I hate to talk back-to-school already, but the truth is that most moms I know start their back-to-school prep work in early August. You really have to (or good luck finding school shoes for your kids the last week in August).
Part of my back-to-school prep includes stocking up on school lunch supplies, everything from new lunch boxes (boy do those things get funky) to stockpiling lots of single-serving snacks to throw into said new lunch bags on busy school mornings.
I start out the year with lots of energy when it comes to packing creative lunches -- but I quickly lose steam. I know that I am not alone here. Parents suffer from widespread “lunchbox preparation fatigue” and their kids complain of being bored by the lack of variety in their lunches. Nobody is happy. Wah Wah.
To tackle the challenges and complaints of adults and children, the four leading natural and organic companies teamed up to create “Rock the Lunch Box”
, a free resource that delivers ideas, tips and coupons for natural and organic products just in time for back to school. The website includes:
- 52 lunch ideas for what to pack-- from gluten-free to nut-free and vegetarian choices
- Informative, short video clips by parents that explain how to keep menus creative, packing time short, and involve kids and more
- Ideas for staying connected to children during the day via notes and lunchbox messages
- Tips for a healthy lunch when dealing with a picky eater or allergies
Parents can browse lunch recipe ideas and even save a couple of bucks by using coupons from brands like Annie's, Honest Tea, Organic Valley and Stonyfield...
This one is for all you piggie lovers out there! Come visit with Illinois Farm Families at Lincoln Park Zoo on Saturday, June 29, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at their “Pork-a-pa-Zoo-la” event! In the Farm-in-the-Zoo area, your family will learn about farming — everything from planting soybeans to raising pigs, while meeting farmers and participating in... Read more »
We eat a lot of cheese at our house. Lots of it. But not all cheeses are created equally (obviously). And many cheeses are full of processed gunk that isn't good for kids (or their parents for that matter). For this reason, we buy a lot of Organic Valley cheese (and other dairy). If you are an Organic Valley fan, there is a local opportunity to learn more about their products and health initiatives.
Organic Valley’s American Cheese Revolution Tour, http://www.AmericanCheeseRevolution.com
, a multi-city mobile tour and online pledge drive inviting parents to demand real food for real kids, is headed to Chicago October 19-21. Chicago foodies and families are invited to meet up with the tour to sample grilled cheese sandwiches, play in the photo booth and sign the Real Food Pledge. Organic Valley has committed to donate $1(up to $25,000) for each signature to Healthy Child Healthy World...
I am not a vegan and I am not raising my kids as vegans. But the whole concept intrigues me. On the one hand, we definitely are limiting animal protein in our diet and eating more vegetable and grain based meals. On the other hand, I am not sure that I want to live a life without cheese.
Even though we are definitely bacon-eaters at our house, I was interested in the idea of raising vegan kids and all of the issues that may arise (mostly in social settings). For example, what does a vegan kid do when the baseball team goes out for pizza or at a classmate's birthday party when everyone is digging into a conventional cake and ice cream...
The whole idea of social media troubles me sometimes. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterst, Linkedin, email, etc. make it possible for us to "interact" with others without actually having any meaningful contact with them at all (I am very guilty of confusing a Facebook "Happy Birthday" comment for the real thing). The lack of person-to-person contact means something, I think. The "real" part of relating to others definitely gets lost in the process.
On the total other other of the spectrum, there is the Chicago Food Swap
. Two of my friends, Vanessa Druckman of Chef Druck Musings
and Emily Paster of West of the Loop
have organized this fantastic event (for the second time!). The Chicago Food Swap is an opportunity for home cooks, bakers and gardeners to trade their homemade and homegrown items. No commercial sellers are permitted and no money exchanges hands. So . . . this is about real people meeting one another and exchanging their homemade food items.
When is the last time you did something like this? Never? Right, me too...
School lunches and childhood nutrition are hot topics right now -- as they should be. This is one of those issues that has been overlooked for a long time and is now finally getting the attention it deserves. If you are free for lunch (a really delicious lunch) tomorrow, there is a way for you to do your part in supporting the healthy school lunch crusade.
On Wednesday, February 29, Michael Kornick from MK
(one of my favorite Chicago restaurants) will be hosting a Lunch Break for Schools
fundraiser to raise money to support the Chefs Move to Schools program’s efforts to encourage healthier eating by kids – including eating more vegetables. Inspired by the recent news of the updated White House recommended school lunch menu
and the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, the fundraising event will raise funds to promote healthy eating habits and proper nutrition amongst children...
Sometimes I like to take my “city mice” out to the country for a change of pace. I love our urban lives, but I also want my kids to understand that food grows in the ground and appreciate different lifestyles. I bet you do too, right? Today, I am thrilled to welcome Kristen Holub, a... Read more »
If there were ever a time to try fondue — this is it. The weather is miserable. We are basically snowed in — except for absolutely essential outings. Bring on the melted cheese and chocolate, I say! Fondue can be a fun and novel family activity. Plus, it is yummy. Really yummy. Interested? Have a... Read more »
During my junior year of college, I spent a semester studying in Florence, Italy, During that time, I began a love affair that continues to this day . . . with Nutella. I slathering this chocolate hazelnut concoction on toast for breakfast nearly every day (and by the end of my time in Italy, I... Read more »
If you haven’t participated in One Seed Chicago in the past, 2011 should be the year that you give it a try. This is a fun (and free!) way to include your kids in some simple, at-home gardening. And who knows, maybe they’ll even be willing to eat the veggies that they helped grow (fingers... Read more »