Guest Post from Jenna Pepper from Food With Kid Appeal:
Our family went to one income this year. To save a few bucks and maintain our real food diet even on the go, we often pack up a cooler when heading out for fun family day trips. Here are some fast, frugal doable ideas – even with little ones underfoot. The money you save on snacks and lunch, could subsidize an ice-cream treat, or a splurge at the gift store!
Veggies & Dip A bag of baby carrots, a sliced cucumber and some hacked up celery go well with hummus. If budget isn’t an issue sugar snap peas are a real treat. You can find them with the packaged veggies in the produce section.
Sandwiches. Plan for a baked chicken dinner the week of the outing and use the left over meat to make a home-made chicken salad. You can save a lot of cash by avoiding pricey (and full of additives) deli meat. Bring a loaf of bread or bag of rolls to make mini-chicken sandwiches. If your budget is flush that week grab an avocado to slice on top and a box of cherry tomatoes to pop with each bite of sandwich.
Wraps. Use tortillas or wraps and slather with peanut butter. Dot with honey and raisins and roll them up. Another spread option is a blend of cream cheese and canned or fresh pineapple.
Whole fresh fruit. Tangerines, apples, grapes and bananas all travel well and are packed with fiber. Don’t we all need more of that when eating away from home? Include one piece of fruit per person or one large bunch of grapes.
Cheese. If individually packaged cheese is too pricey, get a block of your family’s favorite and slice in thick tranches. Wrap the slices in parchment or wax paper and write each family members name on it.
Roasted Veggies. Believe it or not, roasted veggies of the orange hue taste good at room temperature. Roast them the night before, tuck them in the fridge and pack them up in the morning. Serve with a dip made from yogurt, sour cream, and lemon juice seasoned with salt and pepper. Carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut and acorn squash are all fair game.
Bottled Water. You’d be surprised how much you don’t miss juice boxes or sodas when you’re out and about. You can fill reusable bottles from home, or buy a six pack for the event.
Trail Mix. Assemble your own from unsweetened dry cereal, raisins and your choice of nuts and seeds. If heat isn’t an issue add chocolate chips to the mix.
It’s Not All or Nothing. Even if you plan to eat lunch out, bringing a fruit and cheese & nut snack or trail mix snack can help provide some nutrients on a day where you need extra energy.
What do you put in your mini-cooler before heading away for the day?
Jenna shares recipes and feeding the family strategies for picky and reluctant eaters at Food with Kid Appeal. Inspired by Jamie Oliver’s show Food Revolution, Jenna decided to make a big bold goal of finding 1,000 people in 30 days to sign up for the Recovering Picky Eater Challenge. Knowing that one huge obstacle to eating for better health is not liking the food, she aims to put a dent in America’s less than optimal eating habits, by teaching kids and adults how to learn to like food they think they don’t like. Check out the recovering picky eater challenge.