If you saw the “Breakfast” post earlier this week then you know as part of our new, very personal series entitled “A Week with the Leakes” we spent a full 7 days recording every single thing our family ate. Check out the first post for the details and especially be sure to read our disclaimer if you haven’t done so already.
So, without further ado, here’s a full week of our lunches (please note: all four of us drank water with the pictured meals)…
Sunday Family Lunch: Caprese (local tomato/havarti/pesto) on grilled whole-wheat pitas (from Trader Joe’s), plain whole-milk yogurt mixed with homemade berry sauce, and local carrots.
Monday School Lunches (Note – For more school lunch ideas check out our recent “School Lunch Roundup!” post): Both kids had triple-decker whole-wheat waffle sandwiches (defrosted from freezer) with cream cheese/cinnamon/raisins in the middle, plain whole-milk yogurt mixed with homemade berry sauce (leftover from Sunday’s lunch), and fruit/veggies. Our first grader had the pictured local carrots and local strawberries and our preschooler had frozen peas in that compartment.
Lisa’s Monday Lunch: Simple caprese salad with balsamic vinegar, homemade hummus, local carrots, and baked whole-wheat Trader Joe pita “chips”. I brushed the sliced pitas with olive oil and put them under the broiler for a few minutes…I’d never done that before, and it was good. :)
Jason’s Monday Lunch: He had a work lunch so did the best he could with the options…a grilled portabella wrap with balsamic vinegar, mozzarella, red onion, and spinach. The wrap came with chips and a cookie, which he gave to a coworker so he got hungry later that afternoon and had an apple and some nuts for snack.
Tuesday School Lunches: Leftover frozen smoothies in freezie pop molds (plain yogurt/berry/milk/banana and local Swiss chard smoothies), baked whole-wheat pita chips, hummus, apples/cantaloupe, and popcorn (our preschooler had homemade nut/raisin trail mix instead of popcorn).
Lisa’s Tuesday Lunch: Homemade defrosted refried beans topped with sour cream, avocado and cilantro with fruit on the side (kiwi, local strawberries, pear…I didn’t finish all the fruit).
Jason’s Tuesday Lunch: He came home for lunch and had a salad with local spinach, avocado and local tomato, the fruit I didn’t eat, roasted almonds, some defrosted refried beans that were left, and leftover stir fry from a few nights before.
First Grader’s Wednesday Lunch: Homemade tomato bisque soup (defrosted from freezer), whole-wheat banana muffin (defrosted from freezer), and apple/sunflower butter sandwich.
Preschooler’s Wednesday Lunch: Leftover quesadillas with some toppings (guacamole, sour cream and homemade pico de gallo), apple/peanut butter sandwich, and homemade cashew/pistachio/raisin trail mix. I had a feeling this would be too much food, and she did not eat it all.
Lisa’s Wedensday Lunch: I had part of the quesadilla my preschooler did not finish from her lunch (plus another full piece) and some kiwi and local strawberries. It wasn’t enough food so I went back for one more quesadilla triangle.
Jason’s Wednesday Packed Lunch (at work): Leftover quesadillas, orange slices and an apple.
First Grader’s Thursday Lunch: Leftover frozen smoothie (plain yogurt/berry/milk/banana and local Swiss chard) in a freezie pop mold, whole-wheat banana muffin (also from freezer), frozen peas (that defrost by lunchtime) and some oranges and local strawberries.
Preschooler’s Thursday Lunch: PB&J whole-wheat pitas, mozzarella cheese stick, frozen peas, and a diced apple/cantaloupe mix.
Lisa’s Thursday Lunch: Do you ever just stand at the counter and eat a bunch of random stuff? What mom doesn’t? :) I had half a whole-wheat pita with tomato/hummus/cheese in it, a slice of pear, a couple olives, a few pieces of mozzarella, a half a kiwi, and some leftover mashed sweet potato (that we had used in our quesadilla dinner).
Jason’s Thursday Lunch (he doesn’t normally come home for lunch this much!): Whole-wheat pitas with hummus/cheese/homegrown sprouts, an apple and some local tomatoes topped with olive oil and pepper.
First Grader’s Friday Lunch: Cream cheese and homemade jam on whole-grain Ak-Mak crackers. One cracker had been made with sunflower butter and jam when she requested cream cheese on the rest. She also had a hard boiled egg and cantaloupe/kiwi mix.
Preschooler’s Friday Lunch: She is home on Friday’s and there was nothing to photograph because she was up at the counter (where I was making my lunch) eating a bunch of random stuff including bacon/cheese on a whole-wheat bun, pear slices, a couple bites of leftover red beans and brown rice, and half a pita with hummus/cheese/tomato/sprouts.
Lisa’s Friday Lunch: Leftover red beans and brown rice, half a grapefruit, and a grilled local tomato/organic bacon/cheddar sandwich using some Great Harvest whole-wheat rolls I had in the freezer. That sandwich combo was awesome by the way! :)
Jason’s Friday Lunch (he took the day off of work so once again he was home, which is not the norm!): Whole-wheat pitas with hummus/local tomato/cheese/homegrown sprouts, pear slices, and leftover red beans and brown rice.
Saturday Kid Lunch: PB&J on whole-wheat bread (we were super excited about our new homemade strawberry/honey jam…we don’t normally eat jam this much!), local carrots, and frozen peas.
Saturday Adult Lunch: Leftover red beans and brown rice, small PB&J triangle and local carrots.
Stay tuned for the snack and dinner version of this series…coming soon!
