As I shared on facebook last week we’ve been working on a project where we record and photograph every single thing our family eats for a week. I’ve been posting a lot of our kids’ lunches lately, and it’s provoked some readers to ask…”Well, what do you eat?” So it was a lot of work and sometimes hard to delay taking that first bite until we took the picture, but we figured we would just share it all! And what we ended up with were a ton of photos so I am breaking up the results into three sections: breakfast, lunch, and dinner/dessert.
Now, based on some of the feedback I’ve gotten when I share school lunches on facebook I feel as though I need to preface these posts with a disclaimer:
These meals are just a brief snapshot of our lives, and while I am sure some will feel we ate too much of X and not enough of Y, please know that we do not claim to be perfect (who is?). We simply do our best to eat a wide variety of satisfying whole foods while also only eating enough in order to feel full. In most cases we took pictures of our plates before we started eating and sometimes it was the right amount of food, but other times it was too much or too little. We didn’t prepare a special meal plan for the project, we just captured what happened. And I’d also like to add that it’s much easier to make judgments about one’s eating habits when you see their meal photos all laid out on one page like this (while you are NOT simultaneously trying to race out the door to school or work or after school activities)!
So in summary, this is a typical week at our house and while we are always open to suggestions and feedback we ask that you please be respectful in the comments as we put ourselves out there like this. As always, our mission is to share our personal experiences to hopefully inspire other busy families to eat more real food. :)
I would also like to mention that most of what we buy is organic including everything from produce to grains to dairy so rather than me saying “organic” over and over a hundred times please just assume that most everything you see is organic.
Sunday Family Breakfast: Scrambled local eggs, local strawberries, organic bacon, homemade granola chunks, and water to drink.
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Most Mornings with/after Breakfast: I had a maple mocha 5 out of 7 days after breakfast and my husband had one cup of coffee with milk (no sweetener) most mornings at work. He also had herbal tea a few mornings instead of coffee.
Kid Breakfast Most Weekday Mornings: A homemade granola cereal and puffed whole-wheat cereal mix (1-ingredient store bought cereal – we usually get puffed brown rice, but it was sold out), bananas, and whole milk.
Weekday Breakfast for both Lisa and Jason (most days): Homemade granola with fresh berries (in the winter we use frozen berries), whole milk, and a glass of water. We eat the same thing most weekdays and like it. :)
Morning Snack for our First Grader: She’s the only one in the family who typically has an AM snack and it’s almost always oatmeal (by request) made with whole milk and topped with a drizzle of honey, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and raisins. She brings it to school in the pictured thermos to keep it warm until snack time.
Wednesday Breakfast for Jason: He was running late for work so he grabbed a banana, a Lara Bar, and some water before heading out the door.
Thursday Breakfast for our Preschooler: Our younger daughter doesn’t start until 9 A.M. so there is a little more time for something special…here she had plain whole-milk yogurt mixed with homemade berry sauce topped with granola and bananas.
Friday Breakfast for Jason and our Preschooler: No preschool on Fridays (and my husband happened to take that day off of work) so there was plenty of time to make oatmeal with whole milk, raisins, a drizzle of honey, a touch of vanilla, and a dash of cinnamon for them. I still had granola with whole milk and berries.
Saturday Family Breakfast: Whole-wheat banana pancakes (our 7-year-old made them on the griddle by herself…hence all the odd shapes!) with local strawberries, a little pure maple syrup, and water to drink.
- Saturday we all just had a random plate of leftovers or whatever we could find in the fridge (the 10-year-old’s bowl has leftover pulled pork in it).
- Sunday we were planning to have lunch at home, but our early morning gymnastics meet ran long. We were hungry, so we found a decent place nearby that sources ingredients locally. The 12-year-old had waffles with fruit, and the 10-year-old had eggs benedict with fruit (I ate the asparagus).
- Monday’s lunch for my 12-year-old is actually getting posted in the treats section as well. She went on a school field trip and wanted to get a bagged lunch like everyone else. She ordered the vegetarian one, but by the time her table was called only the deli meat sandwiches were left. So this entire lunch was pretty much a “treat” between the Rice Krispie Treat, chips and white bread, but a girl’s got to eat. And this was the best she could do for a picture for us LOL :)
- Monday my other daughter had a defrosted panini (with pesto, roasted bell peppers and cheese), sliced cucumber, oranges and homemade granola.
- Tuesday both kids had leftover Ricotta and Kale Quiche, apples, leftover pork tenderloin and a little salad.
- Wednesday is normally our “soup day,” and they both had homemade (defrosted) potato soup (from my first cookbook) with cheese to go on top, BLTs and apples.
- Thursday they had more of those defrosted paninis, a salad with cheese and apple, plain yogurt mixed with a little pure maple syrup and frozen raspberries and homemade granola.
