We are finishing up our first week of school this week. Two out of three are thrilled and seem very happy in their new classes. The jury is still out on one of my littles. I’m almost positive it is because he is exhausted. The school day is really long and we are in the middle of an unseasonable heat wave. It is sweltering. It is making everybody a little cranky. Getting into new routines is great, but can be hard on little ones. I forget every single year how hard the first week can be, how tired and hungry they are when they get home. We’ll get through it.
I made this recipe for Peapod and it is one of my favorites. I’ve made it a few times after I wrote this recipe for them. It is crunchy, colorful (seriously, how beautiful is this salad?), and easy for little guys to eat.
I don’t know if you know this or not, but I used to be a teacher. I’ve spent a lot of time in the lunchroom and have observed all different kinds of kid lunch behavior. Some kids have so much food it takes them longer to get it all laid out than it does to eat it. Some kids don’t have enough food or will only eat a few bites before they head back to class. Some kids have lunches that I am seriously envious of.
(And packing a baby wipe in their lunch box is never a bad idea, they go to recess with half of their lunch on their adorable faces.)
One thing that I think a lot about now that I am a mom and packing lunch is a.) how little time they actually have to eat and b.) how hard packaging and actually manipulating (getting it into their mouths) their lunch can be and c.) what kind of foods can I give them that will power them through the rest of the day?
When I am packing lunch I’m thinking can my kid can actually open the package that the cookies come in or the thermos with the mac and cheese in it? Or if they have to cut something, does it fit into their little mouth? Or do they need utensils to eat with? Or how is this lunch going to hold up when it is actually lunch time? (There is nothing grosser than hot yogurt.)
I created this recipe to make something healthy that kids can eat on their own (hence the chopped part, no cutting required), that will hold up until lunch, and that they might actually eat (and you too, I happily ate this for lunch). My kids like Asian-inspired food. I have an easier time getting them to try something like this than most other things. Even better, this salad holds up well. You can leave off the dressing and keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days and dress it before you send it off to school.
Click the link below for the full recipe: