Wednesday, October 11, 2017

School Lunches: 50 Healthy Ideas & Tips

When you think about dinner, keep lunches in mind.  It is so easy to make a bit extra at dinner and use the meal, or even part of it, in the lunch.  For instance, if you have roasted chicken or a pork tenderloin for dinner, why not use that meat in a sandwich instead of using processed meats?

If you make pasta sauce, freeze small portions of any extra for lunches in a pinch on top of some pasta. Same thing with taco night, you can freeze extra taco meat (or the veggie meat alternative which tastes nearly identical once dressed up with the spices) and have extra tortillas on hand in the freezer for a quick burrito.  Get my drift?

Make lunch fun – without the garbage food!  I’m all for a treat once in a while, but why not make lunches fun in other ways?  Send a little note or some stickers in the lunch kit instead (you can put it in a plastic Easter egg to make it even cuter).

Use cookie cutters to make cute shapes out of the food: heart shaped cheese or a larger fun cookie cutter for the sandwich are a couple of ideas.
Use colourful silicone moulds to separate items in bento box style lunches.

Top 25 Lunch Ideas:
Fajitas (chicken, beef or tofu)
Bento Box: filled with fruit, veggies, crackers, cheese, and diced roast chicken
Egg Salad Wrap with spinach and red pepper on a wholegrain wrap
Lasagne Roll-Ups (lasagne noodles layered with cottage or ricotta cheese, spinach and parmesan rolled up and topped with sauce)
Pita with Tuna Salad
Cucumber & Cream Cheese Sandwich
English Muffin Pizza (toasted English Muffin cheese and pizza sauce)
Spring Rolls (Tofu, Shrimp or Chicken) (just skip the peanuts and dipping sauce)
Corn Chowder Soup
Bean & Cheese Burrito
Chilli with Cornbread Muffins
Turkey Meatball Pasta
Hummus, Pita & Veggies
Pasta Salad (pasta with tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, red pepper and chicken if desired with a vinaigrette dressing)
Quiche (tastes great at room temperature)
Whole wheat waffles cut into sticks with Greek yogurt dip
Chicken Strips (can also be put into a wrap)
Lentil soup with crackers
Turkey Roll Ups (sliced turkey meat with cheese, spinach and mustard
Homemade Macaroni & Cheese
Leftover Crêpes: rolled up with cheese, spinach and ham
Turkey Meatloaf Muffins
Chicken Noodle Soup
Hamburger (made with lean meat), Chicken Burger or Veggie Burger on a whole wheat bun
Stir Fry with Tofu or Chicken and Rice

Top 20 Snack Ideas: 
Fruit kebabs (can add cheese)
Double Apple Muffins (you can make any of the bread/muffin recipes into mini muffins just adjust the baking time to 8-10 minutes)
Omega-3 Double Chocolate Zucchini Loaf made into mini-muffins
Veggies & dip (I love the Epicure dip mixes)
Apple slices & cheese
Edamame beans
Healthy cookies (like these Pumpkin Pie Cookies)
Hard boiled eggs
Greek yogurt
Homemade nut-free trail mix (seeds & dried fruit with mini chocolate chips)
Homemade granola bars (like this Chocolate Coconut Cherry version)
Roasted Chickpeas (I did a Chickpea & Kale version)
Chickpea or Black Bean Brownies 
Guacamole & Whole Grain Tortilla Chips
Popcorn (Epicure has some great flavouring for popcorn!)
Graham Crackers with Baby Bell Cheese
Corn on the cob
Whole wheat fig bars
Homemade Applesauce (just cook diced apples on the stove with a touch of cinnamon & brown sugar and freeze in small containers)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Healthy ON the GO snacks

I remember feeling busy before I had kids, and granted, I was.  Now, I’m sure that I was warned about how busy life with kids really is.  But of course, like anything, parenthood is something that you need to experience to fully appreciate.  And do I ever appreciate it now!

