Monday, May 13, 2013

JUST meat and cheese?

I'm convinced that we weren't created to simply have a family and live secluded in our own homes for the rest of our lives. 

Relationships are important. 

Relationships with other moms are important. 

I cherish the moms that are in my life, they are dear friends. We love to get together, get our kiddos together and simply share life. These women are precious and can totally relate to what crazy mom life is like; where you are convinced that you have the BEST job in the world...you just sometimes also want to call in sick.

When we get together we are bound to talk about things that we are struggling with as moms. Sometimes it can get deep, however most of the time, our conversations are about how to survive and THRIVE in the roles that we so dearly love. I am also always encouraged when I find out that my child isn't, the only one that does that... (fill in the blank!)

I've mentioned my lack of enthusiasm for cooking before. One day I was in desperate need of some help. I asked, "What do you serve your kids for lunch?"

Most of them told me that they just cut up some meat & cheese.

Brilliant! 

Come on Sarah, you hadn't done that before? It never crossed my mind.

I've given the kids meat and cheese sandwiches before but they never ate it like a sandwich and would never finish all of it. We have rules when it comes to food to teach the kids about being thankful for what they are given. I knew that I would follow through with having them finish their food or they would get a consequence..lose snack. However, sometimes it just feels like a battle I don't want to deal with today.

I did feel though that if I made PB&J or Mac&Cheese one more time I might give MYSELF the Academy Award for worst mommy cook in the world!

So, you mean I could just cut up some meat & cheese and not put it in a sandwich?


We had the best (and easiest) picnic lunch EVER the other day. 

In case you are wondering...if you try to slice a block of cheese that has been in the freezer it will just turn into crumbles. 

Thankfully my kids ate the cheese all the same and gobbled up the rest of the food as well. Sometimes it's just about making progress in the little things...the priceless things. When you live intentionally and in community with other moms you just might start thriving again!

So what do YOU serve your kids for lunch? I'm totally fishing for more great ideas and as you can see it is super easy to surpass my menu! :-)

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25 comments:

  1. Yesterday I made homemade frozen yogurt in my food processor and yep that's what they got for breakfast today. With a granola bar they thought they we so lucky to have a treat for breakfast. :-)

    (Blend 3 cups frozen fruit with 1/4 cup sugar until fruit is chopped small. ( i used bananas, bluberries and strawberries) Then add 1/2 cup plain yogurt with 1 Tbsp lemon juice mixed into it. Blend till smooth. Place in cups cover and freeze another 30 mins. Pull out and enjoy like ice cream)

    Made it feel like summer is on its way! -becca

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    1. I happen to have ALL of those ingredients! Hooray...they are in for a treat. Thanks Becca!

      ~Sarah

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    2. Enjoy! I just had some more myself along with my morning coffee.... this may become my new habit. :-) -becca

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  2. Instead of grilled cheese sandwiches we sometimes do quesadillas.

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    1. Jessica,

      We love doing quesadillas!

      ~Sarah

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  3. I Like to cut up meat and cheese too, that way you can start them off with a little and give them more if they finish. We also do hot dogs, pb&j, mini pizzas (mini pitas with sauce and cheese), quesadillas (they especially love when I get them mini tortillas... kids love mini!0, bagels and cream cheese, beans and rice with cheese.

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  4. Perfect! We do this. We call it grazing. lol ;) Sometimes (especially in the summer) we have a cheese, fruit, veggies with dip and bread buffet. Each time we do this I try and find new cheeses to try (I am lovin' blueberry cheese). Yogurt smoothies are a huge hit in the summer.

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    1. Julie,

      Blueberry cheese? I've never heard of that...we might have to try out some new cheeses this summer too! :-)

      ~Sarah

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  5. I seems to struggle with what to feed my kids for lunch...I honestly have never thought of just cutting up meat and cheese. You think it would have come to my mind since my kids always ask for Lunchables! Great idea!

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    1. I love hanging out with other moms...for more reasons than one! :-)

      ~Sarah

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  6. well I my self don't have my own kids but as a baby sitter of over 10 years, I have done lots of different things, meat and cheese is common. when it is to hot to cook I often just do fruits and veggies. and if I am doing and all day baby sitting gig ill (if they have it) make some thing in the crock pot. but a lot of the things I do as a baby sitter have been said.
    chantal

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  7. This post reminds me of "bunch lunches" I don't remember who originally came up with this name or the concept. Lillian insists that it was Aunt Lynn. Basically you save your egg cartons (styrofoam are more ideal) and you cut them in half so each person has 6 little spots for food. Then you put six little food items in each spot - this could be raisins, peanuts,fruit, crackers, cheese, meat, pbj bites, pickles, olives or even leftovers from the fridge. Sometimes we would include special dips or sauces in one or two of the spots - like ketchup, peanut butter or yogurt etc. For some reason my kids always thought that "bunch lunches" were so great even though in reality it was the same food, just presented in a different way. They also liked the little portions 'cause if you didn't like something you didn't have much of it to eat.

