If you have an allotment, you grow your own veggies, or you receive a veg box delivery every week you may be seeing more courgettes then you know what to do with.
This week in my organic veg box from Riverford Organics I was given 5 courgettes. Initially I was thinking, oh great what am I going to do with all of these, my partner hates courgettes and my 2 1/2 year old isn't a big fan either. Hmmmm.....the brainstorming started and I remembered there were a few recipes I hadn't made in a really long time that used courgettes so I thought I would share those with you.
This one is ideal for anyone who doesn't really like courgettes, but loves a slice of cake. A hit with the little ones and a perfect way to get more veggies into the diet. Here is what you need:
💥 1 1/3 cups of grated courgette (about 1 medium)
💥 1 cup of gluten free flour (I used doves farm)
💥 1 cup of ground almonds (or more gf flour)
💥 2 organic eggs
💥 1/4 cup of maple syrup or you could use runny honey but it may change the flavour slightly
💥 2/3 cup of coconut oil melted (cooled slightly)
💥 1 tsp baking powder
💥 1/2 tsp baking soda
💥 1/3 cup of chopped nuts/seeds or sultanas (optional)
Preheat your oven to 175C and line a loaf tin with parchment paper. In a bowl mix the eggs, maple syrup and oil and combine until slightly thickened. Then add in the grated courgette and fold through. Add in the dry ingredients and combine until a batter forms, pour into loaf tin and bake for 30-40 minutes. Use knife to check if it's done (if there is batter on knife cook for a bit longer until there isn't). Allow to cool and then slice and serve.
Delicious as a snack, dessert or an alternative to breakfast. If you want some more inspiration for breakfast why not grab my FREE 7 days of immune boosting recipes below 👇
This recipe can be used as a savoury or sweet dish served with eggs, or used in replace of bread or a bun, be creative with this one.
💥 3/4 cups gluten free flour (or 1/2 cup rice flour, 2 tbsp. tapioca flour, 2 tbsp. potato starch)
💥 1 banana
💥 1/2 cup of oat milk (I used plenish without any added stabiliser or additives)
💥 1/2 cup of grated courgette
💥 1/4 tsp. baking soda
💥 1/2 tsp baking powder
💥 squeeze of lemon juice
Mash the banana, then add in the milk and whisk to combine. Add in all the dry ingredients then fold through the courgettes and the lemon.
Heat a pancake pan or non stick pan (oil the pan with coconut oil if needed), pour about 2 tbsp. of batter into the pan. Cook each one for a few minutes until bubbles form, then flip for a few minutes to cook the other side. Makes about 5-6 pancakes. ** Can be frozen in batches.
When the 100 calorie snack campaign was created it was originally for parents who were excited to have a guide to healthy alternatives for their children. They no longer had to worry about children eating too much because the industry had now provided them with 100 calorie options to choose from.
What parents weren't told is that calories are not all created equal. Our focus on these numbers could actually lead to children obsessing over calorie counting, which lead the company BEAT to be concerned when these guidelines were released.
When choosing food for our children we need to look beyond the labels and numbers and really look at the ingredients contained within the product. The calories are actually information for the body and they either support our health and longevity, or send us down a path towards disease. Many of the ingredients contained in 100 calorie packaged foods are toxic to the body, support weight gain, alter hormones, are sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, are damaging to the gut and do not support long term health for children or their parents who are approaching their own health in a similar way (by counting calories).
Some of the recommendations for this campaign based on their calories included:
- Malt Loaf Slice
(Contains partially inverted sugar syrup, vegetables oils which are toxic to the human body especially when heated, colourings and preservatives - 100g contains 20g of sugar)
- Low Sugar Fromage Frais (Petit Filous Strawberry)
(Still contains sugars 9g/100g, fructose, flavourings, corn flour and non organic milk that contains antibiotics, hormones, pesticides and herbicides)
- Tinned fruit salad
- Sugar free jelly
(Contains aspartame which is damaging to the body and in one study here they showed: When consuming high-aspartame diets, participants had more irritable mood, exhibited more depression, and performed worse on spatial orientation tests.)
