Lunch Rut

  • Blog Post by: Erin Clotfelter
  • September 22, 2011 - 8:17 PM

I'm in a rut.  A lunch rut.

Actually, you could probably say I'm in a breakfast, lunch and dinner rut, but lunch is the one that makes me the most crazy.  In my mind, lunch is supposed to be quick and easy, not some 3-course affair involving an oven.

Every day when the boys are about to get off the bus I scan my kitchen and try and come up with something both nutritious and appealing to them.  They aren't exactly the pickiest eaters, but there are days when nothing I make is going to pass their test.

We have our fair share of Mac and Cheese (boxed or homemade depending on the day), sandwiches, roll-ups, toasted ravioli, meatloaf muffins etc.  We've done the cookie cutter thing but I don't think they really notice enough to make it worth the effort.  

We just went through a phase where my son asked for hot dogs at every meal.  And applesauce.  Hot Dogs, applesauce and ice cream.  Every. Single. Meal.

When your child with autism opens his mouth and words come out, the first thing you do is give him what he asks for, because OMG HE SAID WORDS!!!!  And then you realize he's figured it out and now has a little vocab explosion of food items you'd rather not serve 5 times a day.  When you don't give him what he requests he sadly looks at you and says in his most pathetic sad voice "Hungry?"*  

Smart.  Very smart.  

So basically I need what every mom needs: an arsenal of meals that pack the nutrient punch I want that is disguised as something they want to eat.  Also, it has to be easy to prepare and kind to the budget.

We're far from serving tots and nuggets at every meal, but we're also far from the pureed spinach and mangoes they loved as infants.  I'm looking for a little balance.  

I dug out a few recipes (

Spinach Brownies


Raisin Bran Muffins

) to throw into my breakfast routine just to liven things up and I'm going to test these out this week and see how that goes but I need some lunch ideas.  What works for you?  If you are a parent to a special needs kid who tends to be a picky eater, what advice do you have?

Is it *OK* to indulge in hot dogs for every meal until he gets tired of them?

*He's not really hungry, he just knows that word is associated with food and thinks that he'll get the fruit snacks/ ice cream/ cookie he is seeking if he throws that out there.

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