If you are anything like me, you spent the start of the school year determined to pack healthy lunches and have healthier snack options available for the kids, and most likely yourself. Even if you do not have kids, at some point you have had the urge to jazz up your own meals, make cooler appetizers for some function, or just eat better. Maybe you want to sneak some extra vegetables into dinner, or even dessert, or new dietary restrictions have you trying new combinations and ways to make everything taste great while still being reasonably good for you.
I started off the school year with fresh baked muffins (with pureed vegetables hidden inside), plenty of fruit and whole grains in the snazzy bento box style containers for each of my kiddos. I had a snack box in the refrigerator and one in the pantry with pre portioned healthy snacks to fulfill requests. And now? Well, lets just say that the lunches are not nearly as well planned and motivation to keep everything healthy and organized is waning.
I have one young picky eater in the house, and a husband that dislikes casseroles, crock pot cooking, and vegetables in general. It is easy to fall into a rut of making the same the few meals over and over, and picking meals that seem to be the easiest to make even when there are better options. I have found that I regularly need motivation, ideas, and more to keep things healthy and tasty- as well as eaten by the whole crew. Getting everyone involved in the meal planning, shopping, or cooking is a big help. If they get to pick the food, or help in preparing it, they are all much more likely to eat, or at least try, what is on their plate.
Here are some books that I have recently found (some just moved into the Parenting section in the children’s room) to help inspire and re motivate myself and anyone else struggling with healthy meals, healthy snacks, and fun foods that are tasty and healthy.
Stealth Health Lunches Kids Love: Irresistible and Nutritious Gluten-Free Sandwiches, Wraps and Other Easy Eats by Tracy Griffith
So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week by Ellie Krieger
Best Lunch Box Ever: Ideas and Recipes for School Lunches Kids Will Love by Katie Sullivan Morford
Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunchbox with More than 160 Happier Meals by Catherine McCord
ChopChop: the Kids’ Guide to Cooking Real Food with your Family by Sally Sampson
The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals by Missy Chase Lapine
Regular readers know by now that I can never stop with just a few recommended books. So, if those listed above are already checked out or you are looking for more you might want to try: Beating the Lunch Box Blues: Fresh Ideas for Lunches on the Go! by J. M. Hirsch, Insanewiches: 101 Ways to Think Outside the Lunchbox by Adrian Fiorino,Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get your Kids Eating Good Food by Jessica Seinfeld, The Cleaner Plate Club by Beth Bader & Ali Benjamin, Double Delicious! : Good, Simple Food for Busy, Complicated Lives by Jessica Seinfeld, and The Dinnertime Survival Cookbook: Delicious, Inspiring Meals for Busy Families by Debra Ponzek.