BLUNCH aka Brunch for Lunch

Lunch Ideas For Kids

BLUNCH aka Brunch for Lunch 

BRUNCH dishes are widely loved by kids and adults alike. Often more substantial than breakfast, with sweet treats too, what’s NOT to like? This lunchbox addition, it’s all about BLUNCH – or BRUNCH for your kiddo’s lunch. Here are my top pics for a BLUNCH BOX, serve each of these alongside some fresh vegetables and fruit for an overall balanced, wholesome, healthy & kid approved meal.

  • Lunch Ideas For KidsBBQ Chicken and Mini Waffles

3-4 lightly toasted mini waffles*

1 tablespoon mild BBQ Sauce spread on waffles

½ cup cooked chicken pieces on top

*My favorite is Earth’s Best Organic Mini Waffles – they are very low in sugar and enriched with protein and fiber

  • Mini Fruit Pizza 

3 lightly toasted mini pancakes *

1 tablespoon cream cheese spread on pancakes

Mixed fruit on top

*My favorite is

  • Lunch Ideas For KidsHuevos Rancheros 

Scrambled egg

1 tablespoon mild salsa

1 tablespoon cooked black beans

1 teaspoon shredded cheddar cheese

1/8 avocado sliced topped with squeeze of lime juice to keep fresh and green

Healthy pita pocket filled with above, or serve open faced on top of pita or wrap*

*My favorite is Toufayan Bakeries Low Carb Pita, 9 carbs per pita (about half the carbs of most) and 7g fiber to keep you fuller for longer

HEALTHY YUMMY BUFFINS :Lunch Ideas for kids

Lunch Ideas for kids:

HEALTHY YUMMY BUFFINS

Buffins because they are enriched with protein sources like flax and hemp seeds – not only do these babies taste amazing but they are filling, nutritious and full of complex nutrients and hunger curbing ingredients to keep you going for a while. When making baked goodies, I am constantly on the hunt for fun, inventive recipes that not only deliver on flavor, but nutrition as well. This recipe really delivers on both fronts. Baking is also a great way to get the kids in the kitchen engaged in cooking and learning/counting. Don’t worry about the mess, embrace it as a fun activity and have them help clean up also as a bargaining tool to have their BUFFIN and eat it too!

There is something so fun and satisfying about pealing the muffin wrapper away to reveal a scrumptious warm baked treat. Don’t be deceived however, many so-called “healthy” muffins are a vehicle disguising several unwanted and unhealthy ingredients. Generally, as a rule of thumb, if you cannot pronounce the ingredient or don’t have a clue what it is, you probably shouldn’t be eating it.

This recipe is extremely versatile, simple and HEALTHY, containing REAL ingredients only. It works incredibly well in loaves, mini muffins and regular muffins alike – depending on what you are in the mood for. Mini buffins are so fun and cute, perfect for a lunch-box treat, while regular sized muffins work really great as a breakfast. Added bonus, when stored properly they can easily freeze for 2-3 months so you can defrost one the night before, pop in in the toaster the morning of, and have a fresh, warm buffin for breakfast in mere minutes. You have loads of flexibility to adapt the recipe depending on your mood – lemon & poppy, apple cinnamon, banana nut… the base recipe works with a myriad of Buffin types.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • ¼ tsp each chia seeds, hemp seeds, ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup coconut nectar
  • 1/3 cup sugar free almond milk
  • 4 eggs whisked
  • 4 Tbsp coconut oil melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean powder or extract

Makes about 12-14 regular sized muffins, or 24-28 mini muffins

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F
  2. Whisk the wet ingredients
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients in separate bowl
  4. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients bowl, and stir to combine with spatula
  5. Let batter set for a few minutes, then stir it again
  6. Use muffin liners and fill each cup ¾ the way up with batter
  7. Bake for approx 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted is dry and clean
  8. Let cool on cooling rack for approx. min. 10 minutes
  9. Serve and devour ☺

