Head on over to Laugh, Learn, Love for this week's theme challenge, it is all about lunch!
I try to get some protein in with lunch, and I always serve some kind of fresh vegetable like cucumbers, carrots, celery, or green peppers. And I don't really let my kids choose what they want, after all they are pre-schoolers, and wouldn't make the best choice, nor would all the stuff they want fit in my budget.
Otherwise, we usually rotate between a few different things, and they are:
Tuna salad sandwiches
PB and J sandwiches
Egg salad sandwiches
Grilled Cheese sandwiches
Bean and cheese burritos
Sometimes we will also have:
Build-your-own english muffin pizzas
Hamburgers on the grill (if hubby feels up to it when he comes home for lunch)
Hot dogs on the grill
Macaroni and cheese
Those noodles you can buy as side dishes
Tortillas made into wraps with mayo, lunch meat and cheese
Frozen pizzas, cut into strips for easier and less messy eating
Ham and cheese crescent rolls
The stuff on my sometimes list is not as healthy, and it is more expensive to keep on hand, which is why it is all sometimes food. I am looking forward to seeing all the other great ideas!
As for getting my kids to behave at the table. We have clearly defined and discussed table manners and what is expected at the table, so they know. When they get out of control we usually take their talking privileges away for the remainder of the meal, they settle down at that point and then the next meal usually goes better. If it is really bad they are excused from the table and don't get to come back. I think most importantly is that Michael and I try really hard to model what we expect at dinner and we have little signals for certain manners. If they are chewing with their mouths open or talking with their mouths full, we just tap our fingers on our mouth and they instantly correct it. We use dinnertime rhymes like "Mikey, Mikey, strong and able, take your elbows off the table." Lest all this sound like we are stiff and staunch at the table, it isn't true, we have wiggly kids who hang all over their chairs and turn around backwards in them and get too loud and spill their water and ruin their clothes with spaghetti sauce and all that jazz. But we are working hard to train them!