-Gluten free banana pancakes with sunbutter/maple spread
-Organic fruit bites (leftover from Halloween)
-Caveman Cookie
-Glutino pretzels, raisins, dates

The kids didn't have school today, so we visited friends instead. They were more interested in grazing their lunchboxes all day rather than sitting down and eating everything all at once. The boy finished all of his food, plus a few cookies shared by friends. The girl left a couple of her pancakes, but ate everything else, and also some cookies. This wasn't a very protein-y lunch, but they made up for it at dinner. 
The lunches last week were heavy on the sunbutter and jelly sandwiches and smoothies, so I didn't post photos of them. This week, I'm going to see how many non-sandwich lunches I can come up with.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Very Halloween-y

-Organic pear/peach cup
-Sunbutter & strawberry on Rudi's gf bread. Oooh, circle-shaped!
-Peach fruit strip
-Tiny container with one organic vegan chocolate peanut butter cup inside
-Organic carrot/squash/apple pouch

An emphatic Yes! lunch. The boy didn't like the fruit cup, but did try it. He said the juice was good, but the fruit pieces weren't. He ran out of time and didn't eat the veggie/fruit puree, but did have a clementine and a few carrot sticks at snacktime! The girl was thrilled with the fruit cup, but she loves pears, so that's not a surprise. They both thought the sticker that I put on the fruit cup was pretty cool, and wore them on their shirts for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Goodbyn Bynto containers on sale!

Right now on Zulily, Goodbyn Byntos, snack containers, salad containers, and insulated lunch bags are on sale! The prices are the lowest that I've seen for these. They are plastic, but are BPA and phthalate-free, as well as dishwasher safe.

Disclosure: I will receive referral credit for anyone signing up for an account at Zulily using the above link, though I'm sharing this because I think it's relevant to my blog readers, and not because of the credit :)

Trading lunch style for superhero style

Since the Halloween countdown is now being measured in hours instead of days, and costumes still have details to be worked out, lunch creativity has taken a serious turn. The costumes are totally worth it :)

-Half sunbutter and strawberry on Udi's gf bread, with pumpkin and ghost shapes cut from apricot and cherry fruit leather
-*The Favorite Smoothie* in a Sili Squeeze (see end of post for recipe)
-Bare Fruit cinnamon apple chips

-Half sunbutter and strawberry on Udi's gf bread
-The Favorite Smoothie in a Sili Squeeze
-Glutino pretzels and a small piece of dried papaya
-Apple juice pouch

The Favorite Smoothie (gluten free, dairy free, soy free)
I use a Vitamix, so I haven't tried this in a regular blender to know if the consistency is as creamy as with the VM. Let me know how it works out if you try it! All measurements are approximate.

-1 cup raw organic cashews
-1 cup frozen strawberries
-1 1/2 - 2 average bananas, cut into large bite-sized pieces and frozen
-1/2 cup coconut milk (or other milk of choice, homemade almond is nice)
-Generous swirl of honey (about 2 teaspoons)

Toss everything into the Vitamix for about 2 minutes, or until consistancy is smooth with no cashew bits.
I've switched out the strawberries for blueberries with good results, as well as adding chia and hemp seeds for additional food value. I'll also sometimes add a very small splash of organic vanilla extract.

Now to see which will happen first; finished costumes, halloween, or the "frankenstorm"...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Spiders, apples, and boxes

-Spider pizza with kinnikinnik gf crust, spaghetti sauce, and daiya cheese. The spider was made with a single, large black olive cut in half for the body, and the other half cut in to 6 (I know! They were tiny :P) pieces for the legs.
-Mini bundt shaped silicone cup filled with Wellshire Turkey sausage pieces and covered with a turkey lid with a nori face.
-Homemade baked apples

The boy was mightily impressed by his Spiderman pizza, but wasn't a fan of the apples. It worked out with empty lunch boxes in the end since the girl happily took his apples, and he ate her leftover pizza (she only wanted half). He ended up having some fresh apple with his dinner, so I think the baked texture was an issue for him.
I packed into these new sandwich boxes that I found. I'd seen some good reviews on the fuel containers, so when they popped up on Zulily, I got a set of four for under $10. So far, they seem like a really convenient size and shape. The lids are attached, so there's nothing to keep track of. They wash easily, and are sturdy enough for the kids. Our little square silicone cups fit quite nicely inside, allowing me to separate dry foods easily.
The sandwich boxes are no longer available, but they still have snack containers that look handy (search keyword: fuel). Full disclosure: If you follow this link and sign up for an account, I'll get credit for the referral.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Boring Apple, Mini Apple

