The following is mostly in response to your many (and appreciated!) comments on the last post:
Amanda D asked for suggestions for home lunch. I'm sure I'll have more as I continue to implement it, but here's what the girls helped me pack today:
*Whole wheat pita bread cut into triangles
*Sun dried tomato hummus (for #1)
*Carrot sticks and cucumbers
*Apple slices (brushed with lemon juice to prevent browning); green for #1, gala for #2 and #3
*Trail mix: goji berries, craisins, semi-sweet choc. chips, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), and sunflower seeds (will probably add almonds next time)
*Water in their stainless steel bottles
*Walnut Orange cake (I made it last night for my book club; they got the last three pieces!)
Lunch here is about $1.50. I think. It's on a pre-pay online system, so I haven't paid too much attention. However, when we were in CA it was over $3.00. No, thank you!
The reason home lunch is more expensive, though, is because I have changed our diet. This is why I wrote about the Five Dollar Pizza --it's impossible to eat the right way without increasing your monthly food budget. Sure, you can just eat lettuce all month, but to get the things your body needs (and deserves), I have found that you have to look harder --the perfect foods are scarce. Sad, but true. And I'm okay with it! Because better food means longer lives, less medical intervention, and happier faces. It's worth a few extra dollars.
I told the kids they have to bring home all leftovers and not to throw away any containers or baggies. (I was glad to see that many of you do the same thing!) I also told them that they have to choose a veggie every day. [#2, my pickiest eater of all time, chose carrots. Here's hoping she eats them!] I never thought about sending leftovers, though. Why? I don't know. Too hard, maybe? But I guess if I can send some hummus, I can certainly send some leftover dinner! Thank you for that suggestion (many of you do this, I see).
The biggest surprise was the excitement the kids had this morning while they helped me make the lunches. I found out that not only do they get to go sit down first while the "hot lunch people" stand in line, but they were telling me about the few kids who brought lunch from home and how "cool" their lunches were.
Thanks for all your suggestions, guys! It sure helped solidify my decision to go with the home lunch.
As I'm going through these food changes, how interested are you people in recipes or links to sites with great recipes or good nutritional ideas? I don't want to turn this into a blog about nutrition, but since it's a blog about me, and I'm focused on the big nutrition changes, sharing stuff seems right to me. What do you think?