One thing I've learned through losing 125+ lbs is that my eyes were often MUCH bigger than my stomach. And, presentation TOTALLY counts.
"My" 5-year-old is a picky eater and really loves her carbs and dairy. She pretty much would eat cheese and fruit all day-every day if we let her. She's not extremely adventurous, and cringes at having to try things she doesn't already know she likes. If fact, she has cried over being asked to taste PB&J. What kid doesn't like PB&J?!
At any rate, I've become vigilant in making sure that for the meals I am in control of, she is presented with a healthy and balanced array of foods. For months, she would usually pick out what she liked and would come home with a half-full containers of all the rejected bits of food. But, when I recieved my PlanetBox for Christmas, and 5-year-old recieved one for Valentines day, I immediately went to plan B.
Have you seen Emily's blog bentobloggy? She is GREAT and has been inspiring me to get a little more creative in the way I present food to 5-year-old. PlanetBox makes that task easy and FUN!! (no, I'm not getting paid for this endorsement, just my personal opinion). The compartments in the box make it easy to make sure we are covering all the food pyramid basics, and the stainless steal makes everything you put in it look and stay bright and fresh. Plus, the presentation of a whole meal in one tray (instead of several different plastic containers) really does make the food look appealing.
I know several of you have loved my planetbox posts, so I thought I would share this weeks lunches with those of you who have kids (or for yourself, because who doesn't love to eat cute food?...Or any food?) The captions refer to the compartments clockwise starting at 12 o'clock.
Broccoli garden with cheddar bunnies. Turkey and ham on whole wheat sandwich flower with craisin pedals, cheese center, carrot stem and pear leaves on a bed of spinach. Cherry tomato and carrot stick butterflies with extra cheddar bunnies. Apple and turkey roll roses on a bit more spinach. A few toddler gummies for dessert.
Strawberry tulips in a spinach garden. Ham and turkey rolls with rainy day cheese ducks and umbrella. Provolone butterflies in a broccoli forest, baby carrots with a bit of ranch dressing for dipping and a bunny bite of cupcake.
Morningstar Farms Chik'n nugget ducks. Eat a rainbow (apple, carrot, bell pepper, broccoli, grapes.) Ham and Turkey roll with provolone clouds. Spinach and ranch for dipping. Maraschino cherry for dessert.
Strawberry tulips in a garden of spinach (with a surprise bell pepper duck). Snails made of tortilla, ham, and cheese roll shells attached with cream cheese to a bell pepper body. Cherry tomato and carrot stick butterflies in a broccoli forest. Apple slice daisies with grape centers. Watering can cupcake slice for dessert.
5-year-old is always VERY excited to find out what I've packed in her lunch and seems to equate it to a surprise gift because I build it up. "You won't believe what is in your lunch box today! You're gonna LOVE it!" She begs to know- but I always keep it a secret. Since I've been doing this, 5-year-old's box is consistantly empty when she comes home and the first thing she does is tell me about all the kids wishing they could have what she had in her lunch. It makes me happy to see her eating a balanced meal of fresh food. With a few cookie cutters (I use Wilton brand mini cutters) and a bit of preplanning (there's that word again) it's pretty easy to do! Totally worth the minimal effort!
I challenge you all to make an attempt at making your meals a bit more visually appealing.
Oh, and speaking of challenges: I'm still on board with the "Hard 10" challenge Dawne is heading, and it is still tough!! But I'm doing it- and I'm enjoying the rewards. No headaches for the past two days, and the scale keeps moving down. I do however miss cheesy pizza... :-) 5 days down, 5 left to go! :-)