Sunday, February 10, 2013

January Dye-Free School Snacks - Weeks 4 and 5

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Monday, January 21 through Thursday, January 31, 2013
Since my little stinkers had three weeks of back-to-back stomach flu and other fun viruses, Little Z only ended up making it to four of eight days of preschool over these two weeks.

Monday I can't remember why we let her stay home. Her cough, perhaps? She'd had a persistent productive cough for a while, which normally I ignore. But I think it had just started and I'd hoped a day of rest would help her heal faster. No luck.
Tuesday 1/22/13
String cheese nibblets, frozen blueberries
She has a lot of fun sensory issues (and while I say "issues," I don't mean "problems" or anything. Just interesting sensory experiences she either likes or tries to avoid to an extreme.) One of them is her love of frozen foods, still frozen. Frozen ham, frozen nuggets, frozen peas, frozen smoothies, etc.
We had a few bags of frozen berries from our winter CSA farm share, and she asked for some as her snack. Still frozen. I told her I'd try my best. So I got her cheese nibblets ready (with some cute little stubby animal picks,) and then added the frozen berries at the last minute. I put one of the heavy-duty lunch ice packs in her thinly insulated snack bag in the hopes it would keep them cold enough. Normally I just use a cute little ice pack puck if I'm sending dairy (or meat,) since school is only a few hours long and we rarely go anywhere else before or after.

Mixed results. She says they were still frozen at snack time (WIN!) but that she'd "changed her mind" and didn't really eat them. *facepalm* No worries. Baby ate some and I tossed the rest into a batch of smoothies!

Wednesday 1/23/13
Pirate Booty, strawberries, apples
Wednesday night she still had her cough and kept waking up from it, so she got very little sleep. We opted to keep her home Thursday to hopefully get a little more rest. Then Friday Baby started us on a stomach flu roller coaster that lasted through the following Monday. 

Since Tuesday had no more flu symptoms, she was finally able to go back to school after the plague that had hit us over the weekend. She still had that darned cough though!
Wednesday, 1/30/13
Enjoy Life Very Berry bar, kale chips, drink packet, fruit squeezie
As I was corralling the girls out the door into the car to go to Z's afternoon preschool, I realized I hadn't packed a snack! So I ran to the snack cupboard and tossed some stuff into her bag.

The Enjoy Life Very Berry chewy bars were on clearance at Fred Meyer, so were only $1.50 a box with my $1 off coupon! They're free from the Top 8 Allergens, and made in a dedicated facility. So more than safe for her nut-free preschool.
The Emergen-C Kidz packets are designed for 5-ounces of water, which is the serving size at snack time (I cannot tell you how stinking hard it was to find 5-ounce disposable cups!! Each parent has to provide one package at the beginning of the year.) So I often send one [when I remember! Doh!] in case the snack parent brings dye-filled juice. Otherwise she's content to drink water. She has adapted to her restricted diet so amazingly well. I'm so proud of her!
I happened to have a sample-sized box of Green Tara kale chips from one of my monthly foodie boxes, so I tossed it in as well. And an Apple Strawberry fruit squeezie from Trader Joe's. (Yes, I have re-usable pouches. But she saw these and asked for them, and since she doesn't like pureed fruit, I figured I'd ease her in with a flavor she might like. Then fob my home-made sneaky-veggie ones on her!)

On the drive home, when I asked if her snack had been okay, she pouted that I'd forgotten to pack her snack. Whaaaat? No, I put them in her snack bag. "No. It was on top of my snack bag, and you forgot to put it in." Whaaaat?
I had happened to have put Baby's lunch in a bento box, and grabbed that to go with us, in case she got hungry on our trip to pick up our CSA box from the farm while Big Sis was in school. Z had seen that and thought it was her snack! Doh! She asked me to please pack a "real" snack next time. In a box! Hahah!

Thursday, 1/31/13 - A "Real" Snack! In a Box!
White cheddar popcorn, Cheddar Bunnies, NatureBox dried fruit trail mix; apples, yogurt-SunButter dip
Since I'm a sucker for feeling appreciated, I went all-out for Z's snack the next day. I had read about a peanut butter and yogurt dip for apples at Beneficial Bento, so I decided to try it out on her. I mixed up a large spoonful of Greek honey yogurt and a large spoonful of SunButter (nut-free school, so PB was not an option!) in an EasyLunchboxes Mini Dipper. Tip: next time, make a larger batch in a separate container! It was hard to get my honkin' big spoon into all the little corners to mix it well.
I couldn't find a clean snack-sized box that was tall enough for the Mini Dipper, so I had to root through my bento box hoard. I went with my 2-tier frog bento box. If I left the inner lid off the top tier, I could fit the dip in, and the outer lid still kept everything contained! Perfect!
But that left an empty bottom tier. Since our snack stash is right by my bento gear (convenient, eh?) I made a quick "trail mix" out of some Trader Joe's White Cheddar Popcorn, Annie's Homegrown Cheddar Bunnies, and the dried fruits out of a NatureBox trail mix! (The NatureBox mix had come with seeds and nuts, but she was just picking the fruit out, so I weeded out all the seeds and nuts and tossed them into my salads long ago, and saved her the part she liked. Then forgot about it... Doh! Until now.)

The dip was a success! She liked it. The trail mix, however, was not. It came back home and Baby ended up eating the Cheddar Bunnies and the bits of popcorn I deemed safe for her. Z and I shared the fruits and the rest of the popcorn.

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