Thursday, September 27, 2012

PB&J: It's What's For Lunch... (Part 4)

photo from Fresh20 website

So far this week, I've lamented having to prepare school lunches, described a possible school lunch routine, and then introduced subscription meal plans--yesterday, I covered our experience with emeals. Today... the Fresh20.

The Fresh20 Lunch Plan: I like the idea of this one the best, even though emeals is a better fit for us right now.
  • The quick and dirty: a 6-week lunch menu all at once; each week features a well-laid out menu, shopping list, make ahead items, and assembly directions. The Fresh20 is based on the idea that you have 20 basic staples at home and buy 20 fresh ingredients/week at the store. Ingredients are seasonal, and you use them up throughout the week since you work with the same ingredients all week. Definitely a logical, cost-effective approach. Meals serve 2.
  • What I like: Whole foods, seasonal eating, sensible portions, the simple grocery list, lots of produce. I also like how well laid out the directions are.
  • What I don't like: It's a touch more time-consuming than the emeals one. Not much, but sometimes, a touch is too much. You could certainly buy things like pesto or polenta instead of make your own; not as strictly whole foods, but hey. Many of the meals are hot meals, though, and are a bit more exotic/not traditional school lunch ideas. This is okay if you have access to a microwave, but many school kids don't. If you have picky eaters, this may not be the plan for you (obviously, as mentioned, it includes things like polenta). Note: as with emeals, portions might not be enough for very active children (esp those in middle/high school).
  • How it works for us: I used this plan exclusively one week and ran into trouble--nothing was terribly picnic friendly, which we needed one day. The plan has potential, and I'll probably keep these 6-weeks to use alternately with some of my emeals ones.

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