So it’s that time of year again! The kids are heading back to school (if they haven’t already). We’re mostly happy to send them to school but we’re dreading packing those lunch bags. For me, it’s always a struggle to figure out what to put in their lunch that will be healthy, easy and fun to eat and be nutritious. That’s tough! (especially after week 1!)
First of all, try to make something you can do the night before and let your kids help with making their lunch. Doing it the night before will give you more time and your kids can learn to make better, healthier food choices.
Try to use nutritious foods you know your kids enjoy. If you try to introduce foods they’re not use to then chances are they won’t eat their lunches.
For snacks, try to avoid those bags of chips and cookies and instead let your kids help create their own little baggies. You can find zipper bags with different designs to put the snacks in. Also make sure the snacks can be picked up and eaten easily. Kids are more likely to eat cut or small pieces of fruit than they would a whole apple.
Here are some snack suggestions:
Veggie sticks (pick ones your kids like) with peanut butter or hummus for dipping
Trail mix (you can check out my recipe)
Homemade “Lunchables”: use some non-processed cheese slices, whole grain crackers and some fruit slices (fresh or freeze-dried)
Fresh fruit: grapes, berries or any fruit in season (make sure they’re bite-sized!)
Mini muffins (check out my banana oat muffin recipe)
Remember to keep it simple. Chances are if you put small amounts of a few things they will eat it quicker than if you put one big thing.
This recipe is so versatile you can add pretty much anything you want.
I know it’s easy to buy trail mix at the store but I found that most times they all have a lot of sugar. Not to mention, this way I get to choose what I want to eat and I can make small amounts of different versions to suit the tastes of my family.
I did not use quantities for this recipe since you can make a little or a lot based on your needs. Feel free to add or remove ingredients!
Yogourt covered raisins
Dash of Pink Himalyan Sea Salt (or any other salt you have handy)
1. Place all ingredients in a bowl
2. Add salt to taste
3. Mix and enjoy
You can store trail mix in airtight containers or bags for up to a week.
Kids are tricky eaters – some days they’ll eat everything you give them and other days they don’t want anything. For those days that they’re fussy this is an awesome alternative that will put you at ease about making sure they get the nutrients they need.
The milk and yogourt provide calcium and protein and the fruits give you a range of vitamins and minerals (Hint: pick the fruits you know your kids enjoy). The avocado is especially great for growing kids because it has higher amounts of those heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and the flax seeds provide Omega 3s which we don’t always get in our diets.
All in all I’d say it’s good for everyone!
It easy to make and you can double the recipe to make a large batch if you’d like. This recipe makes about 16 ounces.
1 cup milk of your choice (I like to use dark chocolate almond milk to give it a nice flavour)
1/2 cup plain yogourt
1 frozen banana
1/4 avocado (omit if not handy)
1 cup frozen/ fresh fruit (pick any that you like but some like mango and papaya will make the smoothie thicker)
1tbsp. ground flax seed
1tsp. vanilla essence
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsps. protein powder of your choice (optional)
1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
2. Stir and enjoy!
Tip: Always put your liquid ingredients first then add your fruit. It makes it easier and faster to blend.
It is always best to eat nutrient-dense foods. They pack the greatest punch and give you the most amount of energy. Here are my suggestions for ensuring that your body gets the nourishment it needs and that you deserve.
Drink as much water as possible! Every time baby feeds, you drink. Smoothies are also a great way to get a lot of nutrients in a great tasting way. (I’ve posted a recipe for a power up smoothie too!)
Try to have as much fresh fruit and veggies in the house as possible. Ask your partner or someone else to cut them up so that it’s easy for you to grab and snack on. Babies aren’t bothered if you eat while they’re eating.
Choose healthy, whole grain carbs. They are nutrient dense and will keep you fuller longer, especially if you have them in the morning.
Try to avoid sugary foods and drinks. Make sure that whoever is doing the groceries doesn’t buy junk food, that way you’ll be less tempted to eat it when hungry.
If you’re happy and healthy then chances are baby will be happy and healthy too!
Happy World Breastfeeding week!
I recently started experimenting with homemade juices because I found that my 15 month old was going through a picky eating phase but she would drink almost anything you gave her. So I thought what better way to ensure that she got her fruits and veggies!
It turns out that not only did she enjoy them but so do I! I try to make some version of this at least 3 times for the week.
I find that it is also a great pre-workout drink. I try to have one before yoga because it gives me that feeling of fullness without being stuffed they way you would when you eat before you exercise.
What’s also great about this drink is that by combining the kale with the pineapple your body gets a greater amount of iron from the kale. A lot of greens have substances that prevent the absorption of iron by the body but by having them with a food rich in Vitamin C you increase that absorption.
You can add a sweetener if you would like but the sweetness of the pineapple masks any of the bitterness of the kale.
This tastes best cold so I recommend leaving your kale and pineapple in the fridge until you’re ready to juice.
1 cup kale
2 cups fresh pineapple
1. Place kale and pineapple in juicer until completely juiced.
2. Stir and enjoy!
Note: If you don’t have a juicer you can use a blender or food processor but you may have to strain the juice to remove the bits. Or you can drink it as is!