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What the Kids Ate Wednesday + The Lunchables Experiment Day 1

21 January 2014

A while ago, I discovered a link-up called, What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) on a blog called Peas and Carrots. Bloggers link up a post of chronicling a days worth of eating.

Looking at these posts, I realized that there are so many different ways to eat and that each of us has our own "normal," when it comes to eating. Peeking into someone else's "food" day, helps me to be more creative and think outside of my typical culinary box.

I decided that it might also be helpful to see and hear about, the different things that kids eat (or don't eat) and so, this week, I decided to document one day of eating for my kids.

It just so happens that this day was a bit unusual for us in a few ways…

Breakfast was fairly typical (though it is a slight break from my standard rotation.) Cashew butter "bear" toasts, Naked (brand) Blue Machine juice smoothie, and chicken sausage.

9 year old: ate everything (plus an extra piece of sausage)
7 year old: ate almost everything. Didn't quite finish the toast, but did have an extra piece of sausage
4 (almost 5) year old: Ate the ears off of his toast, drank the juice, ate 2 pieces of sausage
1 (almost 2) year old: Had part of a gluten-free bagel with cashew butter and a a few slices of banana with cashew butter, a handful of raisins, plus juice and almond milk (I don't think he had any sausage… he loves it, but wasn't eating much so I didn't really think to give him some.)

Snack: carrots, cucumber, hummus, and nuts (my sons had a nut mix and my daughter had pistachios)

9 year old: ate everything but the hummus*
7 year old: ate everything but the hummus*
4 (almost 5) year old: ate everything-- but not all of the hummus
1 (almost 2) year old: ate all of the hummus, half of the cucumbers and carrots and finished his breakfast- which was still sitting out.

This was the size of the snack for the 9 and 7 year old. The 4 and 1 year old had 4 cucumbers and 4 carrots
*My kids typically LOVE hummus, but have been skipping it lately. I've been buying my hummus at Aldi, which hadn't been a problem, but it may be time to go back to buying Sabra or Tribe (my two favorite brands.) Or perhaps they're just experiencing hummus burnout :)

Lunch: Here's the big deviation from our norm...

On Monday, the kids were off of school, but I really needed to go shopping. To head off any potential complaints about going to the store, I asked my daughter if she had any special requests for her lunch this week.

She grabbed paper and pen and went to find my oldest son to write up "their" list.

When she returned, she started reading the list to me. Midway through the list, she paused and said, "This one's a little weird. I'll save it for last."

It turns out that the, "weird," request was Lunchables.  Man, those folks have done some amazing marking to kids. Yep, even though I pack my kids some pretty good lunches with cute little partitioned lunch boxes, they still wanted Lunchables.

I suggested making our own and received a shoulder shrug which basically meant, "That really is not what I want, but I know that I'll never get what I want anyways, so just forget about it."

My daughter can convey quite a bit with a simple shrug of her shoulders.

I later decided on an experiment. There are four school days this week. So, each (school age) kid could pick two Lunchables which they would have for lunch on Tuesday and Thursday. On Wednesday and Friday, I would make a similar (but better!) homemade version of what they chose.

My hope is that by allowing the kids to try them, I can break the appeal of the Lunchables--- especially when they see them in direct contrast to the (awesome) lunches that I make ;)

Therefore… today's lunch was: Nacho Lunchables and a bag of apples. (My daughter actually requested the apples.)

9 year old: Ate the chips, salsa and candy. Said the nacho cheese was gross and that her apples were rotten (??). Oddly enough, my kids have apples in their lunch nearly every day and she has never, ever complained about this before.
7 year old: Ate everything but the salsa which he said was too spicy. (This kid will eat pretty spicy food and I find it hard to believe that a lunch marketed to fairly unadventurous eaters would have a spicy salsa.)
4 (almost 5) year old: Ate the remainder of his "bear" toast from breakfast and a half of a cashew butter and jelly sandwich. Normally he would also eat something else but he said he was full.
1 (almost 2) year old: Ate leftover chicken and sweet potato fries

After school (or nap) snack: Baked, grain-free donuts. I have wanted to make this recipe for a long time. I anticipated that my kids would come home hungry and would be in need of some protein to stave off the sugar crash from having chips, candy and sugar water for lunch. These are made with coconut flour and tons of eggs, so they are full of fiber and protein. 

9 year old: Said she didn't like them. However, I made several batches (since I could only bake 6 at a time) so I doctored each batch a little bit. She had half of each batch which amounted to 2 donuts, plus half of a piece of sausage that she found in the fridge---leftover from breakfast.
8 year old: Said they were, "Pretty good," and ate 3 of them
4 (almost 5) year old: Started out liking it until his brother told him that his didn't have pumpkin in it like the one he was eating (I made some without butter since he doesn't handle dairy and these didn't have the advantage of the later doctoring which included pumpkin. He ate several bites, and then started to cry. He didn't finish it, though he started begging for it in the middle of dinner.
1 (almost 2) year old: Ate one donut without complaint

**Not one of the kids asked for anything else prior to dinner which is really, really rare in our house.

Dinner: Three bean chili

9 year old: Ate the whole bowl, plus almost all of a second (plus 3 tortilla chips)
7 year old: Ate two whole bowls (plus 3 tortilla chips)
4 (almost 5) year old: Ate few bites, then told me that his body wants what his body wants and it didn't want this. Begged for the donut he didn't want before (because that's what his body wanted.) Ate several more bites for a total of about half of his bowl. (plus 3 tortilla chips) UPDATE-- For more on this story, click here.
1 (almost 2) year old: Ate one bite and a tortilla chip. Then, a half hour later (bowls were still left on the table) he said he wanted more soup, and ate a few more bites of his, plus a few bites out of the other bowls left on the table.

Notice his artwork… on his hands, on his face, on the table?? What is it about markers that make them so much fun??!

**The 4 (almost 5) year old had some dairy yesterday which he does not tolerate well. This affects both his mood and his willingness to eat and explains his dinnertime behavior. The 1 (almost 2) year old typically eats a LOT more food. Not sure if he's getting sick, teething, or just going through a stage where he is eating less. Whatever the reason, I'm not worried.

Documenting a day, or a week of what your kids eat (or don't eat) can be a great way to get a better picture of what's going on with your kids eating habits. You may realize that they are actually better (or worse) eaters than you thought.

At the conclusion of one particular day, I realized that my kids had toast with breakfast, bread for their sandwiches at lunch, crackers for a snack, and pasta for dinner--- They ate almost nothing but wheat products!

I'd love to hear what your kids ate (or didn't eat!) Join me in linking up to WIAW or just share what they ate in the comments.


  1. I have a donut pan that has not been put to use yet, but I'm getting my own place soon with a full-sized oven and will be able to bake then!

    Hummus isn't my favorite... but I do love some with some flatbread/pita.

    1. I bought the donut pan a while ago and this is the first time I used it. I'll definitely use it again soon though because the kids were pretty excited about eating donuts... even though the recipe could use some tweaking.

  2. This was a REALLY interesting post!! As a nutritionist without children, I love glimpsing into the lives of healthy eaters with kids!! Thanks for the interesting, unique read!

    1. Thank you so much Serena! I love to see what other people's kids eat too!

  3. For breakfast my kids eat some combination of eggs, kefir smoothie, sausage, oatmeal, coconut flour muffins, gluten free toast with kerrygold butter, banana with peanut butter. Lunch is at school and dinner is usually some meat or fish with rice. The only wheat they really eat is what they are served at school and crackers as a snack at home.


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