While everyone was gearing up for back to school with clothes, shoes, and school supplies, I was having a major anxiety about what to pack in our toddler's pre school lunch box. We recently enrolled our oldest son Traxton in Kindergarten and our middle son Acen in Pre-K. This is their first time being away from home. So I'm totally new to this school lunch box thing. We used to call it a brown bag lunch back in my day. Why? You might ask. Well, because you literally packed it in a brown paper bag. Now a days our kids are equipped with fancy Pottery Barn lunch boxes with their names embroidered on them and cool bento storage boxes inside.I'm a stay at home mom of three boys. With the exception of making sure things are natural or organic I've placed minimum thought about what to feed my growing toddlers for lunch. My days are pretty hectic with them, our other 24 month old son, and attempting to run a small business. Now all I can think about is what the teachers will think about the snacks I pack, and more importantly, what other parents were packing in their kid's school lunches. Will all the kids have cute little Mickey Mouse shaped sandwiches, raw carrots, and raw celery? Will I be criticized for packing one too many Oreos?My timeline has been filled with mom friends posting their kids school lunches. I've seen everything from sandwiches made to look like animals to veggies made into a rainbow. There had been such a wide variety of what parents included in their kid's school lunch boxes.It seemed to have been a silent lunch box war going on involving who could pack the healthiest and most creative lunch box. Naturally I felt inclined to join in.And so the lunch box war in my head began. I racked my brain about what to include in Preston's first week of lunch. I struggled with several thoughts, including, how to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Do I make sandwiches? And if I do, how do I cut them out in shapes? Will my cookie cutters work? Suddenly, I realized that I was over thinking it, I can do whatever I want. There are no rules I need to follow or standards I need to live up to regarding what I feed my child.As stay at home moms we tend to put so much pressure on ourselves. We compare ourselves to what other stay at home moms are doing. And some times we draw the conclusion that we arent good enough. I have friends with four children that make motherhood look effortless, while some friends with one make it seem like they've been in the treaches of WWIII. There is no right or wrong way to do this thing called motherhood. We don't have to prove to anyone that our job is tough. It is 24 hours long and 7 days a week of sometimes non-stop chaos. We hold it all together without thought or hesitation. I run my small shop Bebe Nourri somehwere in between all the madness. So the next time you find yourself having an anxiety attack about something as simple as school lunch remember that you are enough, you are awesome, and you are doing an amazing job. And for me, I'll continue to slay motherhood in my own way, one peanut butter and jelly sandwich at a time. Well maybe sunflower butter since the school is nut free.XOXOChelsie*Instagram photos courtesy of @summjenn & @barnes_n_noble mom friends killing this thing called motherhood.
Ok so I realized as a Mom, that with my first child I did several things that I probably won't do with my others. The first kid is usually experimental right? ;) Just kidding. I really tried to be the perfect Mom you always imagine you are going to be with your first kid, but I didn't really know what I was doing when I had him. I was young and had to learn as I go.
I will be the first to tell you I am NOT a health fanatic. I would LOVE to be, --hence the WANNA-BE runner-- but I love food wayyyyy to much. So I try my best. But with my first kid, he ate his fruits and veggies, but over time, it was easier to give him a bag of fruit snacks or a cookie then cut up strawberries. Not always, don't get me wrong, I still gave him fruits and veggies with meals, but we are talking about snacks on the road, or in stores or at the zoo. So now that he is 3, love him dearly, he still wants all the sugary snacks. So with my second child, who is one years old (and still NO TEETH, what is up with that??) I am trying harder.
And because I have put in more effort I can already tell a difference. He eats frozen peas like no ones business. I try and get him to eat fruits and veggies as snacks instead of the other stuff. So while searching online I found several recipes to "Banana Chips" on Pinterest.
My middle son, Acen, doesn't love the texture of bananas, so he won't ever eat them. We love to have bananas at my house because my two other boys will eat them! And so does my husband, so I love to have them around. But they go bad SOOOO fast! So I was happy to come across this recipe to be able to use up the bananas that are too ripe.
So I thought I would try them out! And they were a huge success at my house. However, when reading recipes on Pinterest (on several things, more then this recipe), they don't give specific details a lot of the time. So I always wonder if I'm are doing it right along the way. So I am going to post what I did, hopefully this is helpful to those to want to make them!
I am not a food photographer, so don't judge my pictures ;-/
So the first things you need are ripe banana's. They don't HAVE to be ripe.Next, you are going to slice them very very thin! Other blogs said 1/8" I think mine were even thinner then that. Keep in mind, if they are thick they won't cook very well.
Then you put them on PARCHMENT paper, NOT wax paper or aluminum foil. It'll be very vital in the next steps it has to be that kind of paper.
Then I rubbed apple juice on them with a pastry brush, then sprinkled cinnamon/sugar and salt on them.
*Other blogs, did lemon juice, but I didn't have lemon juice, and apple juice worked just fine. Also they did only cinnamon and not cinnamon/sugar for a more healthier option*Now, you place them in the oven at 250 degrees, now the time will vary depending on how thin you sliced them, but it's roughly an hour-hour and a half.I put mine in for about 60 minutes, then you take them out and flip them over. I had to use my fingernail to peel them off the parchment paper and flip them over. It is a little time consuming but that's how I did it.Then bake them again for 40-60 minutes. Like I said you might need more time, they should start to feel hard and crunchy not soft and flimsy. So just test them and use your judgement.*Keep an eye on them and test them, don't blame me if they turn out burnt, just keep checking them :)After you flip them, cook them until they are done, they will come off the parchment paper pretty easily. I just kind of bent the paper and they just started popping off, that's how you know they are done!Then you eat and enjoy them! They were so yummy!Please keep in mind again, I am not a food photographer or a professional cook, I am a Mom testing stuff out just like you! Be Kind. :)
Here is the recipe:Good Luck!XOChelsie