Well, we’ve made it through back to school week for our busy family. Littlest member Clara donned an oversized painting smock and Noah’s size 12 sneakers and was prepared to march out the door with her big brothers on the first day. Thankfully, I still have a few years before I have to think about that milestone.
School lunches are now part of the weekday morning routine, and like most of you, I need all the inspiration I can get in that department. Fortunately, my friend Catherine of Weelicious fame is about to release her second cookbook, Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunch Box with More Than 160 Happier Meals!
I think I audibly sighed when I opened the Weelicious Lunches cookbook for the first time. Catherine really understands what appeals to kids and offers over 160 recipes for fresh and creative healthy lunch ideas. Her tips on reinventing leftovers, strategies for picky eaters, and principals for a balanced lunch are all incredibly useful – both for school lunch and around the home.
Read on for an interview with Catherine and a chance to win a copy of Weelicious Lunches!
Q&A with Catherine of Weelicious
Tell us a little bit about your approach to thinking outside the lunch box: I feel like we all get stuck in a lunch rut making the same thing day after day.
When I’m preparing lunch, I make sure that it includes a fruit, vegetable, protein and carbohydrate so I know I’m sending my kids to school with a balanced meal. I try to find ways to make lunch visually exciting and delicious for the kids, but quick and easy for me to assemble.
Your school lunches are renown for their creativity. Where do you find inspiration in the day-to-day?
A lot of my inspiration comes from our local farmers market or from whatever’s in season at the grocery. I find that fruits and vegetables with bright colors pique the interest and attract a kids eye. My kids are my guinea pigs and as they get older, meal time in my house is really becoming more of a collaboration.
Whenever I make cookies, pancakes, bars, soups, etc., I freeze an extra batch so I can just toss in something homemade when I’m packing lunch instead of buying prepackaged foods. I also try to change things up daily. I’ve never duplicated the same lunch in the same week. After all, variety is the spice of life!
Did you have a favourite school lunch as a child and did you make it yourself?
Believe it or not, all of my lunches were at a cafeteria school. Starting in about 3rd grade I would spend my recess period hanging out with the lunch ladies and continued through high school. I was fascinated watching them cook and come up with different recipes every day.
Do you have any tips for letting children make their own school lunch bag?
Yes! Let kids come with you to the grocery store and allow them to pick the fruits and vegetables they want to try. Giving them a little choosing power can help expand on what they’re used to.
Ask your child what handful of recipes they love, then teach them how to make them. The more you empower kids to be good cooks, the more they actually want to make and enjoy the food!
Thank you, Catherine! Weelicious Lunches is available for pre-order on Amazon, and be sure to enter the double giveaway below.
Double Cookbook Giveaway
Thanks to W.M. Morrow I have both cookbooks from Catherine M to giveaway to one reader!
**This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Julie, who has been notified via email.**
Winner will receive:
- Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunch Box with More Than 160 Happier Meals
- Weelicious: 140 Fast, Fresh, and Easy Recipes
To enter this giveaway leave a comment on this post and, just for fun, tell me the grades of your children – if you have back to schoolers. That’s it! I’ll go first: Kindergarten and Grade 3. Whew, that happened fast.
Giveaway ends Sunday, September 1, at 8:00 AM EST. Good luck to all!