- Friday is “make your own lunch” day at our house, and both kids had a variation of grilled sandwich, grapes and apples with peanut butter for dipping.
My lunches actually weren’t too bad this week (coincidentally) … no days eating a random assortment of snacks at the counter (or in the car)!
- Saturday I had mostly the same leftovers as the kids (pulled pork, corn, whole-grain crackers with tomatoes and salad).
- Sunday was when I took the girls out to brunch after the gymnastics meet and I had eggs benedict with asparagus.
- Monday I chaperoned the 7th-grade field trip and knew I would not be into the bagged lunch myself, so I carried around leftover homemade Butternut Squash Salad (with a little ice pack) and a Whole-Grain Pumpkin Muffin all day until lunch time. Once again, not only was I the only person who brought my own food, but I was also the only person taking a picture of it – a little embarrassing, but that’s okay!
- Tuesday I had the same leftover salad, but this time with leftover pork tenderloin pieces on top, a ricotta/orange/mint/honey toast on the side and a half a grapefruit.
- Wednesday I had leftover Cajun Alfredo with Shrimp (from my first cookbook) and sliced pears.
- Thursday I had a lunch appointment and ordered a Caprese sandwich with a salad on the side. I only hate half the sandwich and brought the other half home to my 10-year-old for her snack. :)
- Friday I had a light lunch of avocado toast (from my second cookbook) and some homemade popcorn (not pictured).
This is what my husband ate … we clearly had a plethora of leftovers on hand this week, which is not always the case!
- Saturday he had the same leftovers like the rest of us.
- Sunday he was on his own, so he just had a variety of snacks when he got hungry for lunch.
- Monday our 10-year-old made a second plate of her same snack (whole-wheat pita pizzas) for his lunch. I believe he ate more than what was pictured on this day, but this is the photo I got!
- Tuesday he had a big salad with some of my ricotta toast that I had made and a fried egg (with roasted bell peppers on top).
- Wednesday he had leftover cabbage rolls (from dinner) that had basically just fallen apart by then, leftover carrots and an orange.
- Thursday more leftover cabbage rolls with an apple.
- Friday he had whole-grain crackers and cheese, a grapefruit and some defrosted chili (from the freezer).
That concludes our lunches for the week.
Our week of recording our meals kicked off with dinner at our friend’s house. We brought the dessert (pictured down below) and the rest of the food (burgers, salad, crackers with cheese & tomato relish, chips & dip and homemade popovers) was provided by others. I do technically consider the handful of chips each of us had a treat since they are deep-fried!
This is what the rest of our dinners for the week looked like…
- On Sunday I made Butternut Squash Salad (with a homemade tahini dressing) and a Veggie Pasta Dish (that will be featured in my next cookbook!)
- Monday I made Ricotta and Kale Quiche, pork tenderloin and a salad for dinner.
- Tuesday we experimented with a Cabbage Roll Recipe (with sausage and whole-grain wild rice inside that ended up being too time-consuming and messy, but it was edible!) along with cooked carrots on the side.
- Wednesday I made the Cajun Alfredo Pasta with Shrimp (from my first cookbook).
- Thursday the kids had leftover pasta from the night before while the adults had a date night out (see below).
- Friday my husband made Shortcut Chicken Pot Pie for himself and the kids while I was out with friends (see down below).
Other Dinners (Out)
We had a couple of nights out mixed into the week.
- On Thursday Jason and I tried a new (to us) restaurant and had a mushroom and beet appetizer, scallops, chicken and a braised beef cheeks dish.
- Friday I went out with friends and shared the pictured appetizers with the table. My main dish was a salad.
On average we have a “once a week treat.” On occasion, we end up splurging a little more often. It’s nothing I stress about because I feel like we all eat pretty well (i.e., not highly processed) most of the time! Again, this is just a one week snapshot; things do of course vary somewhat from week to week.
- Saturday we went to a potluck dinner with friends and brought this platter of homemade whole-wheat cookies to share.
- Sunday (the day we woke up at the crack of dawn for a gymnastics meet) I let my 10-year-old get a double chocolate frappucino from the Starbucks in the arena. I ordered a latte with whole milk and one little packet of honey, not really a “treat”, but I happened to photograph them together!
- Monday my 12-year-old went on a school field trip and wanted to get a bagged lunch like everyone else. I also shared this on the lunch post, but her entire meal pretty much ended up being a “treat” between the Rice Krispie Treat, chips and white bread because they ran out of her requested lunch.
- On Thursday at our adult date night out, we ordered some cocktails (that were yummy, by the way).
- On Friday when I was out to dinner with some girlfriends, we were celebrating a birthday, so I shared a chocolate dessert with 6 others (I had two or three bites .. and it was good, too!).
And there you have it, a “Week with the Leakes!”