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Saturday, 25 August 2007

School meals (Σχολικά γεύματα)

It's lunchbox time for mothers and children alike. Here's a list of foods I include in my children's lunchboxes, so they don't get bored eating the same food day after day. If you change their menu every day using the following list as a guide, there will be a different meal every day for 12 schooldays, ie they will eat the same food only twice a month. More importantly, their lunch will form a balanced meal, along with the snack food they will be eating during the break.
1. home-made meat patties in a bun (aka hamburger)
2. ham and cheese toasted sandwich
3. cheese and spinach pie (spanakopita)
4. a cheese pie (I buy it from the bakery as we drive to school)
5. bagel and cheese (for desperate times when I didn't have enough time to prepare something)

Our school offers a lunch room where children are able to heat up their food and eat from their own tins (with a spoon!), so I also include the following:
1. macaroni shapes with tinned corn, mashed tuna and mayonnaise (see my recipe)
2. pilafi and some boned/shredded chicken
3. fakes or fasolada with a slice of bread and cheese
4. yemista - stuffed tomatoes (casing removed) with yoghurt
5. Cretan dackos
These foods are oily, so you need to be sure they are securely packed and the child won't get too dirty eating them.

During the break, I usually include:
1. a banana, apple, or any other fruit in season from our trees
2. a tub of white yoghurt
3. a box of cornflakes (if they didn't eat this for breakfast)
4. a piece of home-made cake or muffin (if they didn't eat this for breakfast)
5. some home-made biscuits (for desperate moments)
6. 2 graham crackers (or rusks or friganies) and a piece of cheese
7. a pre-packed croissant (I must be very desperate when I give them this)
8. 2-3 kalitsounia or a piece of spanakopita

If children don't eat something before they go to school, they will literally be sluggish, listless and tired. Then they will gorge themselves on canteen food during their morning break, and will be too stuffed to eat anything healthy for lunch. Better to eat breakfast at home and bring back their lunch rather than skip breakfast and gorge themselves on junk. Here are our breakfast choices:
1. a small cup of milk/tea and a small bowl of cornflakes topped with milk (no sugar)
2. a glass of milk/tea and 4-5 petit beurre (semi-sweet) biscuits
3. a glass of milk/tea and a slice of home-made cake or muffin
4. a glass of milk/tea and 2 crackers/friganies with cheese
5. a glass of milk/tea and a slice of toast with butter and jam/marmalade

I know that one day they will eventually be buying junk from a school canteen, but at least I made an effort to keep them healthy before they became independent enough to choose and prepare their own snack food.

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SEE ALSO:

School meals - Part 2

In search of food
Taste sensationalism

The restaurants in the Agora
The rape of the countryside
Bulgarian pasta
Snacks
The open-air market
GAIA
To eat or not to eat?
A day in the field
Losing weight
Freezer clearout
Weekly food plan
Fridge contents
Eating locally
Low income and diet