i don't think that kids should have whatever they want to keep them happy, because first, "happy" is a relative term, and second, it's simply not appropriate at certain ages. my 4 yr old is pretty good about a lot of things, but there are areas where I do not let him make decisions -- it would just be silly.
Food is one of those things. This is how families end up with a kid living off of ice cream, chicken nuggets, and gummy bears! And, I know those families and they are chaos.
That's not to say that you have to pendulum swing the opposite direction and be an absolute control-freak, either, but honestly, there are so many easy ways to get through this.
In my school, around age 11, trading was everything. my mother usually packed "double lunches" so that I could trade everything. I typically liked my lunches, anyway, so I would often just give the doubles away and people often loved the home-made cookies, cakes, and such.
That's why I suggested that she make home-made crisps/chips (if you have a microwave, there's a way to make them so that they are more like store-bought chips in crunch and flavor) and then a lot of cakes with veggie bases.
These -- if they are adjusted to the kid's tastes (ie, more chocolate in the beets!) -- will take center stage and the kid will be lucky because they get home-made cakes all the time. Here, home-made bread is *prized* over store-bought, and we can buy some *awesome* store bought breads here (we don't eat bread, I'm just pointing it out).
That might be cultural though.
also, I would probably use inexpensive maple syrup or honey in the purple velvet torte recipe. i'm so going to make that. Adding melted chocolate instead of cocoa powder/nibs/whatever will probably make it less purple and more chocolate-colored, but might be yummy!
I am soooo going to try the purple velvet torte as cupcakes and might try a cream cheese sort of frosting as well. My 12yr old LOVES red velvet cake so she'd be ecstatic.
For us its less about the cool factor - I couldn't care less and my daughter doesn't really buy into that either - but I do believe that a bit of thought to presentation makes a difference to how easily accepted something will be. Which leads on to most important thing for me, is that it will be eaten and secondly, that it is quick to throw together in the morning. So she takes banana bread that has been baked in mini bundt pans - almost donut like in appearance, cool factor shoots way up yet they are actually really healthy and filling. Not something I would eat myself every day but her energy needs are higher than mine so she can handle the extra carbs from the nut flour (I know you can't have nut products in the lunchboxes but maybe find something similar using coconut flour). She'll also take a muffin shaped frittata (also doubles as a quick portable breakfast on those mornings, some carrot sticks (she doesn't like dips/sauces but you could add a dip for those quite easily) and a piece of fruit, water to drink and that is plenty as she has alot of school activities she'd rather be doing in her lunch time so she likes things that are quick to eat. Some days she'll replace the egg with cooked chicken strips (chicken drumsticks would be ideal and cheap but my fusspot does not like meat on the bone) or she'll take leftover salad etc for a bit of variety but she is pretty happy to take much the same week in week out. I freeze the banana bread and frittatas individually so she just grabs what she wants in the morning and by lunchtime everything is defrosted.
We've also had quite a bit of success finding healthier replacements for things she used to have. E.g. her favourite food ever is nutella on white bread - so now I make nutella at home (all the ingredients are primal, but still not an everyday food) and she has that as a dip with fruit when she is craving something sweet. Iced herbal tea has replaced soda - I just steep a few herbal tea bags (she particularly likes the wild berry type ones) in a litre of water and add a bit of honey to sweeten it a bit. Smoothies are another great afterschool snack if she's really hungry, we also freeze any leftover smoothie in popsicle molds.
All in all I've really had no complaints from her with the change in diet - she does miss bread & pizza alot! but she's knows she can still have that stuff occasionally when she is at sleepovers etc so she doesn't feel at all deprived or different from anyone else. So I'm not completely militant about what she eats away from home, I just hope that over time she will learn that this way of eating makes her feel better and will choose it for herself.
Yum Bee, this sounds good. Do you have a recipe?
Originally Posted by NZBee
As for the frittatas, does she really like them after they have been frozen and defrosted?? How do you make them?