I am just days away from summer lunch time. Either Elle, Crew or I will make one lunch for everybody and then we will eat it together at the same time.
I have recently discovered that eating lunch together as a family in the summer might not be normal, but that is just how we have always done it. I like one mess in the kitchen at one time. Then we clean it up and the kitchen is closed until afternoon snack. And I like knowing what food I still have and what food I need to buy. If everyone were eating whatever they wanted, whenver they wanted, I am not sure how I would keep up with my grocery list. Lunches might change when they are older, but, for now, I am going to keep up my control as long as I can.
Anyway, remember I am trying to make small healthy improvements to our 5 standard lunches. I improved our pizza here and our mac and cheese here, and the next lunch to healthify was the basic sandwich. I mean what’s a lunch menu without a sandwich?
I like to do tuna or grilled cheese on Saturday, so another day during the week we either do lunch meat or peanut butter sandwiches.
I don’t have anything earth shattering for you. Just a few baby steps we are taking in a healthier direction.
First of all, to have a healthy sandwich, you have to make sure you have a healthy bread. Luckily, we got that down back here. Make sure the first ingredient says 100% whole wheat. Anything “enriched” means they had to take good stuff out to then try to put it back in.
I was happy to find some healthier lunch meats without nitrates or preservatives. That alone makes me feel better about my sandwiches.
The brand is Hormel and they are in a cardboard box just in the deli meat section. I stock up when they are on sale and freeze them. I am sure there are even better meat choices out there, but this is an improvement for us.
I also try to have some white cheese available when I can. Since orange cheeses have added color, they are more processed than white cheeses. Havariti, swiss, and pepper jack are all yummy white cheese options my kids will eat.
And of course a sandwich is a great gateway to veggies. I try to get my kids to add some lettuce, tomato, or cucumbers on their deli meat sandwiches, but so far Elle is the only taker. But at least the others see Elle and I loading up the veggies. One day they will love a great tomato or avocado, right?
PB & J
We don’t eat peanut butter and jelly much around here, but we do like to take them on picnics. They are quick and easy, and I don’t have to worry about meat or mayo going bad.
My kids wouldn’t eat pb & j sandwiches on the wheat bread I usually buy, so I wanted to find a decent substitute. This Grandma’s bread is not quite as healthy as my Aspen Mills, but at least my kids will eat it.
But the most exciting part is that I finally got my kids eating healthy peanut butter on their sandwiches! They
like tolerate Adam’s brand and Kirkland brand so far. The only ingredient is peanuts.
And really it should be PB & H. Since honey is a naturally made sweetener, honey is a better choice than jellys and jams. But for my child that won’t eat honey, I try to go with a jam that does not have high fructose corn syrup in it. There are some ‘natural’ or ‘just fruit’ type jams available if you read the ingredients.
So there you have it — our two sandwiches. Like I said, nothing earth shattering. But a few small tweaks here and there can add up to life long health changes. I happen to believe that by small and simple things, great things come to pass.
Next lunch to healthify: quesadillas.