95 thoughts on “A Week with the Leakes: Real Food Lunches”
What brand of pita or wraps would you recommend? the usual ones from supermarkets seem to have too many ingredients. I tried Ezekiel whole wheat wraps, the kind that are sold frozen, but they break so you can’t wrap anything in them. thank you
Hello. Ezekiel wraps are a good choice. I’ve found that steaming them briefly softens them and makes them more flexible. ~Amy
What are your thoughts on food pairing?
Hi Crina. There are certainly benefits to pairing some foods: http://www.rodalenews.com/food-pairings-0. ~Amy
First of all, I love your website and blogs! I am trying to convert my family but the one thing I notice is the meals are so small. That’s fine with me since I don’t eat much anyway. My girls, however are older than yours (11 and 9) and are very active (cheer & gymnastics) so they like to eat a lot. My youngest is so skinny already so the more healthy food I can pump in her the better. I think I’d need to send them with 3 lunch containers to get them through the day. They eat at least 3 snacks/day in addition to lunch. What can I pack for variety?
Hi Lani. Check out these posts on school lunch ideas…https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/09/04/school-lunch-roundup-ii/#more-3012 and https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/04/19/school-lunch-roundup/. As for portions, you can just increase the amount of food to what you need. Jill
Can any of these be made at the beginning of the week to prep and save time in the morning? Also, my son is in Pre-k and a little picky. It seems your girls are much more adventurous: Any ideas for what one might label as a “typical” 4-year old pallet (pbj, fruit, cheese pizza, chicken nuggets, and spinach dip as his only veggie)? Thank you: I love your site!!!
Hi Kylie. Many of the recipes can be prepared in advance and either used within a few days or frozen. In regards to a picky child, you may want to check out these posts: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2011/09/09/real-food-tips-12-ways-to-deal-with-a-picky-eater/, https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/08/19/winning-over-your-picky-eater/ and https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/06/04/why-are-kids-so-picky/. Best of luck. Jill
I love your site! I’ve been looking for a website like yours, full of examples of meals for kids (and adults) with “real food”. Thanks for sharing! My 3 nieces come visit once a year and I’m going to feed them some of your meals. I found a link to your site through Pinterest. I see you mention Michael Pollan’s book, do you follow or have you read Robyn O’Brien’s book, ‘The Unhealthy Truth’.. she’s great too.
I just ordered Robyn’s book and it’s in my “need to read” stack!
This series is great – and gives me an idea…I try to eat pretty clean, and I don’t calorie count, but sometimes it’s helpful to keep a food journal occasionally to make sure the diet is balanced – for me that usually means making sure I’m getting enough veg and not too much grain (even if they ARE whole grains.) Any rate, it would be so easy to snap a picture with my phone instead of trying to write it all down or log it to a website. I can just keep a folder on my phone with the pictures and review them there to keep myself ‘honest.’ (I’m too lazy to upload to my semi-defunct blog or anywhere else anyway!)
Thanks again! I’ve recently started following and am enjoying your blog!
Lisa you really are super mom! As the above commenter stated school lunches really are the WORST. Frankly some days I am too lazy to argue with my kindergartener and let her buy. (I’m a single mom who works full time and attends school at night.) But when I want to give her a little motivation for ideas I show her the pictures of your little girls and say they love this kind of food! That really gets her on board (she’s 5). She actually asks me about them all the time lmao! “Mommy, would those little girls on that website like this?” Too cute. Thanks for all that you do.
Hello! I love your blog and wanted to say thank you so much for sharing all of your recipes and ideas. I don’t have any children but I appreciate the fact that you create recipes for children as I have an 11-year-old sister and I looked at her lunch menu one day and noticed they were serving funnel cake for breakfast!! Funnel cake? Funnel cake!! Everything (with the exception of SOME fruits and vegetables) were processed and I was upset that schools allowed this food to be served to children. My family and I can’t wait to start eating non-processed foods and hopefully start saving money too! :) Thank you again for posting this eye-opening blog!
ok, so this may have been asked, but there are too many comments to read through right now. How do you keep the cut apples from turning in the kids’ lunches?
A little lemon juice squeezed on the apples seems to do the trick.
This is so impressive! You ate whole foods, yet you didn’t eat anything that would be hard to find at any grocery store. It makes it seem so much more doable. Looking forward to your snacks and dinners!
I am new to this site. A close friend of mine recommended it so I have been following you for just a few weeks now. Thank you for posting these meal ideas. One thing that I did notice in the pics is that you use whole carrots. Any reason you don’t use baby carrots? I don’t live anywhere near a Whole Foods or Trader Joes but even my local grocery store has organic baby carrots. I am very curious to hear your reason. Thanks for all that you are doing!
We usually buy our carrots at the farmers’ market and they are only sold whole there. I also occasionally buy the organic baby carrots from the store. I think they are both fine except the fact that we try to do local whenever we can. If they are both coming from the grocery store though I doubt there is any difference (as far as nutritional value goes). I hope that helps!
Love all the ideas! I get caught in the trap of needing everything to be fancy and perfect. I need to get off my high horse and just get us eating good food.
I’ve shown my 4K daughter this site, pics of the lunches you pack for your kids. I plan to pack her lunch since I think the food as school is anything but real and wanted to get her excited. She is totally on board. Thanks for the inspiration and great ideas!
Have you had any local blueberries yet this season? I have been picking and eating them for 2 weeks now and they are amazing this year!! I live almost across the road from a local pick your own berry/nursery. Heaven!!
No local blueberries for us yet…can’t wait for that!