Wow, what a crazy weekend, all I have heard about is the food scandals that have been going on in many schools around Shanghai in regards to the company providing the food not being clean and safe, and serving foods that were expired. So many of the schools have shut down the canteens until further notice leaving us with the sudden job of preparing lunch for our kids.
It is not always easy to have healthy food ready for them every day, but there are ways to get through it easily without having to complicate our lives
The first and most important thing to do to get ready for this upcoming week is setting yourself up and getting everything ready.
1. Buy a thermos!
There are so many different options out there on taobao that it is hard to choose, I personally like to have the Japanese thermos with the different containers inside it so that I can give my kids different foods all together without them getting mixed up.
Make sure however that they are easy for them to open, are leak free and are also easy to remove them and put them back into the main container.
If however you or your kids are a one pot kind of person (for soups, or chili or other one pot meals, then you can just buy the single thermos. This one below is guaranteed to keep your food warm, I have used it and my kids love it.
These are amazing! The best way to ensure that the food stay hot throughout the day, is to fill them with boiling hot water for the first 10 minutes (with lid closed) after ten minutes, empty them out and put hot food in them. Your kids will probably come home saying that the food is too hot for them to eat!
A helpful appliance is the microwave, if your school has a microwave (if not now is great time to ask for some), teach your child how to use one and worrying about them having a hot meal will no longer be an issue!
But be careful!!!! And make sure you teach your kids how to use them (NOT EVERYTHING CAN GO INTO THE MICROWAVE, plastic containers have to be microwave safe, and make sure you teach them not to put metals in the microwave) they will think it is not a big deal, but as we all know it actually is not something to take lightly.
In china it is hard to make sure that our plastic containers are safe, so please make sure they really are safe. Below is the sign for microwavable Tupper wear, but again please make sure they really are microwavable!
2. Make sure you are not only filling your kid, but feeding them! They are in school all day, and having a truly nutritional meal will not only help them stay satisfied, but will also help them mentally and energetically throughout their day!
Make sure that the food is filling but not too heavy! Foods that are too heavy are hard to digest and that causes your whole body to have to slow down to digest (causing the need to feel like napping) Stay away from things that are too fatty (like fatty beef, or things that are too greasy or cheesy, all too hard to digest.
When it comes to the food, make sure you give them a variety of nutrients and not always give them the same ones. For example vary the starches: don’t always give them the same white rice or pasta, there are so many options out there today... Black rice, brown rice, basmati, millet, pasta, rice pasta, potato, sweet potato, buckwheat.
The same goes for your protein, it does not always have to be meat, vegetable protein is also a good option; chicken, pork, beef, egg, fish, chickpeas, lentils, beans all have loads of protein.
Give your kids good quality fats to ensure that their brains are working at their highest abilities. Good fats are essential and easy to add to their lunches (you don’t have to exaggerate, a little fat goes a long way) avocado, grass fed butter, olive oil, coconut oil, all great ways to get some fat in our kids!
And last but not least don’t forget to give them their fruit and veggies! This is the one part of the lunch that you should pack in there! The more the better! This is the one that really helps them to keep going throughout the day! This is what makes their brains work and their stomachs function.
And remember, don’t over complicate your life! Their lunch is important, but make it simple for yourself, cook extra the night before, make big batches of soup, make sure that you have some Starch available for you to add to the soup or meal you have prepared without having to make it last second before they leave. A sandwich is a good option sometimes, or a stuffed wholewheat wrap with some beans and veggies are a great way to keep them going and make life easy for you!
Non farmed salmon is a great food to prepare the day before, pasta, stews are all good one pot meals that will help you, below are some helpful meal ideas that can take you from Monday right through to the end of next week…
Pasta with tomato sauce
Homemade “poke” bowls
Meat Balls with tomato sauce
Chinese fried rice with shrimp
Grilled chicken rice and broccoli
Stir fry (vegetarian or not)
Oven Roasted salmon (not farmed)
Japanese Rice balls