Lunch Wrap Up: Week of Sept 19th

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Without further delay…

 My son’s lunches


Omelet with taco and refried beans inside and daiya cheese, sliced apples, corn muffin, applesauce, baby carrots

I send leftovers, especially on Mondays. Child care menu: Pizza bake, veggie blend, orange, wheat dinner roll


Rice, apples, turkey breast cutlet with ketchup, pepper (CSA), bar

I wasn’t able to visit the farmer’s market and get fresh peaches the previous Sunday because we had a commitment. Instead we went to the grocery store and bought apples. Child care menu: Cheesy chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, strawberries, rye bread.


Chopped chicken sausage, goat yogurt, melon, carrots, corn muffin, pretzels

My son went off yogurt for awhile (remember the coconut milk yogurt? that was getting wasted and since it was expensive, I stopped buying it). My husband bought goat milk yogurt and he ate it for a couple days. Then stopped. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted. Child care menu: Meatballs in spaghetti sauce, pasta, baby carrots with dip


Melon, applesauce, Applegate bologna with rice cheese sandwiches, radishes and the spinach (CSA), pretzels.

My son enjoyed the radish chips I made when we got radishes in our CSA at the beginning of the summer, but he is not a fan of them raw. He told me they were “spicy.” Points for trying them though! Child care menu: beef taco, cheddar cheese, lettuce, veggie blend, pineapple chunks, soft tortilla


Bacon, applesauce, melon, broccoli (CSA), bar

As you can tell, by Friday I’m so over packing lunches and they start to look like this.. Child care menu: Macaroni and Cheese with chicken, tomato wedges with ranch dip, cranberry applesauce, wheat bread

 My lunches


Turkey sandwich with spinach (CSA), pickles (farmer’s market), homemade potato leek soup (CSA), KIND bar

I used David Lebovitz’s recipe for Potato Leek soup. The soup was perfect for the changing weather.


Turkey breast cutlet with rice and pecans, apple/pear (neighbors’ tree), pepper (CSA), KIND bar

Our neighbors have a tree that produces these beautiful Asian pears (at least that’s what I think they are). The wife doesn’t like how they taste and told us we are welcome to pick as many as we would like. So we visited with a paper grocery bag. I loved them — the taste is fresh and juicier than an apple.


Potato leek soup, sausage, corn muffins, baby carrots and two apple/pears

Can you tell I was running late that morning?


Bologna sandwich with lettuce (CSA), melon, apple/pear, spinach and radishes (CSA), KIND bar

When I packed my lunch as a kid, I loved bologna sandwiches! Also if you are not a big salad fan, I think starting with a little bit is a great way to get in the habit of eating greens.


Bacon salad with carrots and broccoli, daiya cheese, apple/pear, dressing, KIND bar

One of the salads I adored buying years ago was a bacon, cheese, and ranch salad. I tried to recreate it here and you know what? It was delicious. Friday’s lunch was my favorite all week.


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27 thoughts on “Lunch Wrap Up: Week of Sept 19th”

    1. To clarify: for all the food changes you have undergone in the past year+, I surprised that you haven’t considered heavily processed meats to be problematic. You know that I regularly read your blog and am a big fan, but I find it strange that you have gone gluten-free and largely dairy-free and have changed your habits and diet remarkably, but have stopped short.

    2. Have you read the label of your cheese you are eating?

      Filtered water, tapioca and /or arrowroot flours, non-GMO expeller pressed canola and /or non-GMO expeller pressed safflower oil, coconut oil, pea protein, salt, inactive yeast, vegan natural flavors, vegetable glycerin, xanthan gum, citric acid (for flavor), annatto, titanium dioxide (a naturally occurring mineral).

      Non-GMO or not, what food does this represent? I would rather eat dairy products from an animal.

      1. Dear Connie,

        I understand that you may be intimated or turned off by a product with numerous ingredients, but do you know how dairy is produced? On today’s factory farms (and small farms), baby calves are torn from their mothers at birth. Dairy cows are repeatedly impregnated on what are called rape racks (a dairy industry term, note mine). They are killed at a fraction of their normal life span.

        When the baby veal calves are taken away from their mothers, they are then chained and tethered by the neck into what are called veal crates – tiny wood crates with no space whatsoever to run and play as young calves should.

