We had an amazing dinner last night! The hubs, who loves being in the kitchen, made us eggplant Parmesan. Neither of us have had this dish before. I've often seen it at restaurants and was intrigued but, something else always sounded a little better (smile)! I have to say, the hubs has come such a long way since we met! For him to be even trying eggplant, let alone, making a dish with something he really is foreign to, is amazing. 

When we first started dating he was all about chicken. Never tried Chinese or seafood. Just chicken or burgers or pizza. I love it that he's really been open to trying new things in the past 22 years that we've been together.

This eggplant parm was filling, it tasted wonderful, and it was full of veggies and protein. He used sauteed turkey breast in the filling and topped it with a little bit of mozzarella. Just Yum!

So, I know I promised some healthier lunch ideas for the kiddos today. They don't have to be extravagant, expensive or over the top. Your kids will love knowing you made them a good lunch and if you tuck a little note in with their napkin, you're sure to make them smile. Or, if they're a little older like mine, they may get a little embarrassed! I say do it! :)

So, we'll start with a main item. We've started off this year with turkey sandwiches. I make his using slider buns. He gets two mini sandwiches with turkey and a slice of cheddar (or if they prefer another type that's good too). I spread a smidgen of mayo or mustard and tuck them into a Ziplock. I try to send a variety of parings with the sandwiches. He likes it when I mix some pretzel sticks with a few cheese-it crackers. Then, I'll have a yogurt (if you freeze the squeeze tube ones, it'll help the ice pack keep the rest of the lunch cold, and will be a fun frosty treat at lunch!). Sometimes, we'll send an apple sauce cup or fruit cup. And now since he's asked so nicely, I'll send one cookie.

When the weather gets colder, we use a Thermos and will send him soup and oyster crackers with a half sandwich, a fruit such as, grapes or apple slices are good. Low fat chocolate milk is a good source of calcium and you know they love the taste! 

My son has access to a microwave this year for lunch. If your kiddos do too, maybe give them a quick overview of how to use a microwave safely. Son came home one day to tell us, a buddy was making "lightening" in the microwave with his tinfoil covered sandwich! Eek! I'm starting to try and move slowly away from the cups of mac & cheese (add water, heat, stir in cheese kind). If they really liked their dinner the night before and there are leftovers (and they're able to be reheated), why not send a small portion in a microwavable container? 

Pinterest is a blessing and a curse. However, if you don't get sucked in (which is really hard not to do... Ha!) and search under kid's lunches, you will find some amazing websites and pins that will give you so many creative ideas no matter your style of eating. 

Tons of pages and ideas for kids (and grown ups)!

One last tip. Packing lunches after dinner and before bed can really create a huge sense of calm in the mornings. All you have to do is grab what you need out of the fridge or, heat up what you want to pop in the Thermos, and pop it into the lunchbox in the morning. This will give you a few moments of sanity instead of flying around the kitchen trying to do 50 things all at once. I"m speaking from experience! 

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