Camila Alves doesn't cut corners when it comes to feeding her kids. "Instead of looking at lunches as what’s quickest, I try to look at it as, 'What would they have eaten at home?'" the lifestyle expert, 33, tells Us Weekly.
That’s why the mom of Levi, 7, Vida, 5, and Livingston, 2, whips up the next day’s fare the night before. "I’ll make variations of what I’m cooking for dinner," she explains. Alves, wed to Matthew McConaughey, 45, unpacks her eldest’s Crocodile Creek case for Us.
“We do a lot of rice and beans, but Levi’s favorite is pasta with meat sauce,” Alves says. But just because the dish is a classic, doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. "World Market has really fun-shaped pasta — everything from animals to spaceships — that I love."
She also uses bento boxes to add more variety to the meal without the extra bulk of multiple containers. "I'll put the pasta on one side and then steamed edamame, carrots, and broccoli on the other." In addition to being incredibly healthy (and delicious), Levi’s lunchtime routine is waste-free. "I send them the regular silverware we use at home — just the regular metal ones."
The mother of three does admit that sometimes kids just can’t resist a lunch box classic. "If they want a sandwich, they want turkey and cheese," she explains. "But I like to make them in a fun shape! I will cut the sandwiches in the shape of hearts."
As for savory, the lunchtime-expert says that Levi loves Siggi’s yogurt or Greek yogurt mixed with fruit and honey. "Sometimes, I even hide turmeric in there for an anti-inflammatory!"
But no lunch is complete without a little something sweet. "I chop up different combinations of fruits for two days at a time, like watermelon and cantaloupe," she tells Us. Alves also throws in Goldfish crackers and some dried seaweed, "which is full of vitamins A and C!" she boasts.
It may seem like Alves has the lunchtime routine down now, but she confesses that it isn’t always easy. "They’re pretty good eaters, but they go through phases where you have to work a little harder at it," she says. "I think the bottom line is you just have to keep putting the food down."
Alves' last piece of advice is simple: “Put good choices in front of them, and eventually they will start eating it!”
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