Healthy Lunchbox 2012: Lexie from Lexie’s Kitchen

Before I became a blogger, Lexie’s Kitchen was one of the sites I visited most often.  Not only are her recipes family friendly, her story, the fact that her family began their journey towards a whole food, helth-centric lifestyle because of her child seemed all too familiar.

Frankly, if it weren’t for my daughter being diagnosed at 17 months old with a severe dairy allergy, I would still be food naive.It’s because of my daughter that I engulfed myself in nutrition education, and because of the belief I gained and the education earned regarding the power of food, I was able to recognize when my youngest was having negative reactions to food I was eating while she was being nursed. It was because of this awareness when my own illness became too much that I told my doctor I needed to go on an elimination diet, which inevitably lead to me pushing to be tested for Celiac.  And it was because of all of this that when my son who was on medication for ADD tested positive for glaucoma at 11 years old, I knew it was time to change his path, too. Finally, because of all of this he too has been able to heal. 18 months later, he is not completely out of the hole, but while he is at risk he is no longer testing positive for glaucoma.

And it all started with one child…

So when I reached out to Lexie to see if she would be interested in sharing her tips for packing a healthy lunchbox with you, I as thrilled hear her response! After reading her post, I know you’ll be just as thankful as I am that she said yes.

Thank you for joining us, Lexie! xo

________________________________________________________

 

It’s a treat to be here at And Love It Too. Thanks for having me Sunny!

Today I am giving you a peek into my kids’ lunch boxes and the home lunch packing “system” that works for us.

I have to say that I admire—and totally envy—moms with bento box super powers (like these). And what about those mamma’s whose kiddos gobble down collard wraps and zucchini kabobs? All hail!

I’ll admit, the lunches I pack may not be the cutest and could be a tad more nutritionally dense, but I’ve loosened up a bit. Getting it perfect was stressing me out waaaayyy too much. So I cut myself some slack. I figure I’ve got breakfast and dinner to load my kids up on green smoothies and quality protein. For lunch, if I can meet these three criteria, I’m happy:

  1. Lunch will include fresh fruit and vegetables—fresh produce should be a part of every meal. I want my kids to lean that at a young age.
  2. Lunch will include a treat—like a piece of dark chocolate, fruit leather or a healthy cookie wrapped in gold foil—to make lunch special and combat any feelings of “how come I can’t eat what the other kids eat.”
  3. Lunch will be eaten. I try to strike a balance between healthy and tasty. What’s the point of packing food the kids won’t eat? I want my kids to be focused and have energy at school, not zoned out in the corner because they didn’t eat lunch … because they didn’t like it.

Before school started I sat down with my kids and we made a list of the foods they like for lunch (we are gluten-, dairy-, egg- and nut-free). The list we compiled is taped to the fridge and provides me with quick inspiration when I’m too tired to think. At the top of this list are quesadillas—PB&J, pizza, and turkey.

Lunchbox Quesadillas

Quesadillas are great finger food and easy to make gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free. And when you think outside the box (or the tortilla), you can come up with some pretty tasty variations.

 

THE TORTILLA

Quesadillas start with tortillas. The two brands we use are Food For Life and Rudi’s. Food for Life Brown Rice Tortillas contain minimal ingredients and are thick and stout. Rudi’s new line of tortillas come in three flavors, Plain, Spinach, and Fiesta. They are the closest thing I’ve found to white flour tortillas and work fabulously well for wraps. If you’d like to make your own, here is a tasty recipe.

THE FILLINGS

Pizza Quesadillas: Pizza Sauce, Applegate Pepperoni, Black Olives, and Daiya or Galaxy Vegan Style Shreds.

PB&J Quesadillas: Sunbutter sunflower seed spread and your favorite jam.

Turkey Quesadillas: A dab of Veganaise and yellow mustard, Applegate organic roasted turkey breast, and Daiya or Galaxy Vegan Style Shreds.

THE PREPARATION

Layer filling between two tortillas and heat in skillet with a little oil until tortillas begin to brown and crisp up. Slice into wedges.

