Monday, October 6, 2008

Last Times

Tomorrow is Caroline's last day at her childcare center in East Lansing. It's hard to believe that it will be the last time that I try to mimic the childcare center's meals with seasonal and locally produced foods made with ingredients grown/raised without harmful chemicals. It was a great learning experience for me. For one thing, I found out how boring and repetitive school meals can be because after awhile, I found myself posting the same (or very similar) menus to this blog. I tried to mix up the menus with seasonal fruits and vegetables, but even I became tired of baked and marinated tofu, grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup, and lentil croquettes. Speaking of which, chicken nuggets are on the menu tomorrow so Caroline will be getting lentil croquettes for lunch. I would be lying if I said that I would miss packing Caroline's lunch everyday. Packing a nutritious lunch made with whole ingredients takes time, energy, and creativity. There were many days when I just didn't have it in me. At Caroline's new childcare center in Ann Arbor, no outside foods are allowed in the building so packing her meals is not even an option. I wouldn't have gone this route except that nutrition is a high priority for this center so all grains are whole grains, sweets (like brownies, cookies, monkey bread, etc.) are not served, and the administration has made it easy for most of our food needs to be met...though locally produced foods grown/raised without harmful chemicals are not on their radar (yet).

Caroline's Lunchbox Menu, October 7: Breakfast - Bartlett pear (Ann Arbor Farmers' Market), corn muffin; Lunch - lentil croquettes, broccoli (Ann Arbor Farmers' Market), yellow watermelon (Ann Arbor Farmers' Market), Ed's mulitgrain bread (Saline); Snack - pumpkin carrot muffins (carrots and pumpkin from Ann Arbor Farmers' Market, Westwind Milling Company flour)

Childcare Center Menu, October 7: Breakfast - applesauce, blueberry muffins; Lunch - chicken nuggets, broccoli, kiwi, wheat bread; Snack - pumpkin carrot muffins (from Caroline)

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