So, sometimes (not often) but sometimes I have a stroke of pure genius! This is one of those times and I wanted to share the love.
I never know what to make Legree for lunch! I always want him to have healthy well balanced meals and thankfully he's a good eater. But come on.. I don't want to have to cook and clean up after COOKING three meals a day, every !
Lunch seems to be the worst for me. I HATE heating up mac and cheese for lunch every day. Just doesn't seem healthy.. and it makes no sense to make a full healthy meal for just me and him. Sure, some days there are left overs from supper, but not every day.
Spaghetti-os in the can have NO nutritional value and are LOADED with sodium. WAY to much sodium for even my body to handle, much less someone that is only 25 pounds! As is much of the prepacked, processed food this day and age! Are there sometimes when Legree eats greasy McDonald's french fries? YUP! Sure thing! I won't deny him that and it's not bad in MODERATION! But it won't be everyday or even every week for my little guy!
So, OK here's the solution... Premade frozen meals just for Legree! Here's what I did. I brought some Wacky Mac. Fun little colorful noddles made of VEGGIES! AWESOME right? So, they get carbs, protein (from the whole wheat) and a yummy starch that everyone loves!
Then regular old jarred pasta sauce that is chalked full of veggie goodness. I got the Garden Vegetable kind because it's got EXTRA veggies pureed in there. If they have the kind with no salt added, that's even better. The less sodium for the little guys and gals, the better!
So, I cooked the WHOLE BAG of noodles, dumped the sauce in there and added some garlic powder (not garlic salt, but powder... the powder adds flavor without adding sodium). I then took a box of frozen spinach and heated it up. Then I divided it among the bags too. So, on top of all the carrots, tomatoes etc that are in the spaghetti sauce, PLUS the wacky mac veggie noodles he's getting a GREEN LEAFY VEGGIE on top of it! And trust me, he'll eat it because he won't notice it's in there when mixed with all the redness from the spaghetti sauce and he gets SOO many nutrients. I'm doing a little happy mommy dance thinking of the healthfulness (is that a word?) right now!
Then I took one of Legree's bowls that he normally eats out of, filled it up with the wacky mac, spinach and spaghetti sauce mix and then dumped the bowl into a freezer bag! I repeated this SEVEN more times! That's EIGHT HEALTHY meals for this little guy! He eats A LOT more then most kids, so this could probably go up to ten servings for a smaller eater. All I have to do is take one of the bags out of the freezer, reheat it and it's ready to go!
Ohh and wouldn't this be FABULOUS for nights when you have something to eat that your toddler can't have? (Like hot wings for example)... instead of getting something off the kids menu, just give them this, you could even heat it up before you leave the house and give it to them at the restaurant! Ohh I'm loving this more and more!
Ohh and you may be asking where's the protein? What about meat? Well, first off I'm not a big meat eater. Not because I don't believe in it or anything... I do eat it, just not too often. I don't think it's really necessary as long as you are careful to get protein elsewhere. Meat is expensive and not that great in most cases so I make sure that we get protein else where when we don't have meat. Well, whole wheat pasta has A LOT of protein in it (thank you wacky mac) and for those of you who don't know spinach has a ton of protein in it. And what do toddlers drink all day? MILK which is chalked full of protein!! So, we're covered in that dept. too.. no worries!
Here's some pictures of all my meals lined up ready for the freezer and the contents! I might even have to dig into one of these one day myself!!
Hopefully I can think of some more ideas like this and have several different healthy meals to choose from throughout the week... I'll share them as they come to me!
P.S. You can certainly mix the spinach in before you put it in the bag. I just threw it on top and will mix it together when I reheat. No problem-o!