What if I told you that making food your kids will love doesn’t take that much time? If you are looking for fresh kid friendly meal ideas, this post is for you.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I bought pregnancy books, parenting books, and baby food books. I even bought a few sleep training books. Somewhere along the way, I learned. I got in my groove and managed to have two more kids. Then I went to work full time and making homemade meals seemed like an impossible task.
In 2011, I launched MOMables. A meal planning service that helps parents make fresh school lunches and meals their kids will love. In 3 years, I’ve been able to grow a community of over 45k parents who want to make better meals for their family.
Last year, Fair Winds Press (a publishing company) contacted me to see if I would be interested in writing a cookbook filled with homemade lunch recipes. Not just any cookbook… a cookbook that would follow the best selling baby food book! Me? a mom of 3 kids who comes up with fun lunches and cool snacks for a living write a whole cookbook?! I was honored, scared, and excited all at the same time –sort of like when I found out I was pregnant for the first time.
Last summer I tested, wrote, edited, and re-tested over 200+ recipes for this book. I worked with my amazing friend and photographer Alison Bickel, to show you how beautiful real food can be. Just check out this short video! I know you are going to love this cookbook.
The book is filled with all of my kitchen tips, shortcuts, little stories about each recipe, my philosophy about being a busy parent and how to feed your family real food in a hurry… and so much more.
I have poured my heart out into this book. I’ve made my husband taste things that he would rather not have to give his “honest opinion” (luckily those never made it into the book). I’ve worked a ridiculous amount of hours trying to get every single recipe typed up in a way that even a novice home cook or a young person could follow. I was a stress case for 12 weeks, relied on every family member and friend for child care, and drank way too much coffee while staying up way past my bedtime to meet a deadline (or two).
I’ve been really lucky to work with a publisher and an editor that trusted my expertise and encouraged my creativity. This is a “the sky is the limit” for real life kitchens, busy parents everywhere, I’m out of ideas type of cookbook.
This cookbook is a manual for parents who want to make homemade food simple. A guide filled with prep-ahead tips to help you make lunches the night before so you can keep it together in the morning when you are busy trying to get the kids out the door –ahem! my life.
The Best Homemade Kids’ Lunches on the Planet is designed to teach you how to make real food convenient and appealing to your kids. The book is divided into chapters like:
- Pack Like a Pro: Nourishing Foods on the Go. Everything you need to know to get started with packing the best lunches and making meals for your family. From budget-friendly shopping, how to stock your pantry, and tips on making prep-ahead meals.
- Get Out the Door: Breakfasts to Go. A whole section on portable breakfast items, my family’s favorites, and the tips a parent needs to getting out the door in the morning with well-fed kids on time.
- Fill the Box: Sandwiches and More. Long gone are the days of one peanut butter and jelly sandwich after another. It’s time to bring variety back into your family’s lunches! The sandwiches, wraps, and pinwheels in this section incorporate leftovers and easy to find ingredients into new favorites.
- Add Some Fun: Interactive Lunches for Picky Eaters. This section is for every parent who has had to fight or say no to one of those colored pre-packaged lunches at the grocery store. The lunches in this section teaches you how to make your homemade version delicious, nutritious, and a lot more fun!
- Fill the Thermos: Portable Hot Lunches. Inspired by my good friend who lets her kids eat school lunch because a “hot lunch” is better than a sandwich. I beg to differ. These hot lunches will rock your thermos world.
- Extra Credit: Staples, Drinks, Treats, and More. The recipes here are the tipping point of going fully homemade. This chapter will be your most visited, guaranteed.
- Putting it All Together: Meal Planning and More. A 2 week sample plan with recipes from the book, a guide on how to use the recipes in the book to create classroom sized snacks, and making meals on-the-go.
My goal was to write a book anyone could gift to a friend when their kids are entering pre-school and continue to be a resource for awesome meals even through high school.
The cupcake recipe was tested by 67 families. Together we simplified the directions into a two bowl process and for it to yield of the average classroom size of 24 cupcakes. Fluffy, delicious, moist cupcakes every time!
Unlike other kid recipe books out there, the meals are pictured exactly as you would need to pack them inside a lunch box, a thermos, or a snack box. Because really, nobody wants to eat a soggy lunch.
I want to thank you for supporting my mission of helping parents pack fresh school lunches and make meals their kids will love.
A Note Regarding Food Allergies:
Nearly all recipes can be made gluten free by using readily available substitutions (breads, pastas, wraps) when needed. Dairy is easy to substitute for a dairy free alternative. When baking, eggs can be omitted and you can use flax eggs or a banana. Peanut butter or almond butter can be easily substituted with nut-free butter alternative. There are no soy products in the book (or corn). Many recipes are naturally gluten free, dairy free, etc. This is a practical food guide for every parent. That was my approach when writing this book. It’s not, however, a paleo/grain free book.
Of course, the information in the book is meant for educational purposes and is not intended to replace the advice of a physician or medical practitioner.