-Half sunbutter and strawberry sandwich on Udi's gf raisin bread
-Glutino pretzels, lady apple, date
-Sili Squeeze filled with berry apple sauce

The berry apple sauce was complained about, but eaten. They thought it was going to be a smoothie, so were disappointed to find that it was just apple sauce. They left the lady apples behind, and said that they didn't know how to eat them. The girl said that it was confusing since her mouth is so much bigger than the apple that she couldn't figure out how to take a bite and avoid the seeds and stem, LOL! The girl and I had a mini apple eating lesson this evening, and she did great (though we discovered that the apples aren't quite ripe yet).

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Path of least resistance

After a difficult weekend for the boy that included a blood draw, an upset stomach, new foods, and lego drama, I think packing him a challenging lunch would be asking too much of him. So, tomorrow's lunch will be a tried-and-true "yes list" lunch.

-Half sunbutter & strawberry sandwick on Rudi's gf bread
-Way Better sprouted multigrain chips
-Bare Fruit Cinnamon Apple chips
-Andean Dream quinoa coconut cookie

For my lunch, I'm taking advantage of some awesome leftovers. I'm packing into my new favorite lunchbox, and bringing along a Norpro Appetizer Spork.
-Steamed broccoli
-Pan fried tuna steak
-Millet made with homemade chicken stock
-Tiny bottle of organic Italian dressing

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

So cute, yet such a fail

-Chick rice ball with carrot comb and corn beak
-Ladybug rice roll, dyed with beet juice and wrapped in nori
-Bee rice roll with daiya cheddar and nori strips
-Black olives
-Star sandwich with corn tortilla and Wellshire turkey ham
-Pamela's gf ginger cookies
-Sili full of smoothie; strawberry, banana, cashew, homemade almond milk

Yep, sure is cute.
This lunch (and yesterday's) were near complete failures. The whole "lead a horse to water" thing changes color rather drastically when you mix in food aversions (see what I did there? Clever, I am). I didn't really expect the boy to eat beet colored sushi, or even taste it. He does, however, LOVE cheesy rice and plain rice, so I thought the bees and chick would be eaten. But no, he couldn't even make himself open the container. He ate the cookies, sandwich, and part of the smoothie, but emphatically declared this a "no list" lunch, and said that there were too many vegetables. He also let me know that he only wants sunbutter and jelly sandwiches and smoothies for lunch from now on. So, any progress that we've made with trying new foods at lunchtime is on hold until this new roadblock is cleared. Darn.
At least the girl thought the rice balls were cute. She ate the ladybugs and pulled the nori off the others. She wasn't thrilled with the tortilla, but did pull off the ham to eat and had her whole smoothie.
Tomorrow, they'll get sunbutter and smoothies, because the boy needs to get some food in him. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Someone's been looking at pinterest again...

Clockwise from top left:
-Clementine wedges
-Apple stuffed banana pancake muffin with chia and hemp seeds
-Wellshire uncured turkey ham rolls
-Dried mango slice
-Mashed potato with nori totoro
-Dried mango slice
-Carrot sticks
-Scrambled egg with nori wrapped ham slice for a lid
-Raw cashews

The kids and I spent some time this weekend on pinterest and flicker, looking at all the amazing bentos. It spurred a conversation with the boy about all the vegetables and fruit making it possible to make really cool bentos, and he agreed to try it out. It's not my best Totoro, but I think the kids will recognize him. I need a larger hole punch to do his eyes right.
The muffins are really yummy, and are so full of goodness. Each one is about half full of apple chunks. Then, I added a bunch of hemp seeds and chia, and a bit of maple syrup and coconut oil.
And, now I have the Totoro song in my head. And you should too...

UPDATE: (insert fail noise here) The ham and eggs were eaten and enjoyed by all, everything else came back home. The girl tried her muffin after school but was meh about it. She liked them better the next morning warmed up with a bit of syrup.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Last night, the boy asked if today's lunch could have just a sandwich and a squeezie. My guess is that he was wanting something simple that he knew he'd like and would be easy to eat since it's been a difficult week. Or, possibly he just wanted something soft-ish since he lost his first tooth yesterday and is nervous about chewing. I'm out of fruit, with the exception of frozen bananas and blueberries, so the smoothie was tricky, but I think it worked out quite well.

