Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Healthy Allergen Friendly Lunch Ideas for Back to School

School lunches....dun dun dun....nothing can strike fear in the hearts of mothers everywhere than those two words.

OK well seriously though, one of the things I LOVE about vacations and breaks is that I don't have to pack lunches!! Sometimes I feel stuck in a rut and of course, nutrition is of utmost concern. I can't just slide, I can't take the easy route. I just can't. And many of you can't either which is why having easy, batch items at the ready in your freezer is key. I'm going to share some with you now.

We've been transitioning to more of a paleo / SCD diet. Why? Well, as someone who has battled gut dysbiosis in my son, grains break down into sugars and feed the beasts. PERIOD. I am not here to tell you never to eat another grain but for us, this is a good idea most of the time. And if you are struggling with any blood sugar issues/diabetes, I would really encourage you to look into it. We eat LOTS of veggies, and no I do not consider corn or potato veggies, lol! But that is a talk for another time. Each lunch always includes veggies, their choice, sliced how they like them. Since tomorrow is a special day, they even got a fruit, lol. You may think that is weird but when you fight yeast, even healthy sugars from fruit can be the demon spawn. Pears do not feed yeast so they are a common fruit for us but even then we limit. So in the stainless container they have their veggies and their fruit. Then they have a paleo granola bar. You can get creative and adapt as you need to. Play around with the sweeteners. Coconut nectar, syrup or honey all work well, it just depends on what you are looking for (I do NOT use agave). You can even add a few allergen friendly chocolate chips for a real treat! I adapt the recipe here from Elana's Pantry. I use sunflower and pumpkin seeds as the base not almond. I add a TON of coconut and then some additional sunflower and pumpkin seeds. I always use coconut oil so more good healthy fats. I have also added hemp seeds, chia seeds, etc. in the past. Get creative, you know what your kids like. Double the batch and use a 9 x 13 pan, works like a charm. Bake them at the same time as your paleo muffins to save energy and time! Slice, transfer to a freezer safe dish, put wax paper between each layer and freeze for easy lunch packing!

 I have already blogged on the sandwich bread I made. It is a pretty common SCD bread with just eggs and squash, that's it. Works well with organic lunch meat or with nut or seed butters and either xylitol jelly/jam or honey! And it looks like a fast food hamburger bun which is pretty cool!

I also usually include some sort of paleo muffin, this time it is a coconut flour blueberry muffin. This recipe is also from Elana's Pantry, with just a few modifications. Once again I do not use any agave but instead use coconut sugar. Works just fine! Double the batch and they freeze really well. And, by the time lunch comes they are nicely thawed and ready to eat, or pull out to pack the night before.

Other lunch options:

Quinoa (soaked overnight of course before cooking) and black beans
Rice (same thing as above) and beans
Paleo lasagna
Hummus with homemade seed crackers or flax crackers and veggies to dip
GF pasta with mixed veggies with olive oil
Leftovers from the night before!

I don't recreate the wheel! I can't think up new recipes everyday and work and take care of my children, husband and house! We need to use the resources out there. Elana's Pantry is great, Real Sustenance is another amazing website. Google then adapt. Don't get discouraged because you can't use one of their ingredients, think of a sub and give it a shot. But use what is already out there if you need to! Pancakes are another way to make a "bread". If your child is on a special diet and you cannot find a good bread, make a pancake (I cut the sugar completely when I do this) and use it! Great shape, usually holds up pretty well, just make a plain pancake. Then freeze with wax paper between each "slice". On the weekends I usually make a double batch of pancakes so I always have some in the freezer too! Plan ahead, making double does not take twice as long and usually ends up saving you time in the long run, especially when talking about muffins. And muffins can be a wonderful form of food that your child will eat and you can add all sorts of nutrition!

Here's to a wonderful first day of school and happy, healthy, well nourished children!!

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