When my daughter entered Mother’s Day out one of the things I found myself struggling with was different ideas for her lunch. After digging and digging and digging and (you guessed it) more digging online I did find some toddler friendly meals. At the time she was only 2 years old so, it was fairly simple. Deli meat, cheese, crackers, fruit, and yogurt… that was it and she was happy. When we entered the 3 year classroom her appetite grew so, I knew I would have to start thinking outside the box.
Now hear me out, I don’t have ANYTHING against Lunchables but I tried several times to get Isla to eat them but she never did. So many times she would eat the cheese, crunch up the crackers, and play with the meat. No thank you! I had visions of her making a huge mess in the classroom and decided against Lunchables (for everybody’s sake).
I can clearly remember when Isla was small and in the 2 year old room at Early Head Start and she would get all the other kids in class to dip their fingers in their milk and fling it at each other while she excitedly exclaimed “It’s waining!! It’s waining!” I know how my kid is and I know she’s a mess. Meals that are easy and all you have to do is open the box is the way to go for us. Her food has to be ready to eat and easy for the teacher to prepare for her.
This is spawned the birth of my Instagram baby, Eats for Littles.
Every Monday and Wednesday night I would pull out my bento boxes, silicone cupcake molds, and anything that I thought would make her lunch cuter and more exciting to eat. People laughed at me, called me an overachiever, and told me they didn’t think that I would be able to do it for the whole school year. However, I was determined to get all the way to May. I got all the way to spring break and then spring break and then COVID-19 happened and basically ruined the rest of the school year.
My ultimate goal is to provide her with home made meals that anybody can make at home. A lot of times I use what I have on hand and ready to go. These meals can be made in around 10-15 minutes. I try to offer a variety of food because a lot of times what she eats depends on her mood so one day she might eat all of her baby tomatoes and not touch them the next time. I never really know for sure so I try to send her a variety to choose from.
I’m wrapping up my years worth of school lunches even though there aren’t many, I’m so very proud of the work I did. I started the Instagram with the hopes of bringing healthy and creative meals for little ones. I was a mama who struggled with ideas and I wanted to be able to provide inspiration for other mamas like me.
So here are the lunches for Isla for the 2019-2020 pre-k school year. I hope this blog brings inspiration for the upcoming school year or even summer time lunch ideas. I hope y’all enjoy and I hope you guys come back for my next Eats for Littles related post featuring my Summer Eats series!