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    1. I love this idea. I am going to have to start saving up my egg cartons! :-)

      ~Sarah

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    2. That's such a good idea!

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    3. A reply nearly a year later - not sure this'll be seen but what the hey. I don't use the egg cartons because I don't know what has gotten on them (broken egg, salmonella etc as that would make my hubby unhappy) but I've seen people suggesting you use a muffin tin and fill it with all the fruist/veggies/snacks. Just toss a muffin cup in for yogurt/ketchup and it makes for easier cleanup

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  8. I am an old Mom, however I help my younger son by caring for his two several days a month as he works night shift. We do snack lunches. Meat, cheese, crackers and fruit. Cut into small pieces and served at table on fancy platters. Each person has a dessert or salad plate and help themselves. Only rules are you must eat all that you take and some type of fruit. They often request this for dinner too. Regena in TN.

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  9. I don't have anything to add since I don't have kids (expecting one in about two weeks though!) - But I'm going to save this thread of comments. They're all fantastic. Lucky you!

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    1. Congratulations on your (almost) new addition! So exciting! :-)

      ~Sarah

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  10. If you give kids meat and cheese every night, they'll learn to demand kid food (never really developing an adult palate) from you, their short order cook. If you give them meat and cheese and ask: what recipe can we make with this? ...You’ll end up super-creative kids with more well balanced diets. Older (school-aged) kids who have practice planning meals with you might suggest mixing the meat and cheese with tomatoes, onions, or mushrooms then wrapping them in pizza dough to make calzones. Yum!

    With a little practice, kids have so much fun getting creative with food. I like to start with cookbooks (the calzone idea above came from Dora and Diego Let's Cook cookbook for kids). My oldest son likes to flip through my Rachel Ray magazines --bonus: most recipes take less than 30 minutes-- where he circles what he'd like to help make. Give your child a special clipboard, notebook, or place to write down their menu ideas (we use dry-erase crayons and Styrofoam plates and he draws/labels menu items).

    For toddlers/preschoolers: even little ones too young to help shop or plan meals can cook! Yes, babies can try (to imitate you) cooking too. Today, my 20 month old shucked cornhusks (I helped a little). Then, little guy liked tearing up the basil with me, and smashing garlic with a spoon as I peeled it. Not only did we end up prepping some very good corn, but baby ate every bit and learned to say the word "corn"! During baby's naptime, my five year old and I kneaded fresh pasta dough by molding superheroes, then squishing/ re-rolling them (yes, it took forever, but he was going to play with Playdough anyways). He even used the old fashioned crack to roll and cut it.

    Cooking with children helps kids develop independence and confidence and it's something all age groups, from teens to the youngest toddlers can join in to some extent, making for quality time together.


    (Aside) Take it to the next level and start a Mrs. Obama-style backyard garden (we just do simple potted herbs) or take your little ones to the farmer's market. Better yet, schedule a time to visit a local farm.

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    1. We like to keep things simple at lunch time and be more creative with our dinners. You offered some great suggestions for getting kids involved in the process, thank you for sharing! :-)

      ~Sarah

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  11. I love the idea of meat and cheese! Your picnic picture looks yummy! On Wednesdays we go to a playgroup and each mom brings a little snack to share with everyone. My son's the youngest and only recently started participating. I think this is his favourite meal of the week! Not only does he get to sit at a table with other kids, but he gets a plate covered in different things. It's mostly cut up fruit. Sometimes we have yogurt covered raisins, crackers (he loves goldfish or any no name brand version), muffins, and cookies as well. So it occurred to me that I should do similar things at home: a plate full of a variety of things that he can eat. He just loves picking through a variety of foods. Don't you think options are more fun?

    Recently I was browsing some day care websites and I came across their weekly menu plan. I was excited because I'm a new mom and he hasn't been eating solids for that long, so I never know what to give him! (I haven't had time to look over the menus yet, so I basically just give him whatever I can think of).

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    1. Amelia,

      Your playgroup sounds so fun! Serving a variety of foods is great. :-)

      ~Sarah

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