As I have been preparing for October, I was looking over my schools menu, and wanted to share it with you. At the school I work at, I have full control over our menu plan – including shopping for my own groceries for the school. It’s been nice to be able to take over a program, and be appreciated for what I do, and how I am helping my center not only save money, but introduce our kids to healthy, organic , HOMEMADE foods. I have even been asked by the Regional Director of my school to teach the other cooks at our family of schools here in Colorado just how to cook, and menu plan, and create healthy recipes for our kids.
This menu is very different from the monthly menus that I share – like October’s Menu. Since it is a school menu, it is only for 5 days a week – Monday through Friday and does not include a grocery list as I shop to feed around 60 kids every day, but I have included the recipes. At school we serve breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack. I serve a different meal every day for lunch, but some breakfasts and snacks are repeated.
As you can see, we eat fresh fruit every day with breakfast and lunch, and I try to include vegetables or fruit almost every day as a snack. The vegetables we serve at lunch are usually frozen since we live in Colorado, and the season of a large fresh vegetables is very small, however, in the summer months, I always include fresh seasonal vegetables in the menu, and I pick and choose throughout the season what is freshest.
When shopping for the ingredients for school, I follow the same principles that I use when planning my monthly menus. I like to shop for different ingredients at different stores – like getting my fresh fruits and veggies at Sprouts, and my frozen things from Sam’s Club. I also shop at our local grocery stores when they have sales! Like milk for $1.99 a gallon! By shopping for so many kids, I am able to get many of my ingredients in bulk, and I save money, which means that I get to include organic choices in my menu. Every frozen vegetable we eat is organic, and we follow the 2015 list of the Clean 15 / Dirty Dozen for the rest of our fruits and veggies.
The last week of October is Halloween themed. I like to make my menus, and my meals fun for the kids. These recipes are simply everyday recipes given some spooky names and maybe a cosmetic touch or two to make lunch just a little more fun! Scroll down for details about how to make everyday recipes a little bit spookier for Halloween and just what exactly all of these things are – like mashed brains, witches warts and monster scabs!
I know that not every recipe in my menu plan is perfect, and there are still some processed foods – like Velveeta in the Macaroni and Cheese, but overall, I am very proud of the menu I put out, and the food I feed my kiddos. Eating healthy is very important, and when children are exposed to processed foods at home, and then again at school, it leads to a slippery slope of bad health and obesity. Although my kiddos might not eat all of their veggies with their lunches, I feel good knowing that I have included vegetables in the other parts of the meals that they will eat, like the hidden veggies in my homemade chicken nuggets, turkey sloppy joes, turkey tacos, tatertot casserole, meatloaf – really anything with ground meat! I post the recipes for each meal outside of my kitchen every day, and have been getting great feedback from the parents! Here are the recipes for this months menu.
Click on the image for step-by-step directions of each recipe with photos. There is not a recipe for each day.
I skip the hot peppers and chipotle in adobo when I make this at school
Halloween Week Recipes
Halloween is a lot of fun. I get to use the same recipes that I always make, and transform them into something new, and spooky for the kids. Not everything has gotten a Halloween makeover, but I do plan on making some green milk on Halloween as Frankenstein’s blood or something…
So just what are all these crazy recipes?
These pizzas are simply English Muffin Pizza. Make them spooky for Halloween by replacing the shredded mozzarella cheese with string cheese. Pull the string cheese apart and place on the English muffin like bandages. Use mini pepperoni’s or olives for the eyes.
Sautee some frozen green beans with butter and garlic until they are a little shrivly.
Boo-Nanas and Monster Scabs
This one is just bananas and graham crackers.
Mashed brains for breakfast? Don’t mind if I do! Make this quick 10-Minute Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal for breakfast and tell your kiddos it’s brains! Yum!
Jack-o-Lantern Pot Pie
Instead of just folding up the sides of these Mini Chicken Pot Pie‘s, roll out a little extra dough and make spooky jack-o-lantern faces on top of your filling instead! Make them even more fun by mixing a little bit of red and yellow food die with your egg wash to turn your jack-o-lanterns orange!
These are just baby carrots.
Zombie Eyeballs and Bones
A quick and simple snack – green grapes and pretzel sticks.
Pumpkin Spice Granola
Check your email later this month for this fantastic, homemade Pumpkin Spice Granola Recipe.
Spaghetti and Eyeballs
Make my Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce with Spaghetti and serve with Surprise Meatballs as eyeballs.
Make my Never Fail BBQ Meatloaf, and instead of making it into a loaf, shape it into a head. Use garlic cloves as eyes and diced onions as teeth. Wrap a little bacon around it if you want to make it extra spooky. Get full details on making this Zombie Meatloaf by joining my newsletter, and having this recipe sent directly to your inbox a little closer to Halloween.
Rice Krispy Pumpkins
Check your email this weekend for The Secret To Making The Best Rice Krispy Squares Ever. Make this recipe, and add in some orange or red and yellow food coloring when melting the marshmallows. Instead of pressing into a pan, form cereal treats into balls or pumpkins. Use a green M&M as a stem.
Cereal a.k.a Eye of Newt
Spiders In Dirt
We love beaners and wieners, and this recipe is perfect for Halloween. Again, check your email for this recipe later this month.
Like we did with the green beans, sautee some peas in butter until they shrivel up a little bit.
Add some Halloween M&M’s and switch up the Cookie Crisp cereal for your fun Halloween cereals at the grocery store to my Kids’ Favorite Trail Mix.
Looking for more kid-friendly menu inspiration? Check out October’s Month of Meals. This menu has 31 Days of Dinners with FREE Printable Weekly Grocery Lists & Recipes for only $185!