        I’d take vegan cheese (or no cheese at all) over the violent, exploitative milk produced in America today. Additionally, nearly all the milk you’ll buy in today’s grocery stores and restaurants are pumped full of hormones, antibiotics, and the animals are fed an unnatural diet.

        I’m not perfect, I drank milk, put cheese on everything, and ate ice cream by the pint for most of my life. But after I learned about the routine cruelties in the dairy industry, it was no more dairy for me. The lives of animals are more important to me than a fleeting pleasure of taste.

        1. I take great offense at your one-sided view of the dairy industry in America. I grew up on a cattle ranch where we worked alongside local dairy farms. These animals were my friends from a very young age–and I am an avid dairy/beef lover. The statements you’re making are so far from the truth regarding family farms (which make up a majority of dairy farms). Although this is the unfortunate case in a minority of the much larger “corporate” farms, your theories do not encompass the entire industry. Many family farms raise cattle as if they were their pets…lush grass, loving care, and a balanced, natural diet. As with any other food, it is imperative to read dairy labels to understand the source. I find it truly discomforting that Americans like yourself will believe everything they hear in the media…and then repeat it on biased platforms like this.

      2. I started a gluten free/casein free diet with my daughter 3 years ago becuase she was diagnosed with Autism. I can’t begin to put into words how it has helped her, the changes were miraculous to say the least! Then I started researching ALL the food we eat. WOW, was I ever sick, appalled, & disgusted! Not only are we eating food with no nutritional value but we are consuming countless poisons as well! Things that the FDA has approved with little or no testing! They have approved things that are in our deodorants, cosmetics, bodycare products and food that, while being processed, employees are required to wear special protective equipment! But no one says-” If the workers have to take these precautions because these things are so toxic, why are we putting them in things like toothpaste, baby oil, makeup, & FOOD???????” When I started to look into why Kelsi couldn’t digest dairy I found something else out, NO ONE should consume dairy products! Our bodies are meant to have human breat milk and only as infants. Cow’s milk contains almost 3 times the amount of casein as a humans, therefore it’s the food God intended for calves, not us. Humans are the only creatures that consume milk past the infancy stage!! After this stage our bodies don’t produce the enzymes needed to break it down. Then what happens is, those undigested particles cross the blood/brain barrier and act as drugs in our systems. Gluten does this as well. Milk also creates mucous, making it harder for our bodies to detoxify and cancer is known to feed on dairy. Dairy products also cause the blood to be very acidic, the body then tries to counter this by using the calcium in your body to neutralize the acid, causing the bones to act like an alkaseltzer and release the calcium they contain back into the bloodstream! Maybe thats what’s causing the increase in osteoporosis, but your traditional doctor will tell you that it’s because you aren’t getting enough calcium & that you should consume more DAIRY! It really upsets me to see celebrities like Susan Seradon and the countless others promoting dairy products, especially for our children and elderly. Once ANY food is heated or pasteurized, it loses it’s nutritional value. Most of the time, when those nutrients are depleated, the food companies use coal tar derived minerals to “enrich” them, such as breads, rice and other grains!!! I encourage everyone I know to watch the food documentaries on Netflix. Food, Inc. & Food Matters are probably my all time favs, Oprah even featured Food, Inc. on her show! Hope I didn’t offend anyone, just wanted to be helpful! 🙂

        1. Brandy you are correct in everything you said. A really good documentary that was just released to DVD after a limited theater release around the US is “Forks Over Knives”. It’s full of facts and statistics from studies around the globe. The best one I’ve seen yet. Oh, and another good one is, “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”. I think if people watch these documentaries they will start to understand how horrifying and cancerous the meat industry has become. I too am surprised at the fact that she is still eating and feeding her son processed meats. But maybe one day she’ll get there. My fiance and I were vegetarian for 9 months and then switched to a plant based diet after that, only adding fish (mostly salmon) back into our diets. We’ve greatly reduced our dairy intake and are now trying to reduce the amount of gluten we eat as well. I think it’s great what you’ve accomplished so far, because it’s so much more than the average parent is doing for their kids. I would recommend you watch, “Forks Over Knives”, a very good 2011 documentary.

