Lovin’ the lunchbox

Simple, fun, yummy lunches can also be balanced and nutritious. Create meals using whole, fresh, local, organic ingredients whenever possible – an investment in your child’s current and future health. Be sure to include a salad, fruit and reusable water bottle every day!

Not just sandwiches anymore!

How about sushi? Nori seaweed sheets spread with brown rice/quinoa/millet, and the filling ideas are as endless for sushi as a sandwich: mashed avocado, sweet potatoes, hummus, egg (fry into an omelette, cool, cut into strips), lightly sautéed tempeh strips, tuna mixed with full-fat plain yogurt, etc. Add raw carrot and/or red pepper matchsticks, cucumber, steamed asparagus, various greens, sprouts, etc. Everyone loves quesadillas: Lightly sautée chicken or tempeh strips; add sautéed coloured peppers and onion strips. Assemble on simple homemade grain-free tortillas; sprinkle with grated grass-fed raw milk cheddar cheese; bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Serve with full-fat plain yogurt and/or homemade salsa.

Grain-Free Tortillas

  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • ½ tablespoon flax seed, ground
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • Mix dry ingredients thoroughly together in one bowl and wet ingredients in another – then mix dry ingredients into wet. Heat olive oil in frying pan over medium high heat. Once hot, pour 1/4 cup batter in pan per tortilla, tilting pan to spread batter thinly. Cook two minutes each per side, until slightly “toasted” looking.

Make healthy nut-free snacks in large batches; divide into containers on Sunday to save time on busy weekday mornings.

Toasty Maple Granola

  • 2½ cups gluten-free oats
  • 1/3 cup buckwheat, toasted
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1-2 tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup raisins

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl (except raisins), add maple syrup and coconut oil; mix thoroughly. Spread onto lightly-oiled baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes, remove and stir, then bake for 15 to 25 minutes longer, until slightly browned. Cool completely; stir in raisins.

*Ever thought of “lunch-pooling”? Form a lunch-pool with four other people; assign one day of the week to each; one person makes and delivers for all. It’s easier to make five of the same lunches at once and it creates variety for the kids!

*Let older children choose their own lunch box, then allow them to personalize it. For little ones starting school, choose lunch boxes with several little easy-to-open containers. Here is a link comparing some great choices:

Rebecca Mullins RHN is a North Bay-based Registered Holistic Nutritionist.

Keep these yummy treats handy in the fridge or freezer. They make a quick pick-me-up when you’re on the road and feeling a hunger pang, and give you a boost of energy.

  • ½ cup almonds
  • 1 ½ cup walnuts
  • ¾ cup raisins or dates
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • Hemp seeds for rolling (optional)

In a food processor process almonds, walnuts and raisins to a fine crumble. Add remaining ingredients, except for hemp seeds. Roll into 1 ½-inch balls and roll in hemp seeds if desired. Place in jar with a lid and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

May 21, 2018