Back in the Groove

Well, I blinked and the summer is over!  We had a fantastic summer filled with lots of swimming/competing, family visits, summer camps, trips and sleep away camps.  We are going into this school year with a 5th grader, 3rd grader, Kindergartner and Preschooler. That’s A LOT of snacks and lunches!  Here is my first post to get things started – a day’s worth of food for my preschooler:

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Snacks (in handmade sandwich bags at the top):  one has sliced carrots with mini pre-packaged Sunbutter, other has a fig bar and mini container of peanuts

Lunch:  Vanilla Almond Milk, half a Tofurkey/Veganaise sandwich on wheat bread, popcorn, sliced cucumbers and a Clementine

This entire lunch/snack combo was packed the night before.  Think about your child’s day and what his/her needs are, as well as what you have to work with.  For example, the containers you might use for a preschooler would be different from the containers you would use for an upper grade schooler.  Size of the lunchbox is a factor.  Do they need an ice pack?  Snacks probably will be in a backpack or perhaps not refrigerated.  Carrots are a great veggie to pack for snacks because they can last in the backpack until morning snack. Pair them with a nut butter, and you have great brain food to power your child through until lunch.  Most preschools provide snack, but I still choose to send my own for numerous reasons.  My daughter will only attend 3 days a week, but I still want her to eat what I would give her at home.

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Interested in handmade lunchbox napkins, sandwich bags and other creations?  Check out my Etsy store here or click on the link below:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/WholeFoodFriday/items

 

Eating Healthy While Traveling

I know, I know, it’s hard enough sometimes to eat healthy at home, and now I am about to carry on about eating healthy while traveling.  I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like eating out.  It always makes my stomach hurt, and it’s just not something I make a habit of for this reason.  It also just doesn’t make financial sense for a family of six living on one income.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy occasionally eating out.  If I pick the right place, it is usually a positive experience.  Traveling is a different story for me.  I would rather eat healthy familiar foods and eat less than eat out 3 meals a day.  You never know what your options will be, and I would rather be prepared and play it safe.

I am writing this post as I am currently traveling to an out of town swim meet with my oldest child.  With a little planning and forethought, it is fairly simple to feed your child (and fuel your athlete, in my case) with healthy foods.  Driving to your destination makes it that much easier.  Flying is a whole different story which I will address in a later post.

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Some of my Travel Stash

Pictured above is some of the stash I brought.  We will be gone for 3 days.  I brought the following, some of which is not pictured here:

  • lentil soup (with an easy off lid that doesn’t require a can opener)
  • minestrone soup
  • Kind bars
  • everything pretzel crisps
  • almond butter
  • loaf of whole grain seed bread
  • apples
  • oranges
  • papaya (with a sharp knife to cut it)
  • pasta with loads of soy butter (cooked earlier today)
  • French bread with a little tub of soy butter
  • MEGA protein drink
  • homemade oatmeal raisin cookies
  • whole wheat crackers
  • vanilla soy yogurt
  • lots of carrots, peppers and cucumber slices
  • hard boiled eggs
  • quinoa/brown rice blend

We live an 80/20 lifestyle, so we will take advantage of the breakfast served in the morning at the hotel.  While it has additives and other ingredients I am not a fan of, there will be oatmeal available.  Oatmeal, fruit, bagels, toast, eggs, etc. will be breakfast choices.  The food I brought will carry us through the rest of the days.  I will most likely need to get my son some additional food, but I will be fine.  You can look at traveling as a good time to do a little mini purge, if you will.  Eat plenty of raw fruits and veggies, nut butter, and lots of water, and you will feel great when you go home!

Make sure you remember to bring a sharp knife to cut your fruits and veggies.  You can find plates, bowls and silverware in the hotel lobby. Make sure you reserve a room with a fridge and microwave, and you will be all set!  Oh, and if you are a coffee snob, make sure to bring your coffee and creamer as well!

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Now, I will enjoy my late night snack after driving all evening.  Have a great night ya’ll!

 

Cuties: The Perfect Snack!

Clementines

Clementines

I have not seen clementines in the store until lately.  I had forgotten how delicious they are and what a perfect snack they make!  They are a wonderful combination of the following: quick, simple, juicy, thirst-quenching, naturally sweet and kid portion friendly. They are especially fun for young children to eat because they can peel them themselves.  This makes them feel useful and accomplished!  Grab some cuties today!

My 2 and 4 year old peeling clementines!

My 2 and 4 year old peeling clementines!

