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TIPS FOR HEALTHY MEALS FOR KIDS

GET INSPIRED! Great ideas for planning wholesome and fun lunches are just a mouse click away – so, you don’t have to go-it-alone! A quick google or Pinterest search will uncover a ton of helpful resources for breaking free from the same-old, same-old lunches. So be sure to take a few minutes each week to go online with your kids and seek out some new ideas to make lunch not only healthy but fun! 

MAKE A MEAL PLAN. Making a weekly meal plan not only helps to ensure that your family eats healthier but it will also save you time, money and stress. That’s because once your meal plan is complete, you can go on auto-pilot – simply executing the meal plan day-by-day without having to stress over what’s for lunch (or dinner) and without making multiple trips to the market. 

Time-Saving Tip: When making out your meal plan, consider which dinners lend themselves to also be a great lunch. And rather than just serving the same thing you had for dinner again for lunch, think of ways to repurpose your leftovers, such as turning leftover grilled chicken breasts into super easy chicken salad sandwiches. 

CREATE A MASTER LIST OF LUNCHES. This time-saving strategy will save you a ton of time in the long run – no more racking your brain to try to think of what you should make for the lunch. That’s because you’ve taken the time to make a list of your kids’ lunch favorites, including side dishes and snacks. Then when it’s time to plan lunches for the week, simply look at your Master List of Lunches. And, as you start trying new recipes, remember to add the ones your family likes to your list. 

PREP AHEAD {WITH YOUR KIDS!} Just a little prep time over the weekend can go a long way in making things quicker and easier for you to provide a healthy homemade lunch during the busy week ahead! And it’s even more fun (and educational) when you invite your kids to join you. Use your prep time to prepare as many things ahead of time as possible, such as: 

  • Making various sandwich fillings and healthy dips.

  • Slicing up your favorite fruits and veggies for use as lunch sides throughout the week ahead.

  • Creating your own healthy snack mixes.

  • Baking a batch of healthy muffins or cookies and freezing them for lunch box treats. 

REMEMBER, KEEP IT SIMPLE! Focus instead on preparing whole-food-based lunches with affordable fresh ingredients and easy assembly. And if you do want to get a little fancy without spending a lot of time or money, simply use your favorite cookie cutters to quickly cut sandwiches and other soft lunch items into fun shapes for a touch of “wow” without a lot of fuss. 

An important role of thumb is to always create a balanced lunch box for your kids that will contain protein (eggs, beans, chicken, meat or cheese), a complex carb (bread, quinoa, rice, potatoes) and fresh fruits or vegetables. Here are some of my favorite recipes:

Cottage Cheese Pancakes with Blueberry Compote

The cottage cheese in these pancakes adds protein while the fresh blueberry compote lends sweetness without additives or empty calories. 

INGREDIENTS

2 servings 

1 c. frozen or fresh blueberries

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp. maple syrup/honey  

1/2 c. of white spelt flour  or regular flour   

1/4 tsp. baking powder

tsp. baking powder

Pinch of kosher salt

1/2 c. low fat cottage cheese

1/4 c.  milk

3  large eggs

1 tsp.  Of coconut  oil or grapeseed oil 

DIRECTIONS

  • In a small saucepan, combine the blueberries, lemon juice and 1 Tbsp maple and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and syrupy, 5 to 6 minutes; set aside.

  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda 1 Tbsp maple and a pinch of salt.

  • In a second bowl, whisk together the cottage cheese, milk and eggs . Add the cottage cheese mixture to the flour mixture and mix until fully incorporated.

  • Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. In two batches, drop large spoonfuls (about 1/4 cup each) of the batter into the skillet and cook until bubbles begin to appear in the center. Flip the pancakes and cook 1 minute more; repeat with the remaining batter. Serve with blueberry compote.


Creamy Mac and Cheese 

Ingredients

● 8 oz. (about 2 cups) elbow pasta 

● 8 oz. (about 2 cups) shredded high-quality cheese 

● 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt 

● 2 cups fresh spinach 

● salt & pepper, to taste 

● 1/4 tsp. onion powder 

● 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Instructions

1. Cook the macaroni according to the package’s instructions (about 8-10 minutes), until al dente. 

2. Place the spinach leaves in the bottom of a strainer, and pour the pasta over the spinach. Save about 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Return the cooked macaroni and wilted the spinach to the pot. 

3. Add about 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the pot. Stir in the greek yogurt, cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, until smooth and creamy. 

Healthy Breaded Chicken

Ingredients

● 1 pound of organic sliced chicken breast 

● 1 egg 

● 2 tbsp of low sodium soy sauce/coconut aminos 

● 1 tsp of mustard 

Coating

● 1⁄2 cup of spelt flour 

● 1⁄4 of whole or regular sesame 

● 2 tbsp of black sesame 

● 1⁄2 tsp of sea salt 

● 1 tsp of paprika 

● 1⁄2 tsp of cumin 

● Avocado oil 

Instructions

1. Heat the oven to 365 degrees and place the baking sheet.

2. In a large bowl mix the egg, soy, and mustard add the chicken, cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes

3. Place all the coating ingredients in one shallow dish. Coat both sides of the chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess.

4. Place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet.

5. Bake the chicken until golden brown and no longer pink in the center, 10 to 12 minutes. 

Sweet Potato Un-Fries

(4 servings) 

Ingredients

● 2 large garnet yams 
● 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted (I just nuke it in the microwave for ~30 seconds) 
● Kosher salt 
● Freshly ground pepper 
● Smoked paprika (or your favorite seasoning – cinnamon works well, too!)

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel yams and cut them into strips. Line the baking tray with parchment paper. Drizzle coconut oil, salt, pepper and seasoning on top. Mix the strips around in the coconut oil and seasonings. Bake for thirty minutes flipping the fries halfway through.

2. All the fun without the guilt. 

Apple and Strawberry Muffin

Ingredients

● 2 apples 
● 3 eggs 
● 100g (3.5 oz or 2/3 cup unsifted) self-raising flour (gluten-free if you prefer) 
● 2 tsp cinnamon 
● 2 tbsp maple syrup 
● 80-120ml coconut oil (start with 80 ml, add more if mix feels dry) 
● 50g (1.8 oz) dried strawberry pieces 

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Whisk the eggs with the maple syrup, cinnamon and olive oil (or gently 
melted coconut oil). 
3. Grate the apples and stir into the egg mixture with the strawberry pieces. 
4. Then fold in the self-raising flour with a metal spoon. 5. Spoon into greaseproof muffin tins, and bake for approximately 20 
minutes, until golden and cooked in the center.
 6. Stick a knife in the center of a muffin to check they are cooked – it 
should come out clean. 

 

August 18, 2019 By Karin
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