Rice cakes and Jam?

Time to get down to it…The kids go back tomorrow…When I asked what they wanted to take for their lunches, Kate said, “Rice cakes!”…I said, “rice cakes and what?”  She said cheese, but Duncan said, “Jam”…That to me just sounds messy!  Pretty sure that Jam all over a desk on the first day back to school isn’t what the grade four teacher had in mind.  “How about we save the Jam for at home, hmm?”  So, rice cakes and cheese it is.  But we will put a little left over lentil soup in the thermos just to make sure that I am not picking up a 45 lb grizzly bear at 2:30 tomorrow afternoon.
That is my biggest challenge when it comes to packing lunches…packing enough of what they like to keep them going all day.  Our kids have snack at 9:45am and then lunch at 12pm…By the time school’s out at 2:30, they are starving!  And most days, I have to get them somewhere else for dance or skating or karate…That means a second lunch most days.  However, I have learned how to balance that one…When I make the noon meal for the small humans (read toddlers and preschoolers who inhabit my house between 8:30 and 4:30), I make extra!  (Just to let you know, I always make extra!  Could be why our grocery bills are so high! But there always seems to be someone around to eat most of it…hungry teenagers with friends, former roommates dropping by to pick up mail, nice neighbours who don’t bake for themselves, but enjoy banana bread and peanut butter cookies!)…By far the favourite lunch is Hamburger Soup and cheese toasts.  (makes a great supper too btw).  The cheese toasts don’t travel too well, but the hamburger soup really hits the spot as it gets gulped down in the back of the van on the way to the arena.  If you don’t already have a recipe for hamburger soup, check out an old copy of Best of Bridge (yes, that one) or go to their website and search “Hamburger soup”…while you are there, you may want to look up “Santa Fe salad”, as it goes well with almost anything! (great in wraps with leftover chicken or salmon)…the salad recipe is from their book “That’s trump”…If you want to lighten up the soup’s sodium content, just double the veggies in it, and increase the water to cover whatever you have in the pot.  A great idea for a saturday morning cook, and then leave it in the slowcooker for the day if you have to go out.  This soup freezes so well.
That is the trick tho’, get them when they are starving!  My dad always said, “Everything tastes better when you are hungry”, and too often I find that when the kids are not hungry enough, they will turn up their noses at something new.  But if they try it when they are hungry, I hear, “why did you never make this before?  It is so good!”

Today, though, for me it is back to the picky eaters and no hamburger soup for daycare lunch…We do have however an abundance of cheese in the house…And some pita breads, so it will be ham and cheese mini pizzas and some lentil soup.  (you are right, the picky eaters won’t touch the soup, too much stuff floating on top, but there are some little rounds of turkey pepperoni visible to the three year old eye…Not much, but enough to get someone to try it and then quietly finish the bowl….after we see it a few times, everyone will eat some)…We shall see!

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2 thoughts on “Rice cakes and Jam?

  1. I love your blog. I live with a very picky 5-year old who suffers from food amnesia. He could have loved it last week but believes he doesn't like it this week and has no memory of ever enjoying it. I will try the hamburger soup, I think that may work. Thanks again.

  2. Thank you! Don't be too discouraged, rumour is that children need to see a food at least 20 times before they consider it "familiar"…And there is always spaghetti and meatballs…We used to call that our "check-in" meal…were they really not hungry or just being fussy? Of course, that meal always went down without a hitch!

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