Clean Lunch Menu for March Week 2 – Protein

Hello All!

Sorry, it has been awhile!  Why is it that Life can get in the way of the stuff we really want to do? However, no dwelling on that, let’s get on with this week!

When my daughter was in kindergarten, in a class that was seemingly full of different allergies, to simplify things the teacher suggested that everyone just send veggies for snack time.  Well, that is a great suggestion, but my children have always required some amount of whole protein a few times a day.

Protein is important to all the functions of our bodies from fighting illness to muscle development and movement.  If a body doesn’t get a certain amount of protein each day, even the simplest of activities can be exhausting.  The average person requires between 40-70grams of protein each day, and if you are physically active, you will require more.  The more active your child’s day is, the more likely they are to require additional protein in their lunch while away from home.  My own children are used to protein offered with every meal or snack, so I incorporate this into their lunches for school as well.  My son plays basketball at school, so on days with practice before school or games afterwards, I adjust his lunch accordingly.  For my daughter, who skates  almost every day (sometimes for as long as 3 hours), I usually provide her with another whole meal after school, and then snacks for during her skating session.

Complete proteins are provided in animal products, such as meat, chicken, dairy, eggs and fish.  Incomplete proteins come from plants and it is best to pair two from different groups (so whole grains and leafy dark green veggies) when eating them.  Spinach salad, made with dark green spinach leaves, and barley with raw nuts is an example.  Quinoa is an example of a whole protein from plants, and makes a delicious addition to salads or for use in place of rice or pasta.

This week’s menu involves ensuring adequate protein sources in yours or your child’s lunch for the day.

Happy Packing!

Packable:

Monday: Chicken salad wraps with spinach; oatmeal cookie, apple, cottage cheese

Tuesday: Turkey-tortellini soup with baby bok choy, vanilla greek yogurt with frozen berries, cranberry-quinoa bar, raw veggies

Wednesday: Spinach salad with Tuna (yes, my kids eat this one with Maple Mustard vinaigrette or low fat ranch dressing), homemade applesauce, carrot sticks, plain greek yogurt with honey and kiwi; cheddar cheese squares, oatmeal cookie (for before basketball game)

Thursday: Turkey chili quesadillas, blueberry muffin, orange slices, apple, lemon coconut protein bar(for after basketball practice)

Friday: Roasted veggie and Feta cheese wraps, 3 Bean salad, banana, flaxseed chocolate chip cookie

Daycare:

Monday: Lentil soup with toasted whole wheat bagel

Tuesday: Turkey tortellini soup with baby bok choy

Wednesday: Ham and pea “fried” rice with scrambled egg

Thursday: Turkey chili quesadillas with veggie sticks

Friday: Tuna noodle casserole

Enjoy!

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