If there's one thing I've had a light bulb moment about, its FOOD!
Food is for pleasure. Yes. More importantly it's fuel. It's not just about satisfying hunger or taste buds. It's about healing our bodies.
I have always prided myself on feeding my kids a pretty healthy diet. Now I'm not so sure! I have done a truck load of research into the damage of sugar, processed and packaged foods and vegetable oil. You can do some research of your own and for anyone interested I have a stack of websites and blogs you could look at.
One of my driving forces has been that as a teacher, I am very disturbed at the increase of children being diagnosed with things such as severe food allergies, learning and behaviour disorders, Aspergers and ADHD to name a few.
As a mother, I am disturbed at the obvious increase in our society of modern diseases. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes and autoimmune diseases are alarmingly on the rise. These were barely existent before the early nineteen hundreds.
What we feed our children while they are young is a platform for their health not only now but when they are adults. So I have done a radical transformation to my family's diet. I've done it in bite size pieces - one thing at a time. I never buy anything packaged from the supermarket - ever! The majority contain sugar, vegetable oil or have been put through a highly chemical process - or all three!
I wanted to help you see it's easier than you think to feed your children nutritious, body fueling, healing food. You just might have to think out of the box - literally! Outside of the cardboard box food that has become so convenient to throw into our trolleys.
I thought a little visual diary might be the best way to show you what I do. As a busy mum of three, I want easy yet highly nutritious lunch box ideas! But I won't lie - it will take a little more time than throwing a packaged treat in, but knowing I'm giving them every chance for a healthy future is worth every extra minute. They are worth far too much for me to risk their tomorrow for the sake of my convenience today.
Bananas are very cheap. I've made friends with the family that run my local fruit and veg shop. When bananas get a little too ripe, they can't sell them anymore and put them out the back. They sell them to me for half price because over ripe bananas are perfect for the freezer. Win win!!
1.Break or cut the bananas into smaller portions, throw them into your blender. Add a few tablespoons of cocoa and if you want ,a dash of honey. You have instant banana chocolate icecream. Makes a great breakfast too!! What kid doesn't want 'icecream' for brekky!
2. Throw the frozen bananas in to your blender. Add some milk. Add a handful of baby spinach and a few tablespoons of cocoa. They'll think it's a banana thickshake and will have no idea you hid some spinach in there!!
I often go to the markets and buy the cheap fruit that is over ripe. Strawberries and mangoes are perfect for this! Pop them in the freezer.
1.Throw a handful of frozen fruit of choice into your blender. Add an egg white and a dash of honey. Whip into an instant frozen dessert!
2. Throw a handful of frozen fruit into your blender with a few scoops of plain yoghurt. Add a dash of honey or your choice of sweetener. Blend for instant frozen yoghurt.
When I have a few hours at home or at night, I double a recipe and bake a stack of goodies. Our favourites are banana muffins, choc chip cookies and apple cinnamon muffins. I put them in individual snap lock bags and pop them in the freezer. This makes it easy to grab and throw into their lunchboxes in the morning. And I know they are getting a treat that contains no sugar, vegetable oil or other nasties.
I use 70% cocoa Plaistowe cooking chocolate. This has half the sugar of other blocks! For a treat, I melt some in a bowl and drizzle over fruit such as apple, banana or mandarin. Your kid's lunchbox will be the envy of all the other kids! My kids have had friends beg their mums to do the same!
I haven't the space to go into it, but cream (unless your child has a dairy intolerance) is a good fat that will help fill up the hunger pangs!
I often do my own layering by throwing a dollop of yoghurt into a small container, then some chopped up banana followed by a dollop of cream. Delish!!
Our containers like these are my best friend! The possibilities are endless on what you can fill them with! Look at your fridge and throw in whatever you have left.
I often cook a few extra sausages or meatballs and throw these into their lunchboxes. Or roll up some ham or slice kabana. As you can see in the pics, I added a variety of celery, corn, a boiled egg, cheese, cucumber - whatever you have on hand!
Sometimes I put left over salad in a container with rolled up ham.
A favourite has become a mix of coconut flakes (unsweetened) with a mix of whatever seeds you have (pumpkin, sunflower etc..) with a drizzle of honey.
If made the night before, I store it in the fridge and then make sure I pop a frozen block in their lunch box the next day.
Whatever you put in your child's lunch box, remember
'Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food'
X x Renee
Renee is an experienced educator who specialises in literacy for young children. She grew up in a single parent home and is a regular speaker to community groups around Australia on this subject. She now has three children of her own.You can read The Organised Mummy's full profile here
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