With everyone needing healthy lunch idea inspiration this time of year, I’m glad to partner with Hillshire Farm® on this post with great ideas for winning at meal time
I’ll never forget the crazy statement by my mom’s acquaintance when she found out my sister-in-love and I homeschooled our kids. Her first reaction was,”Well, I can see why she (my sister in law) would because can you imagine having to make lunches every day for ten children?”
I remember thinking, “Really? Her first thought was that she home schools because she doesn’t want to pack a lunch, but she’d rather teach them all day (and yet still have to make lunch)?”
It’s funny scenarios like that which has always made me chuckle when it comes to our choice to homeschool, but when we put one of our sons in public high school his junior year, that single comment came rushing back.
Packing a lunch, especially a healthy one, requires commitment, so when we got a letter that the entire school district would receive free lunches this year, I’m pretty sure I pulled out an 8th grade cheer jump and celebrated in ways my muscles hadn’t known for years.
But soon, the lunch conversation after school consisted of, “So what did you have for lunch?”
“Chocolate milk and a pop tart.”
“That’s it? You can’t eat just that. You need some protein in that body.” (Our #3 son could easily gain 20 pounds and still need to gain more. He has one of those metabolisms that just can’t gain a pound.)
“Mom, you don’t understand. You should see what they serve.”
Without going into those details, I realized that while I was celebrating the lunch vacation, I needed to get over my holiday mentality and up my game in that area.
If there’s one thing I know about myself, whether I am making a school lunch to go, for work or even those days at home when I’m trying to get a meal on the table, I needed to go back to the #1 meal making tip that revolutionized my dinner time and now apply it to lunch.
Set aside just 30 minutes on Sunday night to prep ahead and set yourself up for a week of healthy lunch ideas.
Wash the veggies and fruit, separate snacks, stock up on healthy lunch meats, bake oatmeal banana muffins and turkey/ham/egg puffs in bulk. With a few minutes of concentrated time, we can conquer this.
Let’s make this an amazing way to start up a new and successful routine, eat healthier, and save a ton of money (especially for those of us who eat out at lunch).
Come one! Let’s WIN at this thing!! (Que giving myself the necessary pep talk.)
My inspiring friend, Kasey, got me excited new with her Sunday night routine of dividing up their lunches into containers for quick grab and go snacks/meals. I’m working on an entire post for 20 quick and easy lunch ideas, so I’ll share this routine then, but for our family, my guys need a lot of protein and it’s been a challenge to get enough in them day to day.
I get asked QUITE often how I did it (since our #2 son is now a Division 1, 295 pound Offensive Lineman) and aside from the jar of peanut butter he carried in his backpack for a year, I do have some tricks I’ve learned along the way. One is that our family has enjoyed a TON of Hillshire Farm® Naturals Lunch Meat. (Grab a $1 off coupon here.)
Five years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Hillshire Farms headquarters as part of their Most Wanted Sandwich Competition (which I ended up winning). I can’t tell you how much that experience impacted our family, how blessed I was by what an upstanding company they
were are and how all five our kids hands down pick Hillshire Farms lunch meat as their favorite (even when it’s not on sale ;)).
When my daughters and I did our No Carb, No Sugar Detox, our 16 year old, who influenced our 12 year old, would ONLY eat Hillshire Farm® Naturals since it contains no artificial ingredients, preservatives, colors or added nitrites/nitrates except those occurring naturally.
Mason Jar Salads have been a perfect way to get our greens in regularly. Why do salads always taste better at a restaurant?
It’s because someone else makes them and adds lots of great stuff to it, right? So I’ve started bringing restaurant style salads home since it’s so simple to make up many at one time. Even my teen boys love the chef salads with lots of ham and turkey.
We’ve been snowed in the last week and so one day, I brought the “restaurant sandwich” home. I took this sandwich picture and sent it to our two eldest sons away at college reminding them of the comforts of home they were missing. (No, I don’t play nice. ;))
Soon, I got a text from my high school senior who was sitting in his bunk bed upstairs.
I had to chuckle and yes, I still have one picky tomato eater left. 🙂 I served him his Gourmet Turkey, Ham and Pepper Jack Delight anyhow…lunch in bed?
(They weren’t happy when I pulled out my camera unexpectedly.)
This is a favorite sandwich in our home. This can be a hot or cold sandwich, but it’s always better hot. For lunch today, I heated it all up, then wrapped it in tin foil, so it will still be warm at noon.
Challah Bread or Sub (open faced when at home)
Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce as condiment
B – 3 Pieces Crisp Bacon
L – 3 Leaf Lettuce Leaves
T – Thin Sliced Tomato
T – Turkey (HillshireFarm® Naturals Hardwood smoked Turkey Breast) and yes, I through off the BLT2 name by adding honey roasted ham because the blend of both is SO good!
3 Slices Pepper Jack Cheese (or your favorite)
Carmelized Red Onions MAKES THIS AMAZING!
A few sliced Roasted Red Peppers
A little drizzled Italian dressing on the lettuce
Freshly ground pepper to taste
This sandwich takes the traditional BLT to a whole new level. A blast of flavors explodes in your mouth as you enjoy the fresh blend of veggies, turkey and cheese.
To assemble the sandwich: Spread a layer of Honey Mustard Sauce on the Challah Bread or Sub. Top with meats, carmelized onions, peppers, cheese, tomato slices, and season with pepper, to taste. Put open faced in toaster oven until cheese is melted.
Drizzle a little Italian dressing and/or honey mustard, add lettuce and top with remaining slice of bread.
I’m so excited that the Hillshire Farm® Naturals are available at Food Lion® now because it’s the closest big grocer to us and with country living, that’s important! 🙂
Better yet, you can Save $1.00 on 1 Hillshire Farm® Lunch Meat Item at any Food Lion location. Print these off now because offer expires on 02/06/16.
I’m excited to prioritize lunch time once again and hope you’ll join me.
What are some of your healthy lunch ideas? I’d love to include them in my next meal post. We can encourage each other on the journey.
Hillshire Farm® Naturals are available at Food Lion®!
Save $1.00 on 1 Hillshire Farm® Meat Item at any Food Lion location, offer expires on 02/06/16
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hillshire Farm®. The opinions and text are all mine.