Our Lunchbox “System”

Finally, a lunch packing “system” that works for us.

The Sugarbooger Zippee! Lunch Tote line has been a proven winner. It is BPA, phthalate, lead and PVC-free and meets or exceeds U.S., Canadian and European safety standards. They come in a bunch of cute motifs and are priced right. They are insulted to keep food cool and are easily washed by hand or in the washer.

Into the lunch tote I goes:

The food—neatly compartmentalized in a Sistema Klip It Lunch Cube

Herbal tea or water in a 9-ounce LifeFactory Glass Beverage Bottle

An ice pack to keep everything cool (I like this one this one)

A napkin and, of course, a little love note!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments

  1. For a fun twist we cook our quesadillas in the Belgain waffle maker. It makes them look like they have tire tracks!

  2. Thanks for pulling this event together. It has been so helpful!! xoLexie

  3. Quesadillas! What a great idea! Thanks for the inspiration :)

  4. I love your philosophy. I too was completely stressing myself out about packing the perfect lunchbox. I developed a simpler mantra just like you, and it has made my life a bit easier. If only my kids WOULD eat those lettuce wraps and collard greens too…alas, my fridge list (and there is one just like yours!) is much more kid typical too!

  5. I will be looking for the Rudi’s tortillias. I have tried the food for life and it had such a plastic texture, I just didn’t care much for it. And if the Rudi’s is egg free too it will work. My daughter is dairy, egg, gluten, and nut free along with red dye.

    • Melissa … I agree about the plastic texture … when uncooked. But I really like them for quesadillas. As of 9/7/12 the ingredients in Rudi’s Plain are: Whole Grain Flours (Sorghum, Brown Rice, Corn, Amaranth, Quinoa, Millet, Teff), Corn Starch, Tapioca Flour, Rice Flour, Water, Canola Oil*, Xanthan Gum, Evaporated Cane Juice, Cultured Dextrose and Maltodextrin, Salt, Guar Gum, Baking Powder (Monocalcium Phosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Corn Starch), Malic Acid, Active Dry Yeast, Apple Cider Vinegar

  6. Dawn, what a SUPER idea!!! Thanks so much. xoLexie

  7. Lexie, this is a terrific post and I love the simplicity and beauty of the watermelon and blackberry kabobs! :-) I did want to point out that Food for Life Brown Rice tortillas tested positive for gluten when tested by the Gluten-Free Watchdog program. As is Gluten-Free Watchdog’s policy, these products will be re-tested. I believe they are slated to be tested again in November, but personally I don’t recommend that anyone consume them because of the earlier testing results. Actual testing results are only released to GF Watchdog members, but two samples (from different “batches”) tested above 20 ppm gluten. I was not a GF Watchdog member then, but am now, and while GF Watchdog members cannot divulge testing results, it’s my understanding that it was not just a little above 20 ppm, but we know that even 20 ppm or greater is not safe for those who are gf. :-( (I highly recommend being a member of glutenfreewatchdog.org so folks can find out the true scoop on whether products are really gluten free and safe for gf families.) Rudi’s gluten-free tortillas, as you’ve shared, and Pure Wraps (grain-free, coconut wraps) are some of the other great options for gluten-free tortillas. Last, great point on making kids’ lunches more kid friendly and getting more nutrition in at other meals where you are present as a parent.

    Sunny, I loved your intro. One can never be reminded enough of your family’s story. It’s just amazing. And, hey, it really seems like you’ve been blogging all along with us. ;-) You’ve accomplished so much in such a short time with your blog!

    xo to you both,
    Shirley

  8. Love it Lexie! Thanks for more inspiration. What I love about you is you’re real! You make food that’s practical and you make concessions to make life easier for you and your family. I can relate to that because it works for us too. Now where do you get gold foil? My kidlets woud love that! xo

Trackbacks

  1. […] Sistema lunches by Lexie from Lexie’s Kitchen […]

Speak Your Mind

*