With Labour Day fast approaching the time of back to school preparations kick in to high gear. As we start to get the supplies organized, indoor shoes purchased, haircuts and dentist visits done we also start thinking about filling up the cupboard and fridge with favourite foods for lunch kits.
There are many considerations to factor in when creating a healthy, packable lunch. How much time does your child have to eat their lunch? Will they be able to get enough calories and nutrition from the food you pack in the time they have to eat it? Packaged foods are expensive and create a large amount of waste. Is there a less expensive, less wasteful way of packing your child’s lunch? Most importantly will your child like what you pack and be inspired and happy to eat it?
With so many things to consider, packing a lunch that meets all needs can be overwhelming.
Here are five nutrient dense suggestions to try this fall
- Power Balls: Mix date paste with hemp protein or hearts, maple syrup, dried fruit and nuts in a large bowl. Shape into small, round balls and roll in coconut, nuts or dust with cacao powder. Better yet, include your children in the preparation of this fun and yummy food.
- Pesto Pasta: With the abundance of basil in our gardens, now is the time to get your pesto done and in the freezer for winter. A simple, easy way to upgrade your pesto is to make it with hemp oil and hemp hearts and a few cloves of garlic. These four ingredients create an omega fatty acid rich pesto that is delicious as well as nourishing and supportive of a child’s developing brain.
- Bone Broth Soups and Stews: Bone Broth provides a super array of nutrients that nourish and build the immune, skeletal and digestive systems of the body. Brewing up a large pot of family soup for the week is one way to keep on top of food prep in the kitchen. Heat and fill a thermos in the morning for each child. Warm soup on a cold winter day is like a big hug from Mom.
- Nori Wraps: Do you have a child that just doesn’t like soup? Cook your rice in the bone broth and then make delicious nori wraps with the rice. Add in your child’s favourite veggies and have them help you roll the sushi. The more you include your children in the preparation of their food the more apt they are to want to eat the food.
- Upgraded Muffins: Digestion of wheat and other gluten containing grains can be challenging for some. Luckily sprouted spelt grain flour is available in most health food markets. Why sprouted? All grains, nuts and legumes contain Phytic acid, which can bind minerals in the gut before they are absorbed and influence digestive enzymes. Phytates also reduce the digestibility of starches, proteins, and fats. Once a grain, legume or nut is sprouted, fermented or soaked this bond is ‘unlocked’ and no longer affects digestion negatively. Be sure your muffins are nutrient dense by adding nuts and seeds. Consider sweetening with applesauce and don’t shy away from butter, its necessary for growing children.
When you include homemade, nourishing items in your children’s lunch not only do you avoid the excessive packaging and cost of consumer goods, you send along a whole lot of love to your children, making their transition back into the school environment much easier.
Save the Date! On Saturday, September 26th from 10 – 1, Colleen Emery will be teaching Natural Strategies to Boost the Immune System, hosted by Slocan Recreation. This workshop is a comprehensive, strategy based discussion on many of the techniques to incorporate that build and maintain a healthy immune system function. Everything from common childhood illness, vaccine awareness to food sensitivities and gut health will be covered.
Colleen Emery is the owner and Master Herbalist of Emery Herbals Dispensary, Healing Suites and Teaching Centre in the heart of Winlaw, BC. Colleen is passionate about empowering individuals and families to take charge of their wellness through fostering traditional skills and connection to the natural world.