  1. be careful with the cantaloupe! i don’t know where yours are from, but cantaloupes are being linked to listeria outbreaks

  2. I love butcher-shop made, fresh ring bologna, its delicious! The lunchmeat however, really stinks.

  3. Mrs. Q, I love Asian pears! lucky you, having a tree you can directly pick from… 😉

    Just wondering…wouldn’t your son enjoy the goat yogurt better if you added different elements to it each day? I personally would get sick of it if it was always plain! (so I add berries, honey, jam, mango…depends on what’s in my fridge that day!)

  4. I think you make amazing and varied lunches for yourself and your child day in, day out. Meat is not the main ingredient and I think you get big points for your efforts, even on the days when you think you haven’t done a good job. Be kind to yourself, you’re doing great!

  5. I came across an interesting article on the BBC trying to persuade parents NOT to pack lunches for their children because school lunch is healthier. I felt it was very interesting in comparison to your story.

    I know that there have been a lot of changes in school lunch regulation in the UK, I was in school as it began to happen, but I don’t know how far it’s gone. I remember when I was in high school, people mostly ate chips for school lunch.

    1. Food Beware: The French Revolution Project, details some of the changes they are making in schools and I think it’s amazing!! I find it ironic that the Standard American Diet is referred to as SAD

  6. I love your ideas, I am also GF/CF, so are both of my daughters who will be in fulltime school in the coming years. And will be packing many a lunch box soon.
    I remember being in Primary and high schools eating sandwhiches, or not eating them. Wonder why I threw them out all theses years. Great job!!

  7. I just stumbled across these kind bars in my grocery store and they are yummy! Have you tried LARABAR??? I follow a paleo diet and they are all the rage, but I like the kind bars better

  8. Here is a thought to think about..

    Schools can serve the most healthy lunch….but kids will not eat it! Oh yes….do you know how many luches are dumped! I have seen kids take the chicken nuggets and dump the rest. You can take a horse to the water but you cannot make him drink.

    If you really want your children to eat well…make them a lunch:)

    I applaud you parents who make your babies lunch. I work for a school district as a lunch lady, and have for the last five years! School lunches vary by schools. But are GOVERMENT STANDARIZED..another words everything we serve is authorized by the governemnt. Back about 10-15 years ago, children could help in the cafeteria, and each NSA 3 could decide what to serve. It is no longer that way. So no worries..Obama is changing things as we speak, and my Director has to work very hard to make sure those standards are kept.

    As parents you have the right to your children and what they eat. If you dont like what they serve make them a lunch….Im sure your child will like it better anyway since Mommie made it.

    Fat kids are not due to school lunches! THe lack of physical activity…is! Too much TV and video games…but each parent has the right to pursue and raise their family as they see fit,,, this is American not a communist country with a dictator! Yet school lunches are becoming more and more dictated…! Hmmm

  9. Hi! find your blog really interesting. I teach kindergarten here in Japan, and I sit with the kids everyday for lunch, and what a HUGE difference! Here, the main staple is rice. They get about 2-3 different kinds of vegetable dishes, fish, and a bit of pickled vegetables. Meat is a treat, and we have them once or twice a week. The kids love tofu and konnyaku. None of the food they eat for lunch is fried/ deep fried.

    Twice a month, we have cooking day. The kids learn to prepare food (cutting, slicing, and even frying and sauteeing) by themselves. Twice a year, we also go potato digging or sweet potato digging. The kids’ parents also take the kids apple-picking or blueberry picking if its in season.

    I made a blog entry about it here:

    Of course, some kids are picky but sooner or later, they develop a more sophisticated palate. I amazed at how Japanese kids eat, no wonder that obesity is so rare in this country.

  10. Mrs. Q, it looks like you’ve taken a good approach to healthy eating for you and your child. I’ve been a trainer for 3 years and have a degree in Exercise and Health Sciences. I want to help you take your healthy eating to the next level. I highly suggest you switch the processed meats like the sausage and bacon (low protein content, higher sodium and fat) for home-cooked meats like grilled chicken or fish. That way, you have the meat in it’s most natural form (buy organic) and you can control the salt content in your food. Spice very well to avoid bland food.