-Sunbutter and strawberry jam sandwich, with organic cranberry fruit leather in the cutout
-Pamela's gf ginger cookies
-Sili Squeeze smoothie with banana, blueberries, raw cashews, chia, honey, and coconut milk
-Extra water bottle since they haven't been drinking enough

Pre-leathered fruit leather
The kids thought the fruit leather filled cutout in their sandwich was pretty cool, and it prompted a long discussion about how fruit leather is made. It reminded me how simple it is to make, so we started a batch after school. Once again, the lack of fruit necessitated some creativity, and this first batch is just organic apple sauce and apple pie spice. It's been in the oven for about 4 hours now, with no end in sight, but the house smells amazing!
I also made up a batch of Organic Cowboy Kahlua. It also smells really good, but it needs to sit for a month. That's a crazy long time to wait to taste a recipe for the first time, but I can handle it. It will be ready just in time for Thanksgiving, and it will definitely be put to good use then.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Lunch in a muffin & a Mister bento

-Ham and egg muffins
-Organic peanut butter bar
-Bare apple cinnamon chips
-Honest Kids berry lemonade

The kids' water bottles have been coming back home more than half full this week. I guess they aren't being reminded to drink since the weather has turned nippy. We've been talking a lot about staying hydrated and helping our bodies fight off colds by making sure we're giving it everything it needs to stay healthy. I included the juice pouch in their lunch to insure that they'd have a little extra to drink tomorrow. The girl's lips are chapped, and she's pretty interested in getting them feeling right again, so hopefully she also remembers to drink water all day.
The ham and egg muffins were an experiment that paid off well. I wanted to make a lunch muffin, but not a regular cornbread muffin since they are so delicate and make tons of crumbs. I was hoping for something that I could fill with veggies and protein to make sure the boy isn't just eating carbs.
Lightly whisk two eggs (the chickens are making HUGE eggs right now, so it's probably more like 3 store-bought eggs) with 1/2 cup of coconut milk,
then add;
1 cup of frozen corn
1 cup of Bob's Red Mill gf cornbread mix
6 oz of Wellshire Uncured Turkey Ham Steak cut into small cubes
1/2 cup of mashed acorn squash
I oiled my stoneware muffin tray with coconut oil, filled it a little over half full, and baked them for 25 minutes. I'm very happy with the way they turned out, light and cake-y, with some sweetness from the corn and saltyness from the turkey. It's got a good amount of protein, and I was able to get 2 veggies in there!

I was also able to pack a little bento up for the mister's lunch tomorrow. Usually he packs his own lunch, but I thought it would be a good day for a special lunch. Besides, it allowed me to try out the new EcoLunchbox I got the other day.

-2 Ham and egg muffins
-Tuna salad with cranberries and onions (he already has some bread at work)
-Carrots, olives, & grape tomatoes

The EcoLunchbox holds a lot more than I expected since it's so compact. I'm interested to hear how it works out tomorrow.

Pizza and Bug Food

-Pizza sticks (gf pizza crust, spaghetti sauce, daiya cheese)
-Clementine pieces
-Banana, chocolate, peanut butter smoothie

Neither kid ate the clementines, saying that there wasn't enough time. I'm suspecting that the boy's new love of clementine has passed. Short lived, but still progress. She had hers after school, but his became a parent snack. 
I had an unexpected chunk of free time this evening, and nothing planned for dinner. So, out came the leftovers to be remade into Bug Food (though maybe they look more like sea creatures?).

 For the boy: Tinkyada gf spaghetti with nori strips, black olives, Wellshire uncured turkey ham, grape tomato half, red pepper piece, marshmallow and mini chocolate chip eyes (dandies and enjoy life).