Should we as parents not be focusing instead on food that is natural and fresh, that our body recognises as food and that helps our children thrive, stay focused at school, supports their brain development and cognition, lowers their risk of diabetes and heart disease, helps protect their immune system and gut microbiome and so much more.
Wouldn't you rather give your children:
Fresh Fruit skewers dipped in organic yogurt
Vegetables with hummus
Healthy homemade energy bars
Frozen yogurt blueberries
Veggie crisps or kale chips
Mini flatbread pizzas
Banana slices topped with nut/seed butters.
These foods contain important nutrients that will keep your kids healthy long term. Our children need vitamins, minerals, fibre, protein, healthy fats and phytonutrients on a daily basis so why rely on heavily processed foods, packed with damaging ingredients just because they have been labelled 100 calorie snack options? If you ask me it doesn't seem like the best approach to supporting our children's health and their future.
If you have children, or you are worried about the snacks you are eating throughout the day and you would love to learn how to make some delicious homemade snacks (allergen friendly) then please come and join me at my
Upcoming webinar looking at healthy summer snacks and desserts on July 10th, 2020 from 1-2pm via zoom.
Is your immune system really protecting you?
Our immune system is pretty amazing, it helps to protect our body from unwanted bacteria, pathogens and viruses on a daily basis in order to keep us healthy.
How does the immune system really work?
Your immune system works in two very important ways. Our innate system is our first line of defence from the outside world. When we are exposed to pathogens this system switches on. It signals the release of histamine which helps to kill off bacteria, while also helping to increasing the flow of white blood cells to areas of the body that are under invasion. The pathogens are found by the immune system, proteins then help the body break things down, macrophages come in to gobble up the pathogen and remove it from the body.
Think of it like PAC man trying to catch the bad guys and then gobbling them up.
Our adaptive immune system has specialised cells called B-cells and T-cells that can store information and remember it. They can then attack an invader over and over because they recognise it when it enters the body, think of them like a police force protecting you from the bad guys. When things get a bit more complicated is when this system starts to attack the cells of the body because it doesn't recognise the difference. This is know as an autoimmune response - body attacking itself (rheumatoid arthritis, hashimotos, psoriasis, eczema, MS).
This is when things become a bit more complicated, but very important because if our body is in this state then our immune system is over reactive and less able to protect us.
Why? Because 80% of our immune system can be found in the gut which can be influenced by all of these factors. If we continually expose it to these lifestyle choices, then the lining of the gut goes out of balance (dysbiosis) and can then lead to leaky gut (or a permeable gut lining). This means that our immune system becomes over reactive and less able to protect us when we need it to.
With the growing concern of viruses it's evident that we need to take some important steps to protect ourselves and that means giving our body and our immune system what it needs to function well.
So what can we do to protect ourselves?
Important nutrients to consume daily that help support your immune system and digestive health:
Vitamin C - Is required for our immune system to function well, it supports a number of different cellular functions involved in our bodies defence system. Low levels impair the immune system and make us more susceptible to infections.
Great sources include: strawberries, kiwi, citrus, lemons, limes, red and green peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts, ginger
Vitamin D - Since this hormone (not a vitamin) is so important to our immune system we need to make sure we get enough of it all year round. The best source is THE SUN, which 6 months out of the year we don't get enough of. So supplementing with D3 is advisable for most people along with K2. You can get your levels checked to see where you are at.
Vitamin E - Aids in the adaptive immune system helping the T cells to identify threats as well as being a very strong antioxidant that protects our cells from free radical damage.
Great sources include: Avocado, sunflower seeds, squash, spinach, kiwi, almonds
Vitamin A - Has an anti inflammatory effect on the body which enhances the immune systems function. Also needed for tissue integrity and repair throughout the body.
Great sources include: Beta carotene (pro vitamin A) found in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, green leafy veggies, broccoli, organic eggs
Zinc - Helps to heal the gut lining and help to keep the junctions tight, it is also important for the immune system
Great sources include: Chickpeas, Lentils, seeds and nuts (not peanuts they are legumes), grass fed meats, shellfish and organic eggs, turmeric which also has anti inflammatory benefits
Selenium - another mineral that is essential for the immune system to function well and helps to support the gut
Great sources include: Brazil nuts, grass fed meats, leafy greens, wheatgrass
Eating a variety of these anti viral vitamins and minerals found in your food along with plenty of other bright coloured vegetables and fruits, will ensure your immune system is working well and helping to protect you from viruses, bacteria and other pathogens.
