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Do you ever sit and think about what you love most about being a parent? I think about the way that they squeeze me with excitement when I'm gone for a mere five minutes. I think about the adventures and the fun that we get to have all because our children allow us to relive some of our favorite memories growing up.
When I lay them to bed and read their favorite night time stories, I think about what they will be like when they grow up. When they learn how to do something new, say a new word, or walk with those two little feet of theirs, I think about how grateful I am to be able to witness these firsts in their lives. And when I'm standing in my kitchen chopping vegetables and fruit and getting their lunch sacks ready, I think about these favorite moments and why I love what I do.
Nourishing our children is at the top of that favorite list.
Our journey started out with breastfeeding, then we introduced them to first foods by making baby food in our home, and then slowly we began to introduce solids and allowing them to explore and figure out their likes and dislikes in all the different food categories. Interestingly enough, although we did things the exact same way at the exact same time, my kids both have different taste palettes and preferences. Which means that I am more challenged on my end when it comes to meal preps. Now, we certainly don't cook different meals for each child, however, aside from the main dish, I like to provide sides that I know they will like. For instance, my daughter hates blueberries, Graham on the other hand loves them. Elliana loves peppers, Graham wants nothing to do with them. One prefers clementines over peaches, and the other will eat an entire apple down to the core and be completely content. Just different. But if they don't particularly like something does it mean that it doesn't go on their plate? Nope. It just means that it's there and my hopes is that they will continue to try things and explore with food as they grow.
That being said, lunches are one of our favorite meals of the day and one that I struggled with for a long time. And then throw in school in the mix, and it eliminates all the of '"warm" items out there.
So what do I do? How do I make lunch different, fun, and full of important nutrients at the same time? Do you ever feel like all you do is make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches—and if you have a child in the classroom with a severe peanut allergy, then that is eliminated as well for you.
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Here's the solution for you, that I like to call the 7 Tot Meal. I have a cheat sheet that I use at home to remind me of good options for lunches for the kids to take to school or if we go out somewhere on the weekend. These of course don't include soups and warm items that we would make during lunch at home, but of course you can always add that to the list when the kids aren't out of the house.
While I'm at it, I have to rave small product that makes the biggest difference. Wet-Nap has been our life saver for not only when we are out and about and I need a quick clean up solution, but also when I send my kids to school. I've shown my daughter how to open them, and she can do it all on her own. It's stronger, softer, and moisturizes their skin with aloe leaving that smooth and refreshed clean feel.
Most of the Wet-Nap are in the napkin aisle at Walmart, but we found these life-saver size ones in the beauty section. And if you're going to be shopping soon at Walmart for their everyday low prices, be sure to snatch this coupon to take with you and get 0.55 off any Wet-Nap product!
Fill those lunch boxes with yummy food, a sweet note to brighten their day, and a Wet-Nap to seal the deal, and then we can feel rest assured that our children are well taken care of while they are away from us. Watching them grow and move along through life is both exciting and challenging all at the same time, but knowing that we play such a major role in this is rewarding to say the least.
Motherhood has many benefits, and nourishing our children is most definitely one of the major ones.