Ronnie's Awesome List presents a guest article by Binay Curtis, nutritionist, writer and educator. Register for her 5-week "RESTART Program," an empowering combination of nutrition education, sugar detox, and support group at The Hivery in Mill Valley, noon on Friday’s beginning on January 8th.
When it comes to food, it's easy to get into a rut, isn’t it? While parents are focused on packing wholesome and nourishing lunches their kids will eat; we need to consider ourselves also. Leave the prepacked expensive items in the grocery store; this is the year to take control. Here are three tips to creating healthy lunches to satisfy your budget and whole family; along with one bonus after school snack.
1. Leftovers simply need a good wrap!
Dinners morph into great lunches for the next day. Here are four ideas to a healthy lunch.
Stir-fry dinners transform into a healthy rice and black bean burrito. To make it more grown up, boost the flavor with herbs and spices which not only makes them more interesting, but also more nutritious. Herbs and spices are packed with antioxidants.
Chili night easily converts into spaghetti and meat sauce (make sure to check sauces for sugar!). Try spaghetti squash as an alternative to spaghetti. Top with fresh cilantro for a nice complement, also high in antioxidants.
Greek night salads turn into a Mediterranean hummus wrap. Experiment with white beans or cashews instead of chickpeas. I use Paleo Wraps for the outside made with pure coconut meat, coconut oil, and water. To make a grown up version with consider adding fresh *greek* feta (in moderation). Greek feta is usually made from goat or sheep cheese which can be easier to digest than cheese made from a cow, add a few olives on the side, and fresh fruit.
Bone broth provides a base for any soup and helps to build strong bones, regulate kidney function, and promote cellular growth. Rich in amino acids, the broth also aids in digestion. It helps heal colds and ward off the wintertime ailments. Make a big batch and freeze some. Pack it in a thermos and provide rice crackers for the carb loving kiddos.
2. Involve The Kids
Let your children roll their own sushi with strawberries or cucumbers. For a sweet treat, create your own healthy gummy treats utilizing fruit juice and gelatin with collagen, benefiting hair, skin, nails and teeth. Make your own sugar free fruit roll ups, in four easy steps: Ripe fruit, fruit juice, blend, dehydrate.
Most importantly, ask children to pack and unpack their own lunches. Taking ownership will make them – and you—feel proud!
3. Garden Retreat
Even if you’re not a perfect gardener, consider growing your own snacks for lunch in a garden of your own. Try one of these 10 delicious and nutritious salad dressings to make on your own.
Bonus After School Health Snack:
Fill their tank with healthy fats: Popcorn in coconut oil and topped with grass-fed butter will fill their bellies with good fats. Coconut oil has short and medium chain fatty acids, which are easily digested and sent right to the liver for energy production. Your child may also benefit from its antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. It's great nutritionally and for your budget.
The key thing is to remove as many processed foods as possible, as well as foods with added sugar. Focus on fresh, local and seasonal foods. Remember to check the labels and you and your children will be in a much healthier space in no time.
Binay Curtis, focuses on a balanced approach to health through real foods and specializes in family nutrition, food allergies and weight loss. Register for her 5-week "RESTART Program," at The Hivery in Mill Valley, noon on Friday’s beginning on January 8th. Space is very limited. For more information, contact binay (at) baconandbroccoli.com, visit baconandbroccoli.com, on Facebook at Bacon + Broccoli = Nutrition in Balance or on Twitter @baconandbroc.