Creating healthy habits that last long term is one of the biggest struggles my clients face. When the holidays creep in, summer arrives, celebrations, dinners out, weddings or the festive period comes around healthy habits that have been part of a routine are now lost and put aside until life returns to normal.
Does this sound familiar?
When we try to make healthy changes to daily habits we approach things with an all or nothing approach because we want to see results as quick as possible. If we work hard for 8 weeks, change habits and deny ourselves some of things we love just so we can get results we can then say - yes we did it. But what we haven't done is allow these habits to be part of a realistic lifestyle that we live everyday after the 8 weeks are over.
The best way to create healthy habits that last.....
Is to take things slowly
You are someone who drinks 5-6 coffees a day. You suffer from excess stress, you have digestive complaints and you feel tired all the time. You know what you need to do so you just cut out all of the coffee for 1 month.....that's the best approach you think!
This may work for some people but for most our brain reacts like a young child that has been told they can't play with their favourite toy. You want it even more, but have to convince yourself to just get through the month and everything will be back to normal. This battle pursues throughout the month.
What we need to do instead is take things slowly. So instead of cutting your coffee completely for one month why not try cutting back to 4 cups for a week. Then the following week cut down to 3 and so on until you are only having 1 cup (of the best quality) per day that you can enjoy and that can be part of your healthy daily habits.
Now that sounds more like it!
You can continue this approach with other habits that you would like to incorporate into your healthier lifestyle plan. Perhaps you want to drink more water, or you want to exercise more, you would like to spend more time with your kids, you would like to start painting again or going for a walk daily. When we train our bodies to do things slowly we are able to create lasting results that promote health and wellness without the frustrations, denial and unhappiness that goes along with the 'all or nothing' approach.
3) Deep breathe 5 times per day - this is not only beneficial to relaxation and calming the body, but may also help to support your digestive health and the breakdown and absorption of nutrients.
4) Go outside barefoot for 5 minutes/day - earthing or grounding allows us to connect to the earth and its negative electronic charge. Because our body can end up with a lot of positive charges due to free radical damage, this technique can help balance the body and promote health. It may also help the body deal with the ever growing EMF exposure we are surrounded by daily.
5) Spend 10 minutes daily doing something you LOVE - this could be reading a book, dancing in the kitchen, singing your favourite song, drawing, painting, gardening, knitting. This is so important because it gives you that much deserved ME time which many of us forget about.
If you would like to work with a nutritionist to develop healthy lifestyle habits with the support and guidance you deserve please contact me for a chat about ways nutrition can help you improve your health today.
Summer has finally arrived......that means longer days and warmer weather (well at least we hope here in the UK). You may be looking forward to a family holiday or just looking forward to relaxing in the sun.
You may also be excited for all the fresh produce that becomes available this time of year (I know I am). We can now enjoy summer salads, smoothies, dips, spreads, juices, ice poles and homemade ice creams.
It is these raw, live foods (more specifically the enzymes contained within the fibres) which are the missing link to radiant health, vitality and longevity.
If you would like to start supporting your health this summer in a simple, effective and fun way then join in the 21 Day Green Smoothie Challenge. An amazing way to give your body raw nutrition and essential enzymes that will help you feel more energised, support long term health have having you feeling amazing this summer.
RAW vs. COOKED
A simple way to understand the difference is if we took a cooked lentil and a raw lentil and planted them in the garden. Which one would grow into a plant?
That's right, the raw lentil because it still contains the live active enzymes that allow it to sprout, germinate and grow into a plant.
Another way to understand the difference is:
Raw = Live Food
Cooked = Dead Food
Anything that is cooked over a temperature of 33 - 46C or 92 - 118F is considered dead food as it has lost all of its live enzymes.
So if you eat a lot of processed, packaged foods and ready meals they have lost all of their enzymes but also some of their nutrition, while also containing empty calories, stabilisers, flavouring, sugars and salts - not a great choice for longevity or vitality.