Recipe: SunButter Muffins

I have been super busy getting my new Whole Food Friday Etsy Store up and running.  I have missed blogging, but I am trying to get back into the swing of things.  I have a simple new recipe for you for breakfast or snack.  This recipe was modified from a Peanut Butter Muffin Recipe from Real Simple.  We were actually out of peanut butter, so I used SunButter.  They turned out really tasty, and the bonus is that my oldest can take them to school for snack because they are nut free!

SunButter Muffin

 SunButter Muffin

SunButter Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 1 Cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 Cup SunButter
  • 1/4 Cup sugar (I used unbleached evaporated cane juice)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Cups spelt flour (or white whole wheat)

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Mix melted butter, soy milk, egg and SunButter together in a large bowl with a spatula.  Add remaining ingredients and mix until just blended.  Do not over mix.   Spray 12 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray and divide batter evenly amongst them.  Bake 15 minutes.

***These would also be delicious with a dollop of jam in the middle.  Divide half of the batter amongst muffin cups, put dollop of jam on top and fill with remaining batter.

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Nut Free Classroom: There Are Still Options!

sunbutterOne of my children eats a fairly strict vegan diet.  Nuts and nut butters are a large source of protein for him, especially for snacks.  Put said child in a nut-free classroom, and things get tricky! Yes, there are plenty of snacks he can eat besides nuts and nut butters.  For a growing child who also swims competitively though, nut butters are a great source of protein and calories.  They augment fruits, vegetables and carbs and make the snack even more nutritionally dense.  It is not the end of the world if nut butters are a no-no because there are still options. Here is a simple list of popular snacks for my very busy mostly vegan 4th grader.  Sunflower Butter (brand above is peanut and tree-nut free***) is a perfect substitute for nut butters in all of the following snacks!

  • apples and SunButter
  • rice cakes and SunButter
  • bagel and SunButter
  • banana and SunButter
  • celery and SunButter
  • carrots and SunButter
  • SunButter and jelly sandwich
  • SunButter and jelly muffins

The list goes on and on.  Sunflower seed butter is delicious, and it is a great alternative for those of you who have a child in a nut-free classroom!

***If your child is in a classroom with a child who has a severe nut allergy, it is important to check the label to make sure that the product is tree-nut and peanut free.  If it is processed on equipment that also processes these things, then it could still contain allergens.  The label should clearly state that the product is tree-nut and peanut free or that it is processed on equipment that also processes tree-nuts or peanuts.

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Waffles

Chocolate Chip Waffles

                  Chocolate Chip Waffles

These turned out so delicious.  I may have eaten just a few while I was cooking them!  I mean, someone had to taste test them!  I used an old recipe from this blog, but instead of blueberries, I used chocolate chips.  No syrup is needed because the chocolate chips makes them sweet.  I did not have any whole wheat flour on hand, so these were made with white flour.  This will be an extra special treat for the kids today after school.  Filled with tons of eggs, these provide the protein & carbs my swimmers need to make it through practice until dinner.  I cut them into strips to make it easier to eat in the car.  Store in fridge or freezer and pop in the toaster when you are ready to eat again.  It’s that easy!  Here is the recipe again along with a picture of some of the ingredients I used.

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Chocolate Chip Waffles

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 2/3 Cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (something thicker like almond or soy)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 Cup melted butter (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 1/4 Cup chocolate chips

Melt butter in large bowl.  Add eggs and whisk.  Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.  Cook in heated waffle iron.  Cool on a cooling rack first before packing away.  This helps them cool evenly and prevents soggy waffles.  Makes 10-12 waffles.I doubled the recipe to have enough for another time.  Here you can see I store them in a BPA free rectangular container that perfectly holds 2 waffles side by side.

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Enjoy!

Waffles Cooling

Waffles Cooling

Recipe: Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

School snacks for tomorrow are whole wheat pumpkin muffins and homemade Goldfish crackers (vegan).  The goldfish crackers are already on this blog.  Click here for the recipe.  I asked my friend from Corvallis, Juliette, if I could share this muffin recipe of hers a long time ago and never got around to it.  This is one of our favorite muffin recipes filled with healthy yumminess.  I use whole wheat flour and honey instead of sugar, but otherwise it is the same recipe.  Thanks Juliette!

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School Snacks!

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 Cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 2 Tbsp. molasses
  • 1/2 Cup honey
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 3/4 Cup whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Combine pumpkin, milk, molasses & honey in a large bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and mix to combine.  Do not over mix.  Spray a mini muffin pan and fill with muffin mix.  Cook for 8-10 minutes.

Makes 36 mini muffins.  These freeze well!