Meal Planning Monday

I have said it before, but I will say it again…..meal planning has saved our life!  We are saving time, money, frustration, disorganisation and the forever 5pm question of what are we having for dinner?

With that said…..here is the weeks meal plan!

If that sounds good to you…feel free to download and print it HERE!

For many more inspirational meal ideas check out who else is linking up with…

 
The Organised Housewife

Lunch Box Love

 Due to popular demand (I have always wanted to write that!) here are the download links for the lunchbox plans!  

The first link is for a blank lunch box plan.  It includes the four columns to help you create a balanced lunch box.  

Weekly Lunch Box Plan – BLANK 

Just CLICK, DOWNLOAD AND PRINT!  

If you wanted to save on printing…..laminate the blank plan and write on it each week with a whiteboard marker!

The second link is for a weekly plan is one that I have filled in.  

Weekly Lunch Box Plan – With MENU

Once again just, Just CLICK (the link above), DOWNLOAD AND PRINT!

These are my tips for planning healthy and easy lunches for school or Kindy.

1. Think about using leftovers in the lunchbox!

2. Think outside the box!  Ham, cheese, fruit and vegetables can all be cut into shapes using cookie cutters or put on food picks to make it more exciting!

3. Less is more!  Kids do not need a lunch box that is overflowing!  You will just be disapointed with what comes back home.  Think realistically about how much they eat at home and pack a similar amount!

 4. Variety is the key!  If you have children who are creatures of habit (like mine) it is hard to change their lunch!  But just add one new thing each week and you might just find their palate increasing!

5. Do not pack foods that require heating, cutting or are overly messy to eat.  It is important that the food is suitable to the age of your child and that they can eat it by themselves!

There are so many great resources out in the blogosphere providing many ideas and inspirational recipes.  I warn you now this Bento Browsing is addictive!

For ideas and Bento supplies – www.lunchboxeswithlove.com/ 

The one blog YOU CAN NOT MISS – http://www.bentolunch.net/

Gorgeous Kids Bento – http://happylittlebento.blogspot.com

For peanut free Bento – http://keeleymcguire.blogspot.com

Ok so now I have a lot of Bento links!- http://lunchinabox.net/

General Lunch box Recipes – www.taste.com.au/recipes/collections/lunch+box+ideas

School Lunches. The Good, The Bad and The Plan!

It feels like I am always on the hunt for something!  This weekend I was swooping on some clever Bento lunch ideas.  Boy did I find a treasure trove of ideas!  Amongst them was a guide as to what consists of a healthy lunch.  

- Insert soap box here! – If you don’t want to read my rant feel free to turn away now!

As a teacher I have directly been involved in the consequences of a child not eating a healthy lunch (or breakfast).  They can become hyperactive on a sugar high only to crash and be irritable, tired and struggling to concentrate.  But it’s not just about sugar.  It’s preservatives, additives, colours, flavours  and all those numbers!  It is easy to fill a lunch box with a handful of prepackaged  snacks and a sandwich with spread.  But easy for who?  Not easy for your child’s body and brain, not easy for their teacher, not easy for the environment and not easy for your finances!

I am not a health freak, my kids have eaten McDonald’s on way too many occasions, have had everything that comes in a chocolate variety and eaten more than their fair share of sweets.  But I draw the line at sending a lunch box full of prepackaged food to school.  

So with that in mind this year I am going to try something new when thinking about school lunches.  

  • Where possible I am going to make Bento style lunch boxes (minus the creativity!)
  • I will plan to have a variety of grains, protein, calcium and fruit and veggies in every lunchbox
  • Once a week a sweet treat
  • Once a week a juice or milk drink
  • I will not use glad wrap!
  • I will buy in bulk and separate in to my own smaller containers instead of buying little packets of things.
  • I will be organised!
With all that in mind I have made a new lunchbox planner to go with my meal plan!
 

Here is a peek  

 In the right hand column I am going to write the date and any other information such as special day at school, events, anything to take into consideration.  The rest of the form is then divided into 4 columns for each type of food group.  This way I am sure that I don’t leave anything out!  This year will be the first time I have 5 days of child lunches to plan and 2 days of adult lunches! It is great being able to see all the lunches for the week!

What do you think?  

Have you planned lunch boxes before?  Would you like a downloadable blank plan to fill out? 

Share the love, leave me a comment! 

