Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lunch Apples and Breakfast Bags

Last week my 6.5 year-old daughter told me she liked the way I cut her apple for her lunch and put cinnamon inside.  I thought I'd show you what I did.  You will need a knife, a melon baller, and a piece of plastic wrap, or a bag and a rubber band to keep the apple together.

Start by cutting the apple in half.  By coring it with a melon baller you waste less than cutting pieces off the core.  Then cut the apple into pieces and put it back together.  My kids like when I put honey or cinnamon in the middle.  You could also hide raisins inside or even stick the apple together with peanut butter, if you want to get messy.

Another trick I want to share this week I call "breakfast bags."
My five-year-old son is old enough to be awake on his own, and he likes to wake up very early. He is usually happy reading or playing a game by himself, but first he comes in our room and whines that he's hungry.  We then have a barely conscious father and a stubborn, half-awake little boy trying to come up with what he wants for breakfast.  Now I set out breakfast bags for my kids before going to bed on Friday night.  It's not fool proof, but it usually delays them waking us up and keeps them from making mischief in my kitchen. For breakfast bags to havethe desired effect in my house, they must include a treat.  I recommend starting small so you can raise the anti when the kids get bored.

This weekend I left out half a PB&J sandwich, two small cookies, and a banana.  Another morning had an apple and a sandwich with sesame carob butter.  Another breakfast bag might hold whole wheat crackers, raisins, dried cranberries, and a square of chocolate.  I also leave out cups so the kids have no excuse to go in the kitchen.  Sometimes I ask the kids what they want so they can't tell me they didn't like what I left, and sometimes they get a surprise.  I also don't do it every week.  I save it for the mornings we really want to sleep in.  If it stops working, I take a break for a few weeks.

Need a lunch sack?  I like the BYO neoprene sacks.  They are slightly smaller and cheaper than the similar bag made by BUILT.  They come in lots of great designs, wash well, and lay flat when empty.  They stretch to hold a lot, including baby bottles.  You can find them on Amazon or at T.J.Maxx.

Please comment!
  • How do you keep your kids out of trouble when you need to sleep in?  
  • Do you pack lunch or make breakfast the morning before?
  • What healthy lunch items do you and your kids enjoy?
  • Can you recommend a reusable sandwich or snack bag that is easy to wash?


  1. oh so clever! I wonder if it would work with my kids... worth a shot

  2. I am a big fan of the Snacktaxi brand snack bags. I wash them with my dishtowels and cloth napkins. http://www.snacktaxi.com/



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