  11. I remember school lunches…and they haven’t changed much since i went to school…60’s -79. In elementary school the foods I remember most were the canned peaches which I loved…and the canned Spinach…which I liked as well…just that it has a peculiar smell to it.
    I remember taco bell days, Pizza hut days, Jack in the Box days.
    Then we got ‘real’ food in high school…vending machines with mystery meat sandwiches and wilted lettuce which had been there for who knows how long. Chips and apples and oranges and sodas rounded out our diet. Oh, and burritos in plastic wrap…rounded out the days fare.
    Yes, school lunches does bring back memories.
    I wonder if any of the food that didn’t get used then is being recycled now?

  12. Dairy Products

    You are right, whoever said humans are the only ones who eat/drink dairy after infancy, and that is not a good thing…especially if it is cow dairy products. Between lactose and protein intolerance that MUST say something to people!!!! Lactose brings on stomach problems and protein brings on upper respiratory problems-tonsil-sinusitis-bronchitis…
    But, no, the Dairy Board has too much to lose if we were to stop using their products.
    If only food were healthier…well, only way to do that is to grow your own, get a hen, etc.

    As for the Lysteria? That is minor. In comparison to the deaths of many of the things we do ‘voluntarily’ like drive drunk, like texting while we drive, etc. it is nothing. L is around us everywhere, especially pigeons which nest in our strip malls and starbucks near our food. It doesn’t take much to get any in our drinks and food either.

    We all ‘know’ what is and isn’t healthy to eat…yet we don’t follow what we know. Even way back then kids would trade their ‘good’ stuff for the candy and dessert others had.
    I didn’t eat candy so I would sell it to my friends when I knew they had eaten all their Halloween candy up…LOL
    We all know what it comes down to…money. How much it will cost to feed people. How much waste will there be in fresh over ‘processed’ food.

    BTW ‘nuggets’ comes from chicken by products which is a pink paste which, when cooked, becomes white.

    The question really is this: how can we feed people healthy food, which will not be costly, and which they will want to eat? If you figure this out you will win the next Nobel.

  13. Love this article! I have a blog which I entered a similar story about a month ago called “Pack Your Own Lunch”. You’re readin my mind! I wish schools change their ways for the kid’s (who havent got options) sake. This is why I opt to pack lunch for my daughter. If schools would only invest in their kitchen staff a bit more, having cooks to cook foods on site…they already have equipment…stoves ovens, refrigerators… rather than invest in delivery of processed, crummy, brown, food full of heaven knows what. (Thank you for exposing this on TV) Making food from scratch IS more economical…You’re doing it with the delicious looking and wholesome food in your pictures above! I love the mission you’re on! Keep up the good work.

  14. Have you considering using the goat yogurt to make a dip instead, adding fresh herbs and the like? You could probably even add goat cheese and make it more of a bleu cheese type of dressing!

    I am not personally a fan of school lunches – they are expensive, and I do feel that they could introduce more fresh fruit and veggies. On the other hand, I do feel that my kids try a larger variety of foods than they would ordinarily, simply because they have nothing else to eat, and they are eating with friends. In addition, I have an aunt who has been cooking for a preschool for a few years, and tells me of the cost, allergy, and other types of constraints under which she must operate. This gives me a new perspective on school lunch. Understandably, those planning them must keep costs down, appeal to the largest population (thereby increasing popularity and revenue based on continued volume), while continuing to balance the lunch with servings from each of the 5 food groups – however badly.

    I understand that school lunch is a business like any other. With the rising cost of fuel and labor, and the overall reduction in government funding, it is no surprise that the cost of lunches are rising. However, school lunches are optional. This makes us just plain consumers – albeit better educated that before – and as such must demand a better product for our dollars. Perhaps different food choices should be made available based on economics; obviously, not every family can sustain an increase in rates. What is without question is the fact that the face of school lunch must change – quickly – and that we as consumers must be the ones to demand that change.

  15. Alot of talk about school lunches, there are guidelines we have to met and for some children this is the only meal they get.they don’t have a mom or dad that cares enough to pack them a lunch or they don’t have the time or the money. besides some of the lunches viewed here today i wouldn’t want to eat ,simply from sight. our meals are made with get care and kept within our guide lines.i would and do eat our cafeteria meals every day, some are better than others. but most of the they are very good and at a price you can’t beat, also because of the economy alot of children receive free or reduced lunches.
    school food service is doing a great and gets a bad rap unfairly, from poeple who have no idea what all it takes .

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