Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Eat Clean with Joleen!: Lunch Box Ideas Your Kids Will Eat!

Eat Clean with Joleen!: Lunch Box Ideas Your Kids Will Eat!: One week until kids are back in school!  Some parents are really excited about this and others are dreading the idea of back to school sna...

Lunch Box Ideas Your Kids Will Eat!

One week until kids are back in school!  Some parents are really excited about this and others are dreading the idea of back to school snacks and lunches.  Last week I blogged about the importance of a protein packed breakfast.  I truly believe that this starts your child's day off on the right foot.  Protein keeps blood sugars stable. When sugars are stable kids are calm, they focus better and are all around happier kids.  You all know I am a big believer in the connection between food and mood.  With all the allergies today and when you throw in the whole Gluten-Free thing, you might be quite concerned about what to send in that lunch box.  What if your kids don't eat sandwiches?  Limiting the amount of breads and processed foods only benefits you and your family as they turn to sugar so quickly (hello sugar crash and cranky kids!).  You may find you are in need of a little inspiration ifyou are trying to reduce the amount of bread you eat as a family.  The following list will give you 10 great Gluten-Free and Processed Free options for school:
1.  Chili in a thermos is a great lunch.  I make a big crock pot of chili on the weekend and in the morning warm it up and transfer to  a thermos.  Easy peasy!
2.  Scrambled eggs in a thermous are also great.  You can also pack some left over chicken and cherry tomoatoes.
3.  Salads that include grill chicken, veggies and salad dressing on the side.  Kids love assembling the salad at lunch time.
4.  Soup is another thermous meal that makes for a great lunch.  My kids love sipping soup through a straw.
5.  Boiled eggs are great as they include all 22 amino acids.  Boil a dozen on the weekend and you can grab and go throughout the week.
6.  Turkey meatballs with your favorite sauce packed with some toothpicks gets kids excited to eat their lunch.  I do have to remind my boys not to use the toothpicks as swords!
7.  Chickpea Salad is a hit for adults and kids.  See receipe below. 
8.  Pasta Salad made with gluten free noodles like penne or elbows are super easy.  Cook and cool.  Add cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice to taste.  Add some sea salt and pepper.  Throw in some feta goat cheese if you like!
9.  Stir fry in a thermos or cold with rice, chicken, shrimp, veggies sauteed in coconut oil with a little Tamari sauce is great!
10.  Egg or Tuna salad made with avacado instead of mayo on lettus wraps or gluten free wraps.  Kids love to roll their own wrap.  Just dump salad on the wrap and roll away!

Now that you have your lunch box ideas prepped are you ready to do a little something for yourself?  vibrant health MBA is a four session course that focuses on health eating and getting to the root of any modern day health concern.  check www.joleengruber.com for upcoming classes or email Joleen at joleengruber@icloud.com

Chickpea Salad: 
2 cans or two cups of dried chickpeas soaked
4 celery stalks chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes chopped
3 green onions chopped (optional)
goat feta (optional)
Sea salt to taste.
Drizzle lemon juice and extra virgin olive to taste.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Back to School Breakfast Ideas, Protein Packs a Punch!

It's our family's tradition to go to Toronto's Exhibition, The Ex! at then end of August every year.  The Ex is also a reminder that school is around the corner.  I do love the idea of getting organized and back into the swing of things.  We all know the saying "fail to plan, plan to fail".  Let's set ourselves up to succeed this September!  The challenge for most of us is coming up with ideas for our kids in the morning that are healthy and one's that your child will actually eat.  If you have an allergy to consider or a picky eater on your hands, this can be more challenging.  What about gluten-free challenges?  I am a BIG fan of going gluten- free and not eating gluten-free food because it's all flour in the end which equals process sugar.  Start your childs day with with a calorie dense breakfast (cereal and ceral bars are empty calories that drive insulin and create cranky kids!)  that includes protein.  Protein sustains us longer and I always feel great if my kids ate a good breakfast that includes protein.  Here are my top three breakfast ideas:

1.  Eggs.  Choose organic and when the yolk is runny or soft there are so many nutrients present.  Eggs are a complete protein with all 22 amino acids present.  Poached or soft boiled are best and easy for parents or kids to prepare. 

2.  Shakes are a super easy way to put so many nutritious foods into one easy meal.  Don't forget that we need protein, fat and fiber for optimal nutrition.  Shakes are quick easy to prepare and clean up is a breeze.  My kids love unsweetened almond or coconut milk with berries, 1/2 banana, coconut oil, ground flax seeds, kid friendly protein powders and anything else you feel you want to throw in.  Have any wilting spinach or kale in the fridge?  Toss it in! Probiotics for gut health and super immunity? Toss it in!  Kids don't even know it is in there.  Some times the thought of drinking breakfast makes people feel like they are not consuming enough.  I guarantee that when you include protein, fat and fiber, this breakfast will sustain your child longer than any other breakfast.

3.  Oats (steel cut are best and can be prepared ahead of time).  Have your childs favorite toppers to add in like nuts and seeds, berries, sliced bananas, some protein powder that will increase protein in breakfast and even drizzle in some EFA's (essential fatty acids).  This breakfast can be eaten cold and you can drizzle on a little maple syrup.  I always choose maple syrup over sugar as there are some natural minerals in maple syrup that are beneficial.  With sugar you don't get any of this. 

The key in breakfast is to make it easy for parents and nutritious for kids.  Breakfast is so important for children.  A breakfast that is processed and refined sets children up for a roller coaster ride in blood sugar which  affects mood, behaviour, energy, stamina and enthusiasm.  Start your child off with a good breakfast that will set them up for a successful day! 

Need a grocery store tour before school starts to set your kitchen up to succeed?  Email Joleen at joleengruber@icloud.com and find out when the next one is scheduled!