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  1. #1

    Help lunch time mess!

    hello everyone

    My lunch time is so stressful for me. Right now in my care are a 4yr old that is in school in the morning his brother who is 1yr a 19mo and 3 yr old. plus my own kids 4 (who is in school in the morning as well) and my 21 mo old. lunch used to be at noon in the summer time and it went well now with my son and the other four yr old that goes to school in the morning that dont get off the bus til 12:05 so by the time i get all their stuff off and prep lunch the younger ones are screaming because they are hungry! most of them arrive no earlier than 8 and 9 so it makes it really difficult to have a AM snack time when i have circle time, art etc... with them. Anyone can think of fast healthy meals that are quick to make or slowcooker meals? as i dont prepare boxed or processed food. Or make ahead meals that i can freeze? any ideas



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  2. #2
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    Been there. I remember having this struggle when my children were younger... Then the next year it switched and they had to be on the bus by 12 ... First I would bring in a healthy morning snack that is filling and serve it around 9:30-9:45. I learned early on there is no point doing art and circle if you are not able to have snack or diapers and outdoor play etc.... I alternated art and circle times....one day art the next circle....when I can't fit it in... Also move art to the afternoons just before your afternoon snack.. As for meals sloppy joes in the crock pot on whole grain buns with veggies on the side....have sandwiches per made in the fridge and then your soup in the crock pot warm and ready to dish out.... Put a casserole in the oven before you go out to the bus a Mexican tamale casserole is popular hear ...as well as tuna noodle ...lasagna all can have veg on the side and be served in minutes.... Sometimes serving a veggie appetizer will help little ones on the edge...

    Hope this helps.....

  3. #3
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    You could also do your own version of lunchables on these busy days, with cold slices of roasted chicken, turkey breast, or roast beef. Whatever roast you make on Sunday night just buy a bigger one with leftovers for lunches for a few days. Also you could do: Chicken salad or egg salad wraps.

    Slice up veggies the night before and put in a container with water to keep crisp, you could make homemade pasta salad and serve with fresh whole grain buns or crackers with cheese cubes & cut up homemade fruit salad cups.

  4. #4
    Euphoric !
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    I would definitely make sure you serve a morning snack. I have to pick up my son at preschool at 11:30 every day and we don't get to have lunch until a bit after noon as well by the time everyone is changed and hands washed etc. But, I serve a good morning snack at around 10am when the morning nappers have gotten up from their naps. I don't do circle time, but I do have art time in the morning many days (not every day). Most important, we go outside between morning snack and lunch most days. My kids also arrive between 8 and 9 like yours and they need a morning snack and are still hungry for lunch, but not screaming with hunger. Be careful not to overschedule activities at expense of the basics such as snack and free play.

  5. #5
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    I agree with ECE53 a morning snack is a must - sadly many children do not have breakfast at home so to have to go until lunch time without anything - that would make some seriously grouchy kids

    My routine roughly goes like this most days:

    7:30 – 9:00 Exploring in the Family Room / Sensory Explorations offered

    9:00 – 9:30 Hand washing / Snack Time / Washroom Reminders

    9:30 – 10:30 Outdoor Adventures / Field Trip Outings

    10:30 – 12:00 Exploring Playroom / Field Trip Outings **

    12:00 – 12:30 Hand washing / / Lunch Time

    12:30 – 12:45 Circle / Story time

    12:45 - 1:00 Washroom Reminders / Tooth brushing

    1:00 - 3:00 Rest time / Quiet Time living room activities or Treehouse as waking

    2:45 – 3:45 Hand washing / Snack / Washroom Reminders / Creative Art

    3:45 – 4:45 Backyard Adventures / Indoor Creative movement on inclement days

    4:45 – 5:00 Small Group Quiet Activities & Stories before home time

    ** so during this period if we are home in the playroom - I would duck up a little before 12 and come up to prep lunch if it was something 'time consuming' or to do things like toss some sweet potato fries into the over and come back to playroom but when we go on a field trip or outing - I either prepare a crock pot lunch, a 'cold plate' lunch or something that you just heat and serve (aka leftovers I cooked the day before).

