Lunch boxes and plates are canvases for daily works of art in Catherine McCord's home. While the rest of us struggle to simply pack two fruits and vegetables, she's cutting shapes, contrasting colors and creating delectable new textures for the school lunch crowd. "The kitchen is the greatest art studio ever and it's instant gratification because kids get to make their art," McCord exclaims! Yes, she even makes time to teach her children basic food prep skills.
It was inspiring to hear McCord share her ideas about food with the Stonyfield Yo-Getters
in a recent lunch-themed webinar. Her love for the culinary arts turned to baby purees when she became a new mom. Then her web-based business grew along with her family. Her deluxe Weelicious
Cookbook is the answer for every parent who's ever struggled with picky eaters or lunchbox boredom.
"You want to pack as much nutrition as possible in every last bite," encourages McCord. She reminds us that including a fruit, veggie, protein and carbohydrate does not have to mean white bread or even sliced apples every day. She suggests a system of having staples like bananas, potatoes, pastas and nut butters in the pantry to work as companions to colorful organic fruits and vegetables. McCord says we can let go of any guilt about not always having fresh fruits and vegetables because frozen ones can work just fine. She suggests fun yogurt dips to keep kids actively involved with their food.
We asked the usual questions about how anyone can have enough time or money to pack beautiful school lunches. As for time, McCord suggests cooking ahead some basics like rice and pasta, even grilling meat ahead to use in meals later. She reminds us that freezing cooked foods can save us valuable prep time later in the week. As for saving money, McCord suggests that even one or two exotic fruits chosen by your young shopping helper can go a long way in school lunches. She also says meals stretch when we save meat from dinner for the next day's lunch or when leftover breakfast pancakes become sandwich bread.
McCord's knack for expanding the culinary canvas and serving food in visually appealing ways makes her a great source of encouragement for hungry families everywhere. One lucky FlourSackMama.com reader
will have the chance to win McCord's colorful, contemporary, hardback Weelicious
cookbook for themselves, thanks to Stonyfield Organic
. See the entry form below. Happy lunching!