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Lunch Ideas for kids

Fun With Fruit & Vegetables : Kids Lunch Ideas

 Kids Lunch Ideas
Fun With Fruit & Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables can sometimes be a tricky topic with children. It’s vital to keep it fun and interesting in order to engage them. Also, repetition is key. If you keep giving them vegetables in their lunch box (eg. instead of chips, pretzels etc), they will eventually nibble and try it. They may not initially accept the flavors, but hang in there, scientifically it takes taste buds at least 10 tries of eating something to ‘acquire’ a taste for it. This is not going to guarantee a raw vegetable LOVER, but I assure you they will learn to tolerate it in small quantities, which is an astounding success when compared to eating chips, pretzels, crackers etc.
Also, presentation and shape make a big difference.
Tiny mason jars mixed with something they like (eg. natural Greek yogurt or hummus) works very well. A large dollop of hummus or yogurt can nicely tuck away vegetables and thus becomes fun & interesting. The smaller the veggie pieces, the more likely they will eat them, not least of which because it gets all mixed up and there is no choice but to spoon it all up in one go, MOM HACK, KID approved!
Lightly steaming green vegetables and drizzling with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper makes a huge difference with taste and texture, as it is sweeter, more familiar and softer.
Have fun, experimenting with cutting vegetables and fruits in different shapes using cookie cutters and use fun cocktail sticks!
Here is a list of some easy, fun go-to fruit and vegetable snack ideas that your kids can make with mild adult supervision. The more that your child in engaged with making healthy foods, the more awareness and interest they will have! Also, children learn best by example, if they see that your plate is always filled with at least 50% vegetables (which a healthy plate should be), they will be more inclined to do the same.
Cucumber sandwiches
Cut 2cm thick slices and shape with fun cookie cutter, fill with cream cheese, sliced cheese, sliced turkey etc
Sliced apple or pear sandwiches
Cut 2cm thick slices and shape with fun cookie cutter, fill with nut butter, raisins, seeds, or with sliced cheese and turkey
Tomato and cheese sticks
Cut tiny wedges of cheese, steam tiny flowerets of broccoli and have a bunch of colorful cherry tomatoes, pierce carefully with toothpick (with adult supervision)
Ants on a log
Celery cut into 3-4 inch pieces, fill with:

 

hummus and pine nuts
hummus and vegetables
cream cheese or natural Greek yogurt and vegetables
nut butter and raisins

 

NB. Variation – add slice of apple into wedge of celery to create a little insect create!
 
Fruit cocktail sticks
Slice fruit into 2cm thick small pieces and pierce carefully with toothpick (with adult supervision)
Vegetable Mason Jars
1/4 cup hummus or natural Greek yogurt and raw or lightly steamed vegetables as described above
Mason Jar Smoothies
Smoothies are an excellent way to transform all sorts of VEGETABLES into a drinkable treat. Have your kid help you place ingredients in a food processor and press the mix button, there is something so satisfying about watching a smoothie in the making. Some of my top pics for smoothie ingredients include: spinach, avocado, banana, berries, hemp seeds (for protein), medjool dates, unsweetened almond milk, coconut water, dash of vanilla powder.
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Healthy Buffalo Chicken Finger Tenders & Pees

Healthy Buffalo Chicken Finger Tenders & Pees  NO Fast / Frozen Food Necessary 
This recipe uses homemade breadcrumbs made from flax bread. No fake and unnecessary fillers, added hormones, water or sodium will be found in these tenders. They turn out perfectly golden brown when baked (no frying necessary) and are super light and crunchy, the ideal dipping vehicle for sauces, dips and relishes. Also, as they are mainly lean meat, you know your kiddo will be getting enough protein dense nutrients and vitamins for the day. The pea salad is equally inviting, colorful and jam packed full of flavor so your kiddos will get their veggies too!
6 Servings
Chicken Tenders
1.5lb lean chicken or turkey breast pounded about ½ thick and cut into 1inch tenders
3 slices whole grain flax bread (I like the one by Alvarado Bakery), toasted, dried and blitzed into breadcrumbs in food processor
1/2tsp each salt & black pepper
1/8tsp smoked paprika
1/4tsp each garlic onion powders, paprika
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 egg whisked
2tbs hot sauce
 Healthy Buffalo Chicken Finger Tenders & Pees: Side Green Pee Salad :
4 cups frozen steamed peas (defrosted ready to use)
2 cups lightly steamed spinach leaves, chopped
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup diced cherry tomatoes
Handful chopped fresh mint
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
Lime juice, EVOO, S&P to taste
 Healthy Buffalo Chicken Finger Tenders & Pees Lunch Ideas for kids
Method
Mix whisked egg with hot sauce, spices and oil. Dip each piece of chicken in egg mixture, then dip lightly in bowl of breadcrumbs, place on parchment lined baking sheet, repeat for all pieces. Place in pre-heated oven (350*F) for about 15 minutes depending on the size and thickness of the tenders. If they are not sufficiently crunchy and golden brown after about 15 minutes, crank up heat to broil for about 3 minutes, watching it closely as you don’t want the breadcrumbs to burn, just turn a nice crunchy golden brown. Remove immediately and let cool for a few minutes before serving.
Meanwhile, when chicken is cooking, assemble the pea salad. Combine all of the ingredients, add S&P to taste, drizzle with EVOO and lemon juice and zest. Serve room temperature with chicken.
We like to serve up the tenders with a variety of dipping sauces  sour cream, buffalo sauce, ketchup… go wild. Try a bite with each different sauce to find your favorite!
Healthy Buffalo Chicken Finger Tenders & Pees
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Cheese Shelled Tacos: Lunch ideas for kids