    I tend to do a lot of cook once eat three times so I would make A LOT and a third would go into the freezer for a meal and the rest would serve the daycare once and my family once that way I can cook from scratch and serve healthy - but it is occasionally 'thaw and heat' .... that way I can place something 'frozen' into the oven with the timer so it turns on to cook itself and be ready for noon or same with the crock pot - toss it back into the crock pot frozen at 7am and by noon it is thawed and heated to the perfect temp for serving.

    Or with things like 'mac and cheese' for example I would boil the noodles and hot dogs in the morning and pop em back in the fridge and while they were boiling I could grate my cheese, dice some onion and so forth so everything is 'ready to go' than at 12 all I have to do is whip up a cheese sauce and toss back in the noodles and wieners to heat them up - mac and cheese from scratch but less than 5 minutes of the kids 'waiting' for it so to speak:

    This is a list of some of our favorites for snacks and meals ...

    Am snacks
    Cold cereal – rice crisp, shreddies, corn bran, alphabets, mini wheats
    Pancakes / Waffles / French toast
    Warm Oatmeal
    Toast/Bagels/English muffins with PB or Cream Cheese or Cinnamon
    Eggs … mini quiche, scrambled in mini pita pockets, hard boiled, Omelettes, A bird in the nest (toad in hole)
    Cereal Bars
    Yogurt / Cottage Cheese with fresh fruit
    Mini Muffins … Pineapple coconut, peanut butter banana, apple raisin, pumpkin raisin, carrot raisin, raisin bran, cranberry lemon etc.
    Cheese cubes and fruit

    Summer Lunch ideas
    Cold Chicken, Pita bread & Fruit Salad
    BBQ Hamburgers, Home fries, Grilled veggies & Orange slices
    Tuna Salad Wraps & Fruit kabobs
    Meat & Cheese Pizza’s, Raw Veggies & Dip & Applesauce
    Cold Turkey, Caesar Salad & Peaches
    Roast Beef Slices, Potato Salad & Red Applesauce
    Tuna Melts On English Muffin, Vegetable Salad & Pears
    Egg Salad Sandwiches, Cold Veggie Tray & Pineapple
    Greek Chicken Salad with Pita and Hummus, Mixed Fruit
    Taco Salad With nachos, ground beef and cheese & Mixed Fruit
    Chicken Breasts, Baby Spinach Salad, Pita Bread & Oranges
    Greek Pasta Salad, Feta, Tomato & Melon
    Roast Beef Wraps, Coleslaw, Carrots & Mixed Fruit
    Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Veggie Tray with Dip & Pears
    Ham Salad Wraps, Potato Salad, Carrot sticks & Oranges
    Kabasa & Cheese Kabobs, Crackers & Fresh Fruit tray
    Cold Tuna Noodle Salad, Sliced Tomatoes & Banana
    Chicken & Veggie Wraps, Carrot Raisin Salad & Strawberries
    Cold Roastbeef, Macaroni Salad, Sliced tomatoes & Banana
    Peanut Butter Banana Dogs, Apple / Carrot Salad & Melon slices
    Tuna Salad in a Pita, Cheese & Tomato, Sweet Pickles & Apple
    Chicken on a Bun, Cold Pea & Carrot Salad & Kiwi
    Ravioli with Meat Sauce, Tossed Salad & Peaches
    Turkey on a Bun, Pasta Salad & Mango
    Meat / Cheese Tray, Coleslaw, Rice Crackers & Mixed Fruit
    Pizza muffins with a side salad
    Chicken Sonoma Salad and Garlic sticks