Linking up with

The Organised Housewife

Menu Plan Monday – The Lunchbox Edition and GIVEAWAY

 This is the last school term before Master O officially starts “School”!!!  I have a lifetime of preparing lunchboxes ahead of me, so I better start getting used to it.  This week a little lunch box helper arrived in my inbox….

This is exactly what I need.  A Plan.  With instructions.  And lists.  An organisers dream!

So this week I am having a practice run of creating dinner meals, with lunchboxes in mind.

Sunday ~ Dinner ~ Roast Beef with Roast Vegetables and Steamed cheesy Broccoli and Cauliflower.  By buying a larger than normal roast I am hoping to have enough for Sandwiches on Monday and Tuesday.

Monday ~ Dinner ~ Lamb Chops with Potato Salad and Stuffed Mushrooms.

Lunch ~ Roast Beef Bread Roll with Fruit Chutney!

Tuesday ~ Dinner ~ Poached Chicken and Caesar Salad.  For the kids Chicken Fried Rice.

This chicken will be used as a wrap filling for Wednesday and Thursday.  Add some Grated Cheese, lettuce and pesto! 

Lunch ~ Roast Beef Bread Roll with Fruit Chutney!

Wednesday ~ Dinner ~ Ham and Cheese Tortellini with Creamy Sauce.

Lunch ~ Chicken and pesto wraps

Thursday ~ Dinner ~ Sausages with Vegie Mash and Crunchy Parmesan Bread.

Lunch ~ Chicken and pesto wraps
The leftover sausage with be transformed into the Sausage and Couscous salad from the Vegie Smugglers Lunchbox Inspiration e-book.

Friday ~ Dinner ~ Beef Fajitas.

Lunch ~ Sausage and couscous salad.

Baking ~ I am going to make the meusli bars from the Vegie Smugglers Lunchbox Inspiration e-book!  Wish me luck, I am not much of a baker but the cost savings of making your own meusli bars is great motivation!

But wait there’s more….

The very generous Wendy Author of Vegie Smugglers is giving away 5 copies of the Vegie Smugglers Lunchbox Inspiration e-book.   To enter

1.  Like My Pigeon Pair and Vegie Smugglers on Facebook

2. Visit Vegie Smugglers on the web

3.  Leave a comment HERE telling us which Vegie Smugglers recipe you love the best!

Entries open 6am Monday 17th October and Close 6am Wednesday 19th October. 5 winners will be chosen via random.org.  

 THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED!


What’s for Dinner? ~ Menu Plan Monday ~ The Healthy Eating Edition

Well it’s that time of year.  You know the time when the winter wrdrobe is packed away and the bikinis come out.  Well maybe not bikinis, but the clothes that show off the pasty legs and tuckshop lady arms will be back with a vengance.  So it’s time to put away the slow cooker and start the healthy summer eating.

Monday ~ Cumin Chicken with Brown Rice Salad.

This is simply chicken breast strips seasoned slightly with cumin, salt, paprika and pepper.  Toss through the deilicious brown rice salad with coriander, capsicum, lime and green beans.  Yummmm!

Tuesday ~ Lamb with tzatziki dipping sauce served with cucumber, fetta and tomato salad.  Find a great Tzatziki recipe HERE 

I make my own dipping sauce with greek natural youghurt and garlic paste.   Squeeze some lemon on the lamb as it is cooking!  Serve with a chopped cucumber, tomato and fetta salad.  This also makes great lunch leftovers!  Master O loved the tzatziki sauce so much we convinced him to eat tomato, cucumber and lettuce if he dipped the vegetables in the sauce!

Wednesday ~ Meditteranean Vegetable Skewers.

Simply  slice eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, red and green capsicum into cubes and place on presoaked skewers.  Cook on the BBQ.  Serve on top of salad for the adults and rice for the kids.

Thursday ~ Balsamic Beef with Greens. Find the recipe HERE 

Friday ~ Home Made Fish and Chips

You can still enjoy some guilty pleasures without feeling guilty.  Skip the deep fryer and oven bake some home made potato chips!  Steam your fish with some lemon, not butter and serve with a fresh green salad with a light dressing instead of creamy tartare sauce!

It is all good in theory I just need to avoid the temptation to dish up some delicious creamy pasta when I’m hungry!  Wish me luck!

The Organised Housewife

All images taken from my favourite recipe site taste.com