Planning Your Own Meals
Grades 1 through 5
We all want to provide our children with the best opportunity to be healthy and to succeed at their planned goals. That is probably one of the reasons you chose to invest in Tiny Babe’s Preparatory Academy. Nutrition plays a critical role in your child’s overall health, performance in the classroom, performance in athletics, and every other area of life! TBP Academy promises to thoroughly educate our parents on healthy alternatives to offer their children since we do not serve breakfast or lunch to grades 1 through 5.
When your children are eating outside of your kitchen it is imperative that their Lunchboxes contain nutritional content daily and their lunch is comparable to what we would serve at home. This enables them to optimize their performance throughout each school day.
Please know that there is no “cookie cutter” approach to nourishing your children. You know your child best so you have to decide what meals will be best for your own family.
Packing lunches needs to be SIMPLE.
We don’t expect gourmet meals, but we also don’t expect you to rely solely on prepackaged food that lack nutrition. We suggest cooking and baking in bulk. Usually, 1-2 recipes per week will get your family of five through lunches and snacks for the week (for example, chicken nuggets or breakfast cookies). We also suggest washing and cutting all of your fruit and vegetables so they are easy to pack for the week. To make lunch time quick and easy for your child be sure to label containers and zip lock bags as lunch or snack.
Lunch time provides another opportunity for us to promote independence. Lunchboxes and containers that are easy for your child to carry and easy to open independently are essential. Save money and limit excess trash from yogurt in a tube (Gogurt), string cheese, prepackaged bowls of fruit, etc., by packing your own easy to open, reusable containers. We suggest purchasing large containers of yogurt, a block of cheese and fresh fruit since they all have a place in the lunchbox without the extra plastic wrapped around them.
Green, yellow, and red light foods
Break it down for your children as stoplight foods when packing can be fun for them. Depending on your family’s needs, there are some foods that are ok to have at any time; some foods are ok some of the time; and, there are some foods that are not ok for families at all. You decide what these foods are. You can designate a refrigerator at home where your child has access to green light foods—foods that are alright to eat, no matter when (think fruit & veggies!). Yellow foods are ok to have sometimes, but are, perhaps, kept elsewhere and only available when parents allow. Red foods aren’t kept in the house and are not part of your child’s diet— maybe because of a food allergy or lack of nutrition. Each family has to determine what these foods will be, but children will be able to understand the stoplight process of deciding.
Fresh veggies are easy! If you have extra time, you can cut them in different shapes and sizes. Go with what is in season and you will have a variety year-round. Carrots, celery, cucumbers, jicama, zucchini, asparagus. Engage your child in picking out new foods to try, taste test as a family, and involve them in packing their lunches using the new food. You can even provide a dip to entice them to try. Hummus and almond butter are great additions to raw veggies!
Perfectly portioned and prepackaged. Bananas, apples, pears, peaches, grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, mangoes, kiwi, nectarines, tangerines, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries. We also suggest cutting them into shapes, adding them to yogurt, or serving them with nuts. Go with fresh fruit, or fruit you’ve prepared at home to avoid any unnecessary ingredients in prepackaged fruit.
Try fruit kabobs! Anything on a stick is more fun!
Leftovers are your friend! Cook extra on purpose. Pack it in your own containers granting your child a healthy meal for lunch the next day. We suggest easy to handle (baked not fried) protein such as chicken legs, chicken wings (already broken apart), drumettes, chicken sandwich, chicken noodle soups, bowl of chili, chicken & vegetable pot pie, turkey, turkey patty, beef patty, freshly prepared fish. Now we understand that it will be easier to put together a bologna sandwich or hot dog on a bun, but these two foods are the only entrees, if you will, students are not allowed to pack for lunch due to lack of nutritional content. Other process foods that are okay are tuna, fish sticks and chicken nuggets.
Cereal bars, almonds, walnuts & pecans, brown rice, whole grain bread, and pastas.
If you feel like your children are missing certain food groups, fill gaps by using your imagination. Homemade muffins or breakfast cookies can be filled with all kinds of shredded or pureed vegetables. Who doesn’t like a cookie or a muffin?