Brian left early Sunday morning for Texas, where he will be for the next 3 1/2 months. So, Saturday evening, in my 104 degree feverish stupor I decided that I should take steps to make my life a little easier over the coming week while I adjust to not having him around. The most important thing I could think of is getting us all fed, so that's what I focused on. Here are some of my ideas of pre-made lunches and snacks (other than buying the preservative laden packaged foods):
Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwich Pockets: Mix 18oz. jar of peanut butter with 1 cup of honey until smooth. Take a loaf of your favorite bread (we like Nature's Pride 100% Whole Wheat or Nutty Oat because it is free from added colors and preservatives) and put about a 2tbsp scoop in the middle of one slice (DO NOT SPREAD IT). Place a second piece of bread on top and use a child's cup to press down on the 2 pieces around the peanut butter. Press hard so that the bread around the edges creates a seal and you are left with a little pocket of peanut butter and honey goodness. wrap in a freezer bag and freeze. On the day you need them just pull them out of the freezer while making breakfast and you are already done making lunch!
Grape N Carrot Bags: This one doesn't really need an explanation but my use of child labor is what I wanted to mention. B1 and B2 said they couldn't sleep because they were sad about Daddy leaving. I wasn't buyin' it but I could use some help so I put them to work. They took all the grapes in the package off the vine and put them into a large bowl. Then B1 counted out 15 grapes into each little tupperware bowl and passed it to B2 for her to add 3 carrots. At first B2 was having trouble understanding that only 3 carrots go in each bowl but brother quickly helped her figure it out. Great teamwork! This was a good activity for them for a couple reasons. First, and most obvious is practice counting. Second, it helps them to realize that things in the house require work, even the food they eat. Third, when they got to the end of the grapes/carrots there were not the exact numbers they needed, therefore they had to problem solve and do some division to get the bowls fairly equal. (haha and they don't even realize that they are doing division.)
Yogurt and Granola: I buy a couple of the big containers each of the Organic Plain and Vanilla Flavored Yogurt. I mix the plain and vanilla flavor in equal parts into a large mixing bowl. We like them mixed because the flavored variety is just way to sweet, especially when we are adding sweetened granola on top. So, then I take the mixture and divide it up into 8oz tupperware bowls and stack them in the fridge for snacks or a light breakfast. I also buy a box or two of the Kashi Crunchy Granola Bars. I unwrap all the granola bars and put them in a gallon size Ziploc bag. Put a kitchen towel under the bag and on top and then...whack the heck out of it with a rolling pin, mallet or whatever you have on hand. (Also a great activity for the kids to help with.) We keep this in a larger tupperware bowl to sprinkle on top of the yogurt.
The kids and I just finished up a yummy lunch of peanut butter and honey sandwiches, grapes, and baby carrots with ranch dip. And the best part was that it was all pre-made by me this weekend. No energy required on my part today!
P.S. When I get a better camera that is easier to use and upload pics from then I will start posting pics that correspond to what I'm writing. But, for now, you just get random pics that I think are cute.