TACO LOCO with CHEESE SHELLS
#TacoTuesday has taken over social media, Instagram alone has close to 1.5million talking about it! This is truly a crowd pleaser and it couldn’t be easier to make. There is no need for using pre-made taco seasoning mixes or store bought shells. Flavor packets and premade shells contain all sorts of things we should avoid at all costs:  High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), Hydrogenated Soybean Oil (partially or fully hydrogenated) full of saturated fat, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), Aspartame, Sucralose, Sorbitol (artificial sweeteners) and Artificial Dyes and Colorings. To make your own taco seasoning, all you need is a few spices to mix up your cupboard selection. Plus, the shells are made from one ingredient, CHEESE, so they are grain free, gluten free and satisfyingly crunchy. The leftover taco mixture works very well for the kids’ lunchbox the next day!
Ingredients
Serves 4
Taco filling
1lb lean ground turkey
1 medium onion minced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 cup low sodium beef broth
Taco Seasoning
2tbsp chili powder
1tbsp ground cumin
2tsp kosher salt
1 1/2tsp hot smoked paprika
1tsp ground coriander
1/2tsp cayenne pepper
Taco Shell
2 cups shredded cheddar or mixed cheese
Toppings
Diced tomatoes
Chopped avocado
Shredded lettuce
Jarred pickled sliced jalapeno peppers
Sour cream
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime sliced into wedges
Method
Cheese Taco Shells:
**TIP** First, prep taco shell ingredients and pre-heat oven. Meanwhile, make the taco filling and while the taco meat filling is cooking, bake the cheese taco shells.
Preheat the oven to 400*F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wrap a long kitchen spoon handle with aluminum foil and suspend it between two glasses. 
Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the shredded Cheddar on the baking sheet to form a circle approx. 5inches in diameter. Repeat ½ cups of cheese to form remaining circles. Bake until the cheese melts and turns light brown, 6 to 8 minutes. 
Using a spatula, transfer the cheese circles to the suspended spoon handle and drape them over to form taco shells. Let them hang until firm, then carefully remove. 
For the filling:
Sauté ground meat until light brown, add onions, pan fry until just soft, add garlic and stir over medium heat for additional 4 minutes. Add spices to meat mixture, stir over heat for 2-3 additional minutes, add stock, cover and simmer for approximately 15 minutes over medium low heat. 
Construction:
Set out toppings, shells and taco filling on the table, dig in!
Lunch ideas for kids

Quick and Healthy Summer Snacks

Kid’s Lunch/snacks Ideas

Any mom will tell you that feeding a toddler can be a tough job. It’s especially hard to make sure they are eating healthy meals and snacks. Here are some great ideas for quick and healthy toddler snacks that will leave you feeling better about what your tot is eating – plus they are great for the whole family!

Kid's Lunch/snacks Ideas Fruit Smoothie:

This smoothie is so quick and easy to make. Kids sometimes drink quicker than they eat, so this one is a timesaver. Plus, you can edit the ingredients to fulfill many different nutrition needs and tastes. Try your child’s favorite fruits (frozen works great, but you can use fresh), instead of milk you can use orange juice or even water to thin the smoothie out, if you are looking for a lower glycemic index use agave syrup instead of honey. Hiding greens in the smoothie, gives it a highly-nutritious punch and you can’t even taste them with all the other flavors happening.

Note: I’ve found that the easiest way to make this is with an immersion blender (like this Cuinsinart model) – it takes just a few seconds to blend and cleanup is a breeze. But, feel free to use a blender!

1 Cup of low-fat Greek yogurt (like 2% Fage)

½ Cup frozen fruit (strawberries, blueberries, cherries, etc.)

Handful of frozen spinach, kale or any mixed greens

¼ Cup milk or another liquid of your choice

1 Tbsp honey

Combine the ingredients in a cup or pitcher. Blend with the immersion blender until all the frozen fruit is pureed. Add more liquid if you want a thinner smoothie.

Kid's Lunch/snacks Ideas Frozen Blueberry Treats:

These treats are perfect for spring and great for moms on-the-go. This is an easy and healthy snack that kids love. I call them “blueberry candies” to entice my son and he loves them. Plus, they are a great snack for mom, too!

1 container of blueberries

½ Cup Greek yogurt (and kind)

2 Tbsp honey

Wash and dry the blueberries. Mix the yogurt and honey in a bowl. Using toothpicks, coat the blueberries in the yogurt mixture and place them on a cookie sheet or plate. Once you are done, place them in the freezer for 1 – 2 hours or until frozen. Pop the yogurt covered blueberries into sandwich bags and you have a ready-to-go yummy snack.

Kid's Lunch/snacks Ideas Homemade Granola:

This bakes for 30 minutes, but the prep time is easy. Once it’s made, it’s a healthy quick snack for the whole family! You can add so many different ingredients to this granola to make it your own. Try different nuts, oil and dried fruit. It’s a very versatile recipe. Grab a baggie of granola on your way out the door, add milk and eat like cereal or add to yogurt parfaits.

3 Cups rolled oats

1 Cup sweetened, shredded coconut

1 Cup sliced almonds

½ Cup dried figs

½ Cup dried cranberries

1/3 Cup sunflower oil

1/3 Cup honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix oats, coconut, almonds and dried fruit together. Add the oil and honey and stir until mixture is completely coated. Pour mixture onto a baking sheet. Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes or until the granola is golden brown, stirring occasionally. Once granola is completely cooled, store in a container and enjoy!

Kid’s Lunch/snacks Ideas