I like to keep things simple for lunch. I could give you ornate recipes but really, who has the time? My goal is to help you move away from boxed, processed foods and towards wholesome real food – so you know exactly what you’re feeding your family. Because mornings can be hectic, I strive to keep the fridge and pantry stocked with the necessary foods so we can throw together healthy lunches in just a matter of minutes. Since I like to keep things simple, I have a list of foods to buy instead a list of recipes.
Sliced organic meats (if you can’t find organic try to find meats without preservatives. Especially nitrates) A variety of cheese: raw cheddar, Monterrey Jack, and mozzarella Cucumbers Carrots Homemade Ranch, for dipping Fruits, of all kinds Homemade hummus Yogurt Granola Nuts – pecans, almonds, cashews Frozen berries Whole wheat tortillas Whole wheat bread (I prefer sprouted wheat or sourdough) Organic corn chips Olive oil potato chips Organic fruit leather Hard-boiled eggs Canned tuna Homemade Beef Jerky
Often, I sit my kids down and have them tell me what they would like in their lunches. Their tastes change, so I always want to have healthy foods they enjoy for lunch. My kids make their own lunches (they are 8 and 9 years-old). We started this as soon as they began school and it’s worked like a charm. They decide what they’re going to eat with only one rule: they must pack at least one vegetable in their lunch every day. I wake them up 15 minutes early and after they’re dressed, they make their lunches while I get breakfast ready. It works for our family and helps the kids learn a little responsibility. Since they pack their own food, they rarely return home with uneaten items.
Another topic I can’t stress enough is the importance of drinking water. I see to many kids packing boxed juices loaded with sugars, corn syrup, and preservatives. Even the ones that say “pure juice” have been heated so there isn’t much nutrition left in them. Kids need water. At the beginning of the year, buy a water bottle for each child (I prefer stainless steel) and have them fill it with water each day. You’ll save hundreds of dollars over the course of the year and your children will benefit from a much more healthy habit.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies
I soak and then dehydrate all of my nuts because nuts contain enzyme inhibitors that make it difficult for the body to digest. Soaking the nuts in salt water overnight releases the enzyme inhibitors. The nuts are then dehydrated at a low temperature to keep all of the nutrients intact. The recipe for dehydrated nuts can be found here. Slightly adapted from Nourishing Traditions
Makes 24 cookies
1 1/2 cups dehydrated peanuts
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup arrowroot
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup organic whole cane sugar or sucanat
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup raspberry preserves
Preheat oven to 300°F and adjust rack to middle position. Line a large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper. Place peanuts in the bowl of a food processor and process to a fine meal. Add coconut oil, arrowroot, salt, whole cane sugar, and vanilla. Process until dough comes together. If the dough is a little dry, add a tablespoon or so of water until the dough comes together. Form the dough into walnut-sized balls, place on baking sheet, and flatten just a bit with the back of a spoon to make an indentation on the top of the cookie. Fill each indentation with about 1/2 tablespoon per cookie. Bake for 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool completely.