Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Packing Lunches

Every weekday morning, I pack my 6th grader's lunch and lately, I've been packing my husband's.  As I mentioned in a previous post, my challenge for packing my husband's lunch is keeping the calories around 300, as he requested. Today, I packed him a pasta salad with some fruits and veggies as sides.

A 300-calorie lunch
For the pasta salad, I mixed 2 cups of cooked whole-wheat rotini with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons mustard, 2/3 cup frozen peas, 1 tablespoon sliced green onions, 1/4 cup chopped seeded tomatoes, 4 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese, and some salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder for seasoning. This made a total of 3 cups of pasta salad at 770 calories. I measured out 1 cup of the pasta salad, which was 256 calories, and spooned it onto a bed of lettuce. With strawberries and yellow pepper strips (a total of about 45 calories) as sides, his lunch for today is right around 300 calories.

My challenge for packing my 6th grader's is making sure I pack enough food to get a hungry, growing, 11-year-old through the day without "starving." I try to include each of the following: a protein source, a fruit, a veggie, a dairy, and a grain. I usually add an extra little snack or dessert, if there is room in her lunch box.

Today, I gave her the same pasta salad I packed for my husband, but added some miniature pepperonis to it for extra protein. I packed green and yellow pepper strips and green grapes as sides, and also included some salsa-flavored Wheat Thins, a handful of Craisins, and a little Ghirardelli chocolate for dessert.

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