How hard should it be, I had started to wonder, to pack a healthy lunch for your kids? Same for afternoon snacks – those seem to have evolved from a simple piece of fruit, or maybe celery stuffed with peanut butter and a few raisins, to something more like a restaurant-worthy prepared dish.
Just how much time for this extra cooking do today’s parents have, anyway? So lately I’ve resisted writing about back to school lunches and snacks, figuring there are already more than enough “kid-friendly” recipes out there for those who have the time/inclination for the extra cooking on top of breakfasts and dinners. (If someone had urged my mother to prepare special “kid-friendly” foods, she’d have thrown in the towel. We kids ate pretty much what my parents ate.)
That’s why I was delighted to find the graphics below in my recent newsletter from the Whole Earth Center. It was designed by their marketing director Fran McManus, who generously allowed me to share them with you. (She’s also on the board of the Princeton School Gardens Cooperative, and busy with her own writing and publishing business.)
This handy guide will give you ideas for healthful breakfasts too. You can carry a copy with your grocery list, or load the images into your phone for those times when you’re at the market, frazzled, and drawing a blank on what to get. (You know who you are.)
Go, parents, go and buy simple things, and let go of guilt about not cooking labor-intensive “special” foods, and send your kids off well-armed for the day and for after-school activities.