For the girl (who's not a fan of noodles at the moment): Black beans, black olive, nori strips, red peppers. Wellshire uncured turkey ham, grape tomato half, marshmallow and chocolate chip eyes.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday Ghosties

-Ghost egg halves with olives and grape tomatoes
-Organic apple cinnamon pouch
-Sunbutter & strawberry sandwich halves on Rudi's gf bread
-2 dates
-Sweet almonds and goji berries

We only have one chicken laying right now, so the kids had to share an egg. At least it was a big one. It cracked a bit while boiling and ended up being ghost shaped, so I decided to leave it as is instead of trying to mold it. Then I remembered the nori punch that I picked up recently, and gave it a try. The kids thought they were really cute, and were quite impressed with my nori cutting skills until I told them about the punch. They were still pretty impressed after that, though not with the tomatoes. The girl picked them out at the store, but I'm suspecting that she wanted them because she knows I love them. The pouch is left over from the before school stock up shopping trip, and the boy has been asking for them for a couple of days, he was happy to see that it made it into his lunch today.
I've been informed that dates aren't as good when they're cold, and the boy doesn't want them in his lunch anymore unless there isn't an ice pack. Hmm. The almonds and goji berries are a yummy treat that we don't get very often. The brand is Himalania. I like to toss them into trail mix for a surprise bit of sweetness, and they also have a little pink salt in them, which makes the flavor more complex and interesting. I'm pretty sure I could make them on my own, and should probably attempt that soon.
This was declared a winner by both kids, with the exception of the tomatoes.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Busy week!

We've been working on lots of things this week, so I'm doing a multi-day lunch post instead of my usual daily ones. We're in the midst of a major room switcheroo, moving the living room into the dining room for a more cosy and comfortable space, and the former living room is becoming a playroom. We had been using the dining room as a playroom, but it's size made it difficult for the kids to have much in the way of sensory play. Moving them into the living room allows for us to set up zones, as well as making room for a crash pad and swing. We now have an art corner, a lego table, a sensory play area with the crash pad, trampoline, and treadmill, and the swing should be set up very soon. I'll try to get some pictures soon, when it's not grey and rainy out and there is adequate light.


Family Field Trip to COSI!
-Half sunbutter & strawberry jam sandwich on Rudi's gf multigrain bread
-clementine & Pamela's gf ginger cookies
-small bag of Popcorners chips
-apple (for the girl), date roll (for the boy)

A "yes list" lunch! Everything except the clementines were eaten because they were so excited to go play some more. They did eat them for a snack later in the day.


Papa-packed lunch!
-Half sunbutter & strawberry jam sandwich on Rudi's gf multigrain bread
-trail mix
-organic squash & apple pouch
-Andean Dream quinoa cookie

Another "yes list" lunch. The only thing left was the peanuts from the trail mix. This batch of peanuts wasn't very good, and have been getting left behind a lot. That bag is now finished, so they should start going in again soon. 


Our first "no list" lunch in a while.
-carrots with peanut butter & sunbutter
-sili squeeze filled with apple sauce
-Bell & Evans organic franks with dipper of ketchup

The boy didn't like that the peanut butter and sunbutter were mixed, and would have preferred just peanut butter. He also didn't like that he couldn't control the amount of ketchup that went onto the hot dog, but couldn't tell me why he wasn't able to control it. I offered to use a small squeeze bottle, but he didn't think that would work either. We'll have to explore this more. Both kids love apple sauce at home, but weren't into it in the squeeze. I wondering if it's because I didn't put cinnamon in it.
They ate about half the carrots, all the apple sauce, she ate all of her hot dog and he had about half of his.
He seems to be having some food regression, and has lost quite a few foods this week. He's craving carbs and sweets even more than usual, and avoiding proteins.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Boring Monday

-Half Sunbutter & Strawberry jam sandwich on Rudi's wholegrain gluten free bread
-Organic Strawberry Banana pouch
-Mary's Gone Crackers pretzel sticks
-Peanut butter and honey for dipping

I'm not feeling up for anything fancy tonight, so I just put something quick together. I used our new dip containers for the peanut butter. The kids shouldn't have a problem opening them since the lids just flip up. I'd love to find something tiny in stainless steel, but all the small stainless containers are still too big for small amounts of dip.

UPDATE: This one got mixed reviews. Sandwiches are always popular, but the pretzels got a thumbs down. I agree, they taste kind of strange. They were still eaten, but not finished. If the peanut butter hadn't been there to dip into, I don't think they'd have been touched at all.

