Spaghetti all' arrabbiata

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Are your kids fussy about food like mine?  Both my husband and I are foodies now, however, as kids we were both extremely picky.  My mother-in-law told me that my husband subsisted on peanut butter sandwiches for most of elementary school, and I fed my peas and other vegetables to the dog under the table.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that my kids are picky eaters too.

At home it’s easy to work with my picky eaters and can usually get healthy greens and other nutritious food into them.  School presents a much greater challenge since I’m not there to supervise and make sure they’re eating healthy, let alone eating.  I’ve found that if I pack a boring lunch, they just plain don’t eat and it sets the stage for low blood sugar issues later in the day.  The challenge is finding healthy nutritious foods that they’ll eat.  This year I’m rising to the challenge and have vowed to pack healthy nutritious lunches that they’ll eat.

A couple of my colleagues and fellow bloggers are a bit ahead of me on this mission.  Emily Bartlett of Holistic Kid has a fantastic list lunch ideas in her blog post 24 Ways to Pack a Nutritious Lunch which I have printed and put on my fridge for inspiration.    Unfortunately, since my picky eaters also have food allergies (dairy, gluten, egg) some of these great ideas won’t work.  Dr. Heather also has a few ideas on spicing up the lunch box fare from the visual perspective.   If your kids are on the GFCF diet, check out for some great GFCF lunch ideas.  This mom is all about fun and play with food — she grinds up and serves yoda and makes alien sauce! How cool!

Next week I’m enlisting the help of in-home personal cooking instructor, Patti Tartaglia, to help me come up with some healthy allergy-free lunch ideas. Some of the ideas we’ve come up with are sunflower seed butter, banana, banana-bread sandwiches (everything home made), spaghetti with homemade marinara sauce (with lots of hidden veggies), and various wraps.  To make sure they kids will actually eat these foods at lunch, I’ll be testing our creations on my taste testers over the next couple weekends and will post what we come up with.


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