I wouldn’t change anything for the world, but it all just takes a bit more planning these days.  Take healthy eating for instance.  A lot of people turn to less healthy options out of convenience when they’re in a rush. The good news is that eating well doesn’t need to take a lot of time, money or energy, and a having a few trusted go-to options can help keep your family on the healthy eating track without sacrificing convenience!

I wanted to share a list of my favourite portable on-the-go snacks to help make it easier for you and your family to stay properly fueled throughout the day, no matter where you are!
‘On the Go’ Snack Ideas:
snack bars (Energy, Fruit & Chia, Fruit-to-Go and Fruit Source)

trail mix (almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and dried blueberries)
veggie or nut butter sandwich on whole grain bread
whole grain crackers and cheese
tuna and cracker snack pack
‘cheese’ popcorn (popcorn tossed in nutritional yeast)

boiled egg
pita chips and hummus
homemade energy balls
sliced apples with almond butter and raisins
homemade muffins
grapes and cheese
banana sushi (whole grain tortilla spread with peanut butter with a banana rolled in the centre)
steamed edamame beans
veggies and dip in a mason jar
homemade fruit cup
individual yogurts

Note, some of these snacks need to be packed in a small cooler bag with an ice pack.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Help for Houston

Reposted from Mix and Match Mama
*Go to to make a credit card donation. We’ve had readers comment on how this organization helped them previously in times of need.  They have 5 tractor trailers currently on their way to Houston.
*Text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the American Red Cross. You can do this multiple times.  You can also visit or call 1- 800-RED CROSS.  The Red Cross depends on financial donations to help provide immediate relief.
*JJ WATT (a Houston Texan football player) created a donation page and he pledges that 100% of the donations will go straight to disaster relief, to the people in need.  You can find the site HERE.
*Our friends Courtney and Josh started a non-profit called Mission Regan several years ago in McKinney.  They specialize in delivering medical supplies to those in need (both locally and abroad), and right now they are putting together teams to deliver supplies to the hard hit areas in Houston.  The first team left yesterday, but they are already preparing for the 2nd round. Click HERE to donate.  Please specify “hurricane relief” in the square NOTES section and select “general fund” in the drop down box.  Click HERE to hop over to their facebook page to see a video they filmed yesterday showing some of their preparations getting ready to go.
*UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief):  you can donate HERE, and you can go HERE to find out about how to make relief kits.  They are not in need of volunteers at this time.
*The United Way has also announced a way to text a donation: Text UWFLOOD to 41444 to donate to the United Way Flood Relief Fund.
*Donations to support The Salvation Army’s Hurricane Harvey relief efforts can be made at or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
*Carter BloodCare covers hospitals in north, central and east Texas. To donate, call 877-571-1000 or text DONATE4LIFE to 444-999.
*To help animals suffering from the disaster, visit the Houston Humane Society or the San Antonio Humane Society.
*The Texas Diaper Bank has issued an urgent request for donations, stating that diapers are not provided by disaster relief agencies. The diaper bank will be distributing emergency diaper kits to affected families.  You can donate money HERE, or you can send diaper to the following address: The Texas Diaper Bank      5415 Bandera Road, Suite 504  San Antonio, TX 78238
*AABB coordinates a task force to manage blood collection efforts.
*From now until the end of September, Chip and Joanna Gaines are donating 100 percent of the proceeds from their “Texas Forever” T-shirt towards Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
*Our friend Tori at ALL THE WIRE created a Texas Strong bracelet.  $10 of every sale will go to disaster relief.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Blogger Break

I took time off this summer from blogging and social media to focus on my family.  I had a lot happen over the last few months....  

September is my favorite month... starting with our anniversary... 

10 years ago today we got married on the top of a beautiful mountain.  I never anticipated that 10 years later I would be living up on the mountain and over looking this very lake every single day.

Happy Friday Favorites!  Thanks for stopping by.
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