Friday, September 28, 2012


-Baked leftover GF spaghetti (Tinkyada) with turkey ham strips and egg
-In the Sili: Strawberry/banana/coconut milk/cashew smoothie

Check out the clementines!! Today the boy decided on his own to try a piece of clementine. He wasn't able to eat any of the pulp, but he loved chewing the juice out. I call that a win! Notice the tiny container that's in with his pith-free clementine sections? I'm hoping that's where the pulp will go instead of being spit into his lunchbox or chipmunked.
The smoothie is a re-creation of one of the kid's favorites that we order at a local vegan restaurant. We haven't been there in quite a while, and the kids have mentioned wanting to try to make this smoothie at home.

UPDATE: The boy was a huge fan of this lunch, especially the eggy baked noodles. The girl really liked the smoothie, but wasn't into the baked noodles (though I'm not sure she tasted them).
All clementines were eaten!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tomato Angst and Silis

Today was a day off for the kids, so I didn't pack lunches. Instead, we spent some time at the skate park with the balance bikes, then came home with two cranky kids who were feeling snacky-but-don't-want-anything-you-offer-y. The mister entertained them with a cardboard box while I put together a fanciful supper that was sure to turn the moods around (it totally worked!). 

-Way Better Snacks sweet potato chips (they have chia in them!)
-Kangaroo and elephant shaped sandwiches made with Earth Balance Mindful Mayo and Wellshire Turkey Ham
-Grape tomatoes arranged into a flower with an olive center
-Shredded turkey ham left over after using the cookie cutters for the sandwiches
-Scrambled egg (the boy's new "yes list" food!!)
-HealthyPants muffin 

Both kids came running when they heard me put the plates on the table. They immediately sat down and started to eat, but had to stop a few times to come over to hug me and say thanks for the muffin, or the sandwich, or the scrambled egg. You'd think they'd been eating only rice mush and overcooked green beans their whole lives, and were just tasting real food for the first time. The only actual new food was the tomatoes. They are tiny little grape tomatoes, and they are sweet and good. The girl loved them once she tried one, but she has always been a fan of tomatoes. The boy got worried. Furrowed his brows and everything. Here's his "this has touched my plate and contaminated all that is right in the world" face...
The tomato angst only lasted until he spotted the elephant sandwich on his plate. He was able to keep the tomatoes on his plate, though he wasn't able to try one. He did bring a few over to me and asked me to eat them, and wanted to watch me bite them so he could see if they'd squirt.

Eventually, they went to bed, and I got started on lunch...

-Half sandwich of Wellshire turkey canadian bacon and Earth Balance Mindful Mayo (egg and soy free!) on Rudi's gf multigrain bread
-Andean Dream quinoa/coconut cookie
-Peanut butter/cocoa/coconut milk yogurt smoothie
-Bare Fruit cinnamon apple chips will be put into their bags for snack

Our new Sili Squeezes have arrived! The kids have been super excited for these to come, and were thrilled to see them on our doorstep yesterday. I was planning on filling them with an old standby for the first time using them, but on a whim decided to try something new. I've been having such good luck introducing new foods at lunchtime, why not press my luck a little further. Tomorrow is a gym day, so they'll need lots of energy. Plus, by the end of a long day at school, they are hungry. This smoothie should have lots of sticking power, but hopefully not so much that they are too full for gym.
It's a little sweet for my taste, and I'm not a huge fan of the coconut milk yogurt. Hopefully the kids will like it. If not, I'll have an extra snack for them to eat when I pick them up. 

Ingredients (this made enough to fill 2 6oz silis, and a bit more for tasting) :

Honey, 2 tbsp

Dates - Medjool, 4 date, pitted

Cocoa Powder Organic, 1 tbsp (5g)

Flax Seed - Ground , 1 tablespoon

Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein - Organic Shelled Hemp Seed, 3 Tablespoons

Organic Peanut Butter - Smooth, No Salt Added, 2 tablespoons

So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk - Vanilla - Yogurt, 8 oz

Bananas - Raw, 1 medium

UPDATE: Got a very interesting response to today's lunch. The boy declared this a "no list" lunch, but then went on to discuss (at length) how much he liked the smoothie. What he didn't like was the sandwich. That he ate.
Somehow I went to bed last night like normal, but woke up this morning in some sort of food aversion Twilight Zone where my kid actually eats a food that he doesn't like.
The girl also didn't like her sandwich, but clarified that she just wasn't into the mayo. She pulled off the turkey to eat, and left the bread and mayo.