Bentley licked Dani’s face. “It can’t be time to get up already,” she thought.  An hour later, after running the dog, she was starting breakfast for her children.  Charley joined her in the kitchen and began making fresh-squeezed orange juice, “sounds like the kids are up and at least moving,” he observed.

Dani nodded, “they think there’s no rush since they made their lunches and bathed last night, but we still need to eat, brush teeth, load up all the sports equipment bags and get out the door on time.”

Charley raised his voice, “Let’s go! Breakfast is on the table.”

“Coming,” they all routinely responded.

After blessing the meal, each began passing dishes around. Dani looked at her children and sent a silent prayer of thanks. “Lee, I noticed the lunch bags are filled and ready to go. Thanks for doing that. How did you decide what to prepare?”

Lee, the oldest, tended to be quiet and observant; her sense of responsibility was obvious at sixteen.  “Well, I saw the weekly meal plan on the menu board and knew we were having applesauce pancakes for breakfast this morning. So I decided to make chicken avocado roll-ups because a high-fiber breakfast followed a few hours later with a lunch high in protein and healthy fat keeps you feeling energized, and I want to make sure Joey passes his math test today” she laughed.

Joey smiled, “uh, not to brag, but I always pass my math tests. Anyway, thanks for the help. So why did you add oatmeal cookies? I usually need a smoothie and water bottle filled with lots of water to go with my lunch.”

Allie, the youngest at eight, lit up, “Did you put oatmeal cookies in my lunch too?”

Lee smiled at her, “You have one cookie in your lunch bag. Oatmeal is a good source of fiber, which helps you feel fuller longer, and minerals like folate, iron, and magnesium help boost your mood, so you don’t start to feel grumpy in the afternoon. I also added Mom’s homemade applesauce.”

Lee looked at Joey, “I filled two travel mugs with a Citrus Protein Green Smoothie. Spinach has antioxidants that support brain health.  The flavonoids in citrus also help increase blood flow to the brain and reduce inflammation. The banana has the potassium (muscles) you’re going to need to be able to hit that baseball at practice. And you’ll be happy to know I also added trail mix and an apple for your afternoon and on the way home snack.”

Charley looked at his two youngest, “your lunches are guaranteed to turn you both into lean, mean baseball hitting machines!”


Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.


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