    Winter Lunch Ideas
    Chicken Rice Casserole, Mixed Vegetables & Pineapple
    Sloppy Joes, Cheese & Tomato, French Fries & Orange
    Fish Sticks, Sweet Potatoes, Corn & Fruit
    Meat & Cheese Pizza’s, Raw Veggies & Dip & Applesauce
    Penne with Turkey Sausage, Caesar Salad & Peaches
    Chicken Nuggets, Mashed Potato, Corn & Red Applesauce
    Tuna Melts On English Muffin, Vegetable Soup & Pears
    Franks & Beans, Toast, Vegetables & Pineapple
    Turkey Stew, Peas / Carrots, Bread / Bun & Mixed Fruit
    Vegetarian Chili with Nacho Chips, Vegetable Sticks & Fruit Salad
    Homemade Soup, Ham Sandwiches & Apple
    Pork Chops, Rice, Vegetables & Pineapple
    Veggie Filled Lasagna, Garlic Bread & Oranges
    Beef Stew, Potatoes, Carrots & Fruit
    Grilled Cheese Sandwiches & Vegetable Soup & Pears
    Ham, Scalloped Potatoes with Onions & Oranges
    Swedish Meatballs with Rice, Broccoli & Pineapple
    Tuna, Noodle & Cheese Casserole, Stewed Tomatoes & Banana
    Shepherd’s Pie, Mixed Veggies, Bread & Butter & Apples
    Cheeseburger Macaroni casserole , Stewed Tomatoes & Banana
    Mexican Bean Pie, Rice, Salad & Pineapple
    Tuna Melts, Cheese & Tomato, Sweet Pickles & Apple
    Chicken on a Bun, French Fries, Corn & Kiwi
    Greek Pizza, Veggies & Tatzikki Dip & Applesauce
    Ravioli with Meat Sauce, Tossed Salad & Peaches
    Thai Turkey Stir-fry, Egg Noodles & Mango
    Tuna Rice Casserole, Peas / carrots & Pears
    Sausage, Pancakes, Broccoli & Red Applesauce
    Pork Chops, Peas / Carrots, Sweet Potatoes & Mixed Fruit
    Cabbage Roll Casserole, Garlic Bread, Grapes
    Chicken Carbanera with Caesar Salad and fruit
    Homemade Mac-n-cheese, 100% all beef wieners, stewed tomatoes, fruit

    PM snacks
    Mexican Pinwheel Wraps
    Homemade Cookies …. Oatmeal raisin, PB, Ginger snap Cookies, Hermits, Macaroons,
    Cheese, Fish Crackers & Craisins
    Pita triangles & Pate & Grapes
    Crackers, Cheese and pears
    Fruit kabobs and yogurt dip
    Devilled Eggs and Apples
    Mini muffins … cranberry lemon, Zucchini carrot, Banana Chocolate chip, Cherry Oatmeal surprise
    Mini cheesecakes …. Graham wafer and flavoured cream cheese with raspberries stuck on top
    Rice Crisp Squares and fruit puree
    Mini Ice- cream Cones with banana sliced into cone
    Vanilla pudding and mandarin oranges
    Homemade Bits and Bites with Craisins
    P&B crackers and Apple slices
    Ants on a log
    Veggies and various Dip
    Pita and hummus
    Pretzels and spinach dip
    Peanut butter banana dogs
    Nachos with salsa
    Popcorn
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

  6. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Inspired by Reggio For This Useful Post:


  7. #6
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    UMMMM Reggio that post would have taken all of my quite time! LOL

  8. #7
    Euphoric !
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    wow! I am copying and pasting that entire post Reggio for future reference! Lots of great ideas!

  9. #8
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    Thanks to Reggio for some new great snack and meal ideas!!!!!

  10. #9
    Shy
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    Thank you Reggio! I've copied this post too for ideas!!

  11. #10
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    LMAO - I did not retype all that ... copy and pasted my schedule from my website and the same with the 'menu list' .... so only took me a minute or two for that post ladies
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

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