Monday, January 30, 2012

Lunch Time - planning lunches for the family

Lunch Time!

My 13 year old is a great eater. She will try anything and usually picks fruits and veggies to eat over other things (except chocolate cake). My 9 year old on the other hand is a bad eater and very recently has gotten even worse. Most recently she throws tantrums about eating good foods - just wanting to eat snacks or "treats" all day. 

I am going to try and turn the situation around. Making kids food nutritious and fun is hot these days, so I am jumping in on the trend to see if it works. This study says it might, lol, &THIS post is my first try at American  bento boxes.

warning: the following food will have wheat  and is far from Paleo (most of it), but my family doesn't follow my rules and this is for them. It is all wholesome or homemade however & not all of it has wheat!

I thought I should start out with something that I know she likes, is treat-like, but I can make healthier. So I made home-made mini pizzas with my own whole wheat pizza dough, part-skim mozzarella, and a chunky pizza sauce . I used store bought because I was making so many things, but there are some good sauces out there.  The stars are pepperoni, but few and they are nitrate free. The star shape is just a cookie cutter. I made more pizzas for my husband's lunch too using the extra veggies I had from making our Mealpod dinners  and cooking them first in a teeny bit of olive oil, spices, and garlic.  He also got the bits of pepperoni left after I cut out those stars with a cookie cutter!

Here's the recipe for the pizza dough using half whole wheat and 1/2 regular flour. If you are gluten free and want to make mini pizzas for lunch - there are mixes by Hodgson's Mill. I have never tried them though so I can't say how they are.

hubby's pizza

1/2 Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Nicole Caulfield


  • 2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 packet Fleishmann's rapid rise yeast
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Put all your flour, salt, and yeast in a heavy duty food processor with the dough blade in.
  2. Warm up a cup of water in the microwave on high for a minute. Remove and mix in 1 cup hot water from the tap. Mix in the oil with the water.
  3. Pour the water/oil mixture into the food processor and turn on. Let it go for a couple of minutes or until you have a well mixed dough. If you need to add water or flour go ahead
  4. Let sit for 10 minutes in an oiled bowl with a towel over the top.
  5. Pull of 3 inch balls of dough and form into pizza rounds. Place on a greased cookie sheet.
  6. Add sauce of your choice, part-skim mozzarella and toppings. Bake on the second to bottom rack @ 375 for 15 minutes or until the cheese gets bubbly. 
If you don't have  a food processor - mix half the flour with salt & yeast & all of the water/oil mixture. Combine well and then add the remaining flour. Knead until smooth and doughy. Resume with step # 4. 

Yield: 14 mini pizzas (give or take a few) 

To make the pepperonis look like stars, I just used a tiny star cookie cutter I had in my Christmas things. For the toppings for my husband's pizza I cut up onions, and mushrooms, and sauteed them in a little pan with  olive oil spray, garlic powder, oregano, basil, and a bit of black pepper. I didn't actually caramelize them all the way. I cooked them until they were soft and a good amount of their juice went into the pan. I drained them on a paper towel so there wouldn't be too much moisture on the pizzas.

I don't think they will want pizza every day this week so I froze half of them and grilled up some chicken breasts for the non-pizza days.

I  made 75 blueberry buttermilk oat bran mini muffins (they are tiny) to be the healthy dessert for the week and froze some as well. Recipe below.

Here are this week's variations on lunch: I hope they get eaten well!

Katie's grilled chicken salad, mini blueberry muffins, grapes, & strawberries

kid mini pizza, blueberry muffins, strawberries & grapes, and carrot sticks

hubby's veggie pizza strawberries, grapes, blueberry muffins, & a tomato


  1. I have to boast that the picky one came home and said she ate everything in the box - except she gave away one of her blueberry bran muffins. Success!

  2. hey I was wondering where you get your bento boxes? I have been searching for some good ones and I like the look of yours. Thanks!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I got the clear ones at Bed Bath and Beyond - they were cheap. They aren't REAL bento boxes but they are similar. The top part has to rotate upside down to click together because it is hinged, which is not ideal. The colored cups inside are silicone cupcake molds. The other container (with the salad face) is from my local grocery store (Hannaford) and says Stayfit on the top.

    I thought if this goes well I might buy fancier ones from that don't have to put some things upside down! Just search for bento box on their site and loads come up.

  5. I am making this right now. I am a little skeptical about the flavor profile. The squash may be a litle light for the sauce. Just pulled it out of the broiler. Looks good waiting for the wife. Pickup Lines Google Gravity Tricks I love you quotes Good Night Quotes

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