The best way to know if you are getting enough live, raw enzymes is to ask yourself this simple question:
How much of my meal is alive?
The live food contained within your meal, for example cooked fish or lentils, with steamed vegetables and a RAW salad will help provide your digestive system with extra enzymes that can help break down your food. This puts less strain on your pancreas to have to release digestive enzymes consistently through the day.
Pineapple and Papaya both contain proteolytic enzymes that help to break down proteins. They are a great addition to any healthy eating plan. You can also add these and many other raw foods to green smoothies in the morning, as a mid afternoon snack or post workout. I recommend these to all of my clients to help them top up their live nutrition in a simple, effective and fun way.
WHAT ARE ENZYMES & WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT
Enzymes are catalysts that speed up chemical reactions within the body, without which we could not survive. They act on a substance and change them into another substance, but they themselves remain unchanged. They are involved in thousands of different functions in all areas of the body which makes them pretty amazing.
Here are some of the roles Enzymes play:
- They help to digest food (digestive enzymes) into a form that is easy to absorb into the bloodstream which can then be used throughout the body
- Enzymes in the blood take the broken down molecules from our food to build muscle, nerves, blood and glands
- They help with the storage of glycogen in the liver and muscles which we can use when we have low levels of glucose in the body
- They help with elimination of carbon dioxide from the lungs
- They help to build bone and nerve tissue
- They help attach iron to red blood cells which allows oxygen to be carried throughout the body
- Enzymes found in our immune system help attack waste materials or other foreign bodies in our blood
Source: Food Enzymes - The Missing Link to Radiant Health
Humbart Santillo, MH, N.D
If you would like to support your long term health and vitality, then its time that you start adding more raw foods into your daily eating plan. Join in the green smoothie challenge to enjoy one green smoothie daily that will help you top up your live enzymes, your leafy greens and your 5 a day (which should be 7-9 veggies a day, 2-3 fruits)
Every year the Environmental Working Group puts out a report that lists the produce highest in pesticides (up to 20) which they call the Dirty Dozen. These foods have been subjected to harmful pesticides, herbicides and other toxins that can lead to acute and chronic conditions (1, 2) . They are best bought organic to lower your risk of exposure and to help prevent unwanted health concerns later in life.
Some of the health effects these harmful chemical have of the body include:
- respiratory tract irritations
- allergic sensitisation
- eye and skin irritation
- headache, nausea, diarrhea
- estrogen dominence
- depression and anxiety
- diabetes and obesity
- hypo and hyperthyroidism
- neurological disorders like parkinsons
- cancers due to their carcinogenic effects on the body
Source - https://www.pan-uk.org/health-effects-of-pesticides/
Being aware of the impacts these chemicals have is the first step towards a healthier and more resilient body.
The other list the EWG puts out is called the Clean Fifteen which provides consumers with a list of foods that are safer to buy and not sprayed as much with chemicals.
These two lists give consumers the ability to choose their food for better health and for those on a budget to know when they should consider buying organic produce rather then the standard crops. The most economical way to purchase seasonal organic produce is through a box scheme. There are so many in and around the Witney area that you wouldn't find it that difficult to make the switch. Here is the updated list as of May 2019. (based on US Crops - many of which are similar in the UK & EU)
DIRTY DOZEN (Highest in Pesticides - Buy Organic)
CLEAN FIFTEEN (Lowest in Pesticides- focus on locally sourced, support your local farmers)
Start to feed your body what it needs to stay healthy and avoid chemicals and toxins whenever possible to better not only your own health but the health of your entire family.
Support your local farmers, organic suppliers and box schemes all doing their part to keep organics on our tables.
1. EWG, (2015). EWG. [online] Available at: http://www.ewg.org [Accessed 2 Jun. 2015].
2. Kurstin, M. (2015). Another Reason To Eat Organic. [online] EWG. Available at: http://www.ewg.org [Accessed 2 Jun. 2015].
Kick start your childrens health this September with our top 5 superfoods for back to school. Boost energy levels, concentration, focus and overall health with the right foods to help fuel your little ones through the day.
