Lunch Ideas for Kids: Guilt Free Chocoholic Brownies

Lunch Ideas for Kids: Guilt Free Chocoholic Brownies 

These brownies not only deliver a truly delicious dark chocolate punch, they are also sugar, guilt and virtually FAT free! I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical about baking brownies with avocado, but it really works well. Avocados have a smooth texture with a very bland neutral flavor that lend themselves ideally to dark chocolate. You cannot taste avocado, all you taste is dark chocolate. Also, as there is no sugar, gluten or dairy so as a result, they are lighter than air, making it very easy to eat A LOT without guilt.

Lunch Ideas for Kids Guilt Free Chocoholic Brownies Ingredients

  • 2 large avocados
  • 1/2 cup apple nectar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp coconut extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup melted unsweetened bitter dark chocolate melted with 1/3 cup avocado oil
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Instructions: Lunch Ideas for Kids: Guilt Free Chocoholic Brownies 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a blender or food processor combine avocado, apple nectar, eggs, and extracts
  3. Add above ingredients into bowl with melted chocolate. Stir to combine.
  4. Add in coconut flour, cocoa powder, sea salt and baking soda and stir until well-combined.
  5. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with coconut oil and add batter and sprinkle coconut flakes on top.
  6. Place in oven to bake for approximately 30 minutes (slightly less for fudgier brownies or slightly longer for more cake-like brownies).
  7. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before cutting into approximately 16 brownies.

These will keep in an airtight container at room-temperature for up to 2 days or for a longer shelf-life store in the fridge or freezer.

Lunch Ideas for Kids: Guilt Free Chocoholic Brownies 

Lunch Ideas for Kids Guilt Free Chocoholic Brownies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lunch Ideas for Kids

Lunch Ideas for Kids

Spring Season

Nature’s April Fool’s joke this year surely has to be the horrid, blustery, wintery weather we are experiencing. The results from Groundhog Day have proven to be accurate… at least 6 more painful weeks of winter. In theory we should start to feel the warmth of spring air NOW though! With Easter right around the corner, these seasonal snack ideas will bring a smile to your kids’ faces and remind us that spring IS indeed coming.

Lunch Ideas for Kids: Coconut Macaroon Baskets
These mini Easter egg baskets are seriously adorable, plus they are sugar free. Coconut is extremely high in fiber, electrolytes and magnesium and low carb. It offers a much healthier alternative to a conventional cookie that is both high in sugar and carbohydrates with little to no fiber, protein or other nutrients/vitamins.

Ingredients:

4 egg whites whisked into stiff peaks

1/4 tsp. salt

½ cup coconut nectar

3 cups coconut flakes, unsweetened, shredded

1/4 cup coconut butter, melted

Mix all ingredients (excluding whisked eggs) until combined, slowly fold mixture into fluffed egg white mixture. Spoon out with cookie cutter into mini muffin tin, gently press a dent in the middle with your thumb. Bake for approximately 10 minutes in a 350*F preheated oven until the mini coconut shells turn a light golden brown. Promptly remove from heat and place baked coconut baskets on a cooling rack. Fill with little goodies. Fill them with tiny dark chocolate pieces along with other healthier treats such as a combination of nuts, seeds, that way it’s still relatively healthy and you don’t have to worry about too much sugar.

Lunch Ideas for Kids: Devilled Eggs Chicks 
Lunch Ideas for KidsThese are adorable and SUPER HEALTHY to include as part of a lunch-box or after school snack. Eggs are naturally high is the “good fats” that facilitate brain functionality, good cholesterol and digestion. They are also pure protein.

Ingredients:

12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled

2 tbsp. mayonnaise

1 tbsp. mustard

1 tbsp. jarred pickle juice

1 tbsp. horseradish

12 black olive slices cut into tiny pieces (for eyes)

12 thinly sliced carrot rounds cut in quarters (for beaks)

Pinch salt and black pepper

Horizontally slice through top third of eggs (reserve cooked yolk in top third) and carefully remove yolk from bottom 2/3 of each egg, placing yolks in a bowl. Mix yolks with remaining ingredients (excluding carrots and olives). Place in zip-lock bag and cut tiny hole in bottom corner to pipe yolk mixture back into bottom 2/3 of egg whites. Add “beak” and “eyes” to each chick egg.’

Lunch Ideas for Kids: Spring Trail Mix

Yogurt covered raisins are by no means a health food, it’s more suitably placed as a candy. However, when combined with almonds and seeds, you can transform an otherwise sugary candy-like product into something more balanced that offers more sustained energy. Natural almonds are my top choice as they are high in good fats, fiber, protein, magnesium and vitamin E.

Ingredients:

1 bag Sun-Maid Yogurt Raisins Mini-Snacks

2 cups bunny-shaped cheddar crackers

2 cups almonds

3/4 cup lightly-salted dry-roasted peanuts

½ cup each sunflower and pumpkin seeds

Lunch Ideas for Kids

Chocolate Bread : Lunch Ideas for kids

Chocolate Bread : Lunch Ideas for kids

This will quickly become a lunchbox favorite for your kiddos. The texture is light, airy, spongy, chocolatey & not the least bit dry. Also, as it’s not very sweet, it lends itself well to toasting as an oh so good and guilt free treat. After 4 days it still tastes fresh, so it will last the week, that is if it is not polished off in the mean time!

Ingredients:

2/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1/2 cup natural plain unsweetened almond milk yogurt (or regular plain yogurt)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or regular milk)
2 eggs lightly whisked
1/2 cup vegetarian all natural protein powder
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1 tsp vanilla bean powder or pure extract
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup tahini or other seed butter
1/2 low sugar chocolate hazelnut spread*
1/2 dark chocolate mini chips
1/4 cup apple nectar or coconut nectar
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
*I like Nutiva organic hazelnut spread with flax which has about 40% less sugar than most
Method:
Pre-heat oven to 350*F
Mix together dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl whisk together wet ingredients (reserving chocolate chips and coconut sugar to the side until the end).
Add dry ingredients to wet, if batter still feels a bit tight or dry, just add a bit more milk.
Stir in most of the chocolate chips. Place batter in parchment lined loaf tin. Sprinkle top with remaining chocolate chips and coconut sugar. Bake in pre-heated oven for about 45min until tester comes out dry. Let cool in tin for about 10 min before taking out to cool on cooking wrack.
This loaf is best once it’s had a chance to rest and cool for a good hour. Chickpea flour tends to need that bit extra time.
Chocolate Bread : Lunch Ideas for kids
Lunch Ideas for kids

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

Healthy Buffalo Chicken Finger Tenders & Peas

Healthy Buffalo Chicken Finger Tenders & Peas  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