It’s that time of year again. Besides being fall in just a few weeks, it’s when lunches we pack our kids COMPETE with recess. Only the easiest and most delicious things get eaten first while the rest is trashed or left to decompose in the lunch box.
Unless your school is smart enough to have recess first. Ours has lunch first - sigh. And I have a first grader and his first shot at all day school and lunch away from my visual supervision.
Time to pull out the big guns and compete in his lunchbox = awesome momma nutrition vs. the playground.
It is a slow process to ease things that are better for him into his lunch when his buddies have chips, fruit snacks, sugary pouch drinks and such.
Balance and patience is what it will take to get them to eat foods better for them when they are surrounded by lunch boxes filled with junk.
Let me be perfectly open about one thing. 2 of my kids get chocolate milk every day in their lunch boxes.
Gasp….shhh, I don’t think chocolate milk is evil. This is why it goes in their lunch boxes:
- I know they will drink it
- calories – they needs them to be able to focus when it’s learning time. Hungry kids don’t learn well.
- decent amount of protein, vitamins and mineral – not straight juice with no protein to slow the insulin response
- I am not anti-dairy
- It’s delicious and convenient. The end.
Chocolate milk confession aside, I’ve pulled out the big guns and am going muffin mode. They are the same shape as a cupcake so it has a coolness factor at the lunch table that makes it more desirable.
Muffins are a super amazing tricky way to sneak goodness and coolness into lunch without the kiddos realizing it.
The recipe today is for a whole grain pumpkin muffin. It’s sneaky awesome for a few reasons:
It’s whole grain = AWESOME!
It’s made with a veggie (shhh, kids don’t consider pumpkin a veggie)
cupcake shape gives it a very high cool status rating
moist and yet fluffy = easy to eat thereby improving chances that it will get eaten before the playground calls
Pumpkin’s deep orange color means it’s loaded with carotenoids - phytochemicals that prevent free radicals from damaging cells. Who doesn’t need that when they are surrounded by 30 of their closest friends covered in contagious germs 6 hours a day, 5 days a week?
Freeze well= super easy to pull out and add to lunches!
Whole Grain Pumpkin Muffin
- 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon (nutmeg and cloves to your liking too
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 Tbsp oil
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup milk
- ½ cup chocolate chips (optional)
Blend dry ingredients. Put wet ingredients in a separate bowl and blend until smooth. Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Add chocolate chips and stir to combine. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins. Recipe doubles easily.
If you were wondering, this recipe is also very forgiving. I just made a batch and left out the oil and the milk and they are still fantastic.