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Posting the menu a bit late this week…

Last week was interesting. On Monday I sent the kids mashed potatoes, canned tuna and a cut hard-boiled egg in their lunch boxes. This happens to be one of my favorite dishes I had in my elementary school cafeteria. I have so fond memories of this dish that many years later I still prepare it. Anyway, what I did not anticipate, and yes it was totally my fault and I should had imagined it, was that the cut hard boiled egg would smell terribly after sitting for a few hours in a closed thermos… So yes, the kids returned their entire lunch untouched and I had an interesting “conversation” (it was more like a big complaint) with my son. He literally told me that if I continued sending him this kind of meals (stinky, he meant) he would have no friends and no one would want to sit with him anymore. Understandable. So I asked him what would he like to take for lunch. He said more soups and more meat, but when I asked him to give me exact examples he run out of ideas after a gazpacho and meat milanesas. I used this moment to make him realize that having healthy, interesting and varied food every day on his plate is not an easy task and that he should not take it for granted.

But the interesting part was that he was a bit ashamed of some of the meals I give him, because most of his friends have a sandwich, pizza or other type of not-so-home-prepared meals. It was not a surprise though. I knew this was going to happen sooner or later. And actually, we had a similar incident some time ago when he refused to eat his fruit because he was the only one eating fruit for lunch. Yep. The only one. And he didn’t want to be the only “idiot” (his own words) eating fruit. While all the other kids were eating potato chips/goldfish/fruit roll ups/etc. for snack, he was having an apple. Even though he is a good eater and knows the importance of a healthy diet, and at home we constantly talk about it, peer pressure won. So, we got to an agreement that he still has to eat fruit 3 times a day: breakfast, dinner and the third could be anytime in between (usually when I pick him up from school).

These two incidents are the harsh reality of the un-healthy eating habits of many kids nowadays, and It makes me so sad. We’re not doing any favor to our kids by feeding them crap. I understand that it is not such an easy problem to solve. But I truly believe that we could do better. Much better. And starting with some 101 nutrition education would certainly help. I’m sure. Anyway, that is totally another subject that requires a full post, and we were here for the weekly menu…

So last week we had a bit of everything for dinner: two meatless days, one meat, one fish and one pizza (with ham, so technically a meat day). After the talk with my son I prepared more no-stinky food for a thermos and made gazpacho and beef empanadas, which are a great option for lunch boxes (and our dinner on Tuesday). The only problem I see with the empanadas is the long time it takes to prepare them and how quickly they disappear!! On Monday we had a warm quinoa salad with sautéed brussels sprouts, cranberries and pine nuts for dinner. On Wednesday my husband prepared a tuna recipe we got from good friends when we lived in NYC. The tuna is seared and cooked with a lot of onion and garlic (one of the few recipes we do with garlic) and sherry cream, and it is accompanied with paprika roasted potatoes. Recipe will come to the blog, eventually. Thursday we had veggie burritos with roasted cauliflower, black beans, rice and sweet potato. By the way, I realized my burrito folding technique needs a lot of improvement… And Friday I was out with my friends so I bought some margherita pizzas for the family. They added mushrooms and ham and that was their happy meal for Friday evening.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Breakfast Cereal w/ milk Yogurt w/ granola PBJ toast, Greek yogurt Power bowl Oatmeal
Lunch box Mashed potatoes w/ canned tuna & hard-boiled egg Rice w/ meatballs Gazpacho + avocado & ham taco Pasta w cheese & tomato sauce Rice w black beans
Dinner Quinoa & brussels sprouts salad Gazpacho + beef empanadas + salad Sherry tuna w/ paprika roasted potatoes + salad Sweet potato, cauliflower, black bean burrito Mushroom & ham pizza


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