It’s August, which means school is just around the corner. School days mean more rushed mornings, and for moms it can be a huge temptation to succumb to convenience foods like boxed cereals, eggo waffles, and the like. The benefit of said products is that they are easy, quick, and relatively cheap. The downside (if I even have to mention it) is their complete lack of adequate nutrition, including high amounts of sugar and processed grains. Not a good way for kids to start their school day (or any day for that matter). Fortunately, with a little bit of planning, you can provide your family with quick, nourishing breakfasts on those rushed school mornings and save time AND money!
Sometimes the prospect of making our diets healthier can be so overwhelming at the beginning. Sometimes we have the luxury of taking our time in the transition. But when there are dire health concerns in your family, you sometimes have to transition faster than you’d like. Here are ten easy, sneaky ways to make your meals more nourishing and nutrient-dense that your family most likely won’t notice! Read the rest of this entry »
This post is modified from an article I wrote for our church’s school, of which I am a board member. I thought I would share these tips for healthy lunches for school, work, or simply being on the go with little ones!
One of the biggest challenges we as parents face is feeding our children. Good, nourishing food is essential for their growth and development, as well as for their brains and learning. Packing a healthy, nutrient-dense lunch that will appeal to young children can be tricky, but it will pay off dividends in your child’s energy levels, immunity, and overall well-being.
Sugar,white-flour, and unhealthy fats form the backbone of a typical school lunch. White bread, jelly, peanut butter filled with sugar and hydrogenated oil coupled with fruit juice and chips may be appealing for children, but the high carbohydrate intake can cause a major “crash” in blood sugar after lunch. This “crash” (for lack of a better word) can lead to brain fogginess and lack of focus, and ultimately hunger, later in the afternoon.
For a healthy lunch, it’s important to focus on healthy fats, proteins, veggies, and whole-grains. These foods provide not only essential nutrients, but also provide fiber that slows down digestion so that you avoid that dreaded “crash” after lunch.
Luckily, there are some simply things you can do to transform the “typical school lunch” into a wholesome, healthy lunch that your kids will eat.
Sprouted Ezekiel Bread or Brown Rice Tortillas for sandwiches If you are grain-free, use sheets of nori for nutrient-dense roll-ups and make “sushi”. Leftover grain-free pancakes made from almond flour can be spread with nut butter and a touch of honey for sandwhiches as well.
Whole grain crackers or veggie sticks, raw cheddar or Swiss cheese slices (not processed!), and nitrate-free ham or turkey, smoked salmon, or left over roast beef.
Purchase a soup thermos and fill your child’s lunch with homemade soups or leftovers. Simply heat up a small portion in the morning before school and put in thermos and it will stay warm until eaten!
Dehydrated veggies (carrots, zucchini, squash, sweet potatoes). Trader Joe’s has some yummy “plantain chips” that are high in potassium and additive-free. Seaweed chips are also a delicous, mineral-rick potato chip replacement.
Fruit juice boxes
Iced herbal tea sweetened with honey or stevia. There are so many sweet, fruity herbal teas that when lightly sweetened taste great with next to no sugar! We like Stash’s mango-passionfruit herbal tea as well as Teavana’s herbal teas (but they are a Thrifty Oreganic indulgence and not an everyday staple!)
Shelf-stable, ultrapastuerized fat free chocolate milk
Raw milk blended with real, unsweetened cocoa with stevia or maple syrup to taste.
Jell-O chocolate pudding cups
Chocolate banana- avocado pudding (puree 1-2 avocados with 1 banana in food processor. Add 1-2 tsp cocoa powder and 1 TBS honey or to taste)
As you can see, it takes only some small changes on your shopping list to yield big benefits to your child’s health, your budget, as well as the environment. Packaged “convenience” lunch foods (like juice boxes, lunchables, “uncrustables” and pudding cups) are both expensive and not eco-friendly. While I realize that these can be tempting (primarily because big box stores like Wal-Mart and Costco can sell these at a pretty appealing price), DON’T be fooled. A little more money spent on quality ingredients (like nitrate-free ham, avocados, and Ezekial bread) will save you money on co-pays and prescription drugs or supplements because your child is less likely to fall prey to illnesses when consuming real food! This may sound like bogus claim, but I encourage you to take the Real Food Challenge and see what happens!
We interrupt the regularly scheduled weight loss Wednesday for Kimi’s (the Nourishing Gourmet) challenge: nourishing portable foods. Here are some tips and a newly-discovered recipe!
Kid-friendly Standard Carbohydrate Diet snack and lunch ideas can be hard to come by, but here are some of our mainstays. Most of these are actually hearty enough to be lunches.
*Homemade yogurt with fresh or frozen blueberries, a dash of stevia and pure vanilla extract ( I put this in small mason jars!)
*Crispy nuts, raw cheese, and lacto-fermeted pickles. This is a complete meal in itself!
*Iced herbal tea (fruity kinds sweetened with a little stevia or honey). Rooibos tea is actually good for children’s digestive systems, and my kids love this!
*Kombucha blended with frozen strawberries. Yum!
*Green popcorn (Oops, this is actually not SCD-friendly, but we still like it occasionally!)
*Yogurt/kefir cream cheese dip (strained yogurt or kefir; your choice of additions; savory or sweet. I like garlic and herbs or cinnamon and applesauce added) with raw veggies to dip.
*Smoked salmon (no additives) with yogurt cream cheese on homemade sunflower seed crackers (recipe below!)
Sunflower Seed Graham Crackers
1 cup hulled sunflower seeds
1 cup goat milk yogurt (or other)
1/3 cup raw honey
1/3 cup melted ghee or coconut oil
1/2 T vanilla extract
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1) Soak seeds in 2 cups of water.
2)12 hours later, drain seeds. Place in food processor with other ingredients.
3) Process until light and fluffy.
4) Spread onto parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden.
5) Remove from oven and using a pizza cutter, cut into squares.
6) Place squares into a food dehyrator (or back in oven on warm temp) and allow them to get dry and cripsy (about 6-8 hours).
Serve with ghee and a touch of raw honey or nut butter for a nourishing, kid-approved snack!
Also, try adding parmesan cheese and herbs for a savory cracker!