EGGS - One of the best complete foods around that provide the body with protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Eggs are an excellent source of choline which helps with energy and metabolism, nerve function and muscle movements. An ideal source of long sustained energy to start the day off right.
HEALTHY SWAP: Cereals + Fruit Juices can have up to 50g of sugar, not the best way to start the day. Swap to healthy pancakes to help give your children protein, essential fats, fibre, vitamins and minerals to start their day. What kid doesn't like pancakes? (Mix 2 eggs with 250g of ground almonds, 120ml of water and a pinch of cinnamon - cook in batches and serve with fresh berries, sliced banana and a drizzle of yogurt & maple syrup * makes around 8-10 pancakes)
BLUEBERRIES - These antioxidant rich berries pack an amazing punch. They help to boost brain function, support heart health and reduce the risk of diabetes. Adding a variety of brightly coloured fruits is a perfect addition to any breakfast. Add them to a bowl of soaked oats with unsweetened coconut milk, serve as a snack with lunch, or mix into a healthy balanced smoothie. Give your kids the colours of the rainbow for the most health benefits.
OATS - Research has shown that kids who start their day with fibre rich whole grains are able to concentrate and focus better at school. Oats are rich in B vitamins which help boost energy levels, protein which provide the building blocks for all processes in the body and fibre to help keep your kids feeling energised for longer and better able to concentrate in the classroom.
CHIA/FLAXSEEDS - Are you kids getting enough essential fatty acids? Omega 3 is one of the most important EFAs that most of us are not getting enough of. Chia seeds and flaxseeds can be ground up and added to oats, salads, soups or smoothies and provide the body with anti-inflammatory fats. Omega 3s are important for: cognitive (brain and memory) function and behavoural function to help those little ones thrive during the day.
WATER - So important for our overall health and vitality. Water helps carry important nutrients through the blood to our cells, helps to remove waste products from organs and cells, helps to control body temperature and is required for every cell in the body to function properly. Drinking filtered water first thing in the morning is a great habit to get into rather then focusing on fruit juices which can contain up to 28g of sugar. Water can also be found in fresh vegetables and fruits. Another great option is coconut water or birch tree water if your kids prefer a bit of flavour to their water.
Inflammation may now be the leading cause of modern day illness and disease (1). With our demanding lifestyle, high levels of stress, poor quality sleep, processed convenience foods, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, chemicals and pesticides and other additives and preservatives we are feeding this inflammation.
Don't get me wrong our body is an incredible machine that can work very hard for us in order to maintain balance on a daily basis (even with our modern lifestyles). But it can only work efficiently for so long until the machine begins to breakdown and we start to experience symptoms of modern illness & disease.
What we need to start appreciating is the nourishment we provide our body today and how the food we put at the end of our fork really does either promote health or disease.
Today thousands of people are suffering from indigestion, gerd, reflux, ibs, high cholesterol, stoke, heart disease, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, asthma, arthritis, osteoporosis, aches & pains, migraines, colds/flues, ulcers, various forms of cancer, type 2 diabetes and much more. Our body is trying to tell us something = it needs nourishment from REAL, NUTRIENT DENSE whole foods that grow from the ground and not in a factory.
So how can we begin to support long term health in a simple and practical way? Start by including some of the top anti-inflammatory foods listed below and begin to reduce the pro-inflammatory foods as mentioned above.
Start slowly depending on what stage you are at in your health journey, add one food from the list every day and you will begin to see the positive changes in your health, energy, vitality and much more.
1) Dr. Axe, Inflammation at the root of most diseases [online]. Available at: https://draxe.com/inflammation-at-the-root-of-most-diseases/ [accessed April 4, 2017]
BBC News released an article yesterday focusing once again on SUGAR and the amount that kids across the country are consuming for breakfast. On average most children are eating 1/2 the recommended amount of sugar at the start of their day in their breakfast cereals and juices while others are eating over the recommended amount. Not only is this setting the stage for long term health issues including type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol and cancer but it is also increasing the risk of children developing rotting teeth early in life.
Here is an example of a typical breakfast kids may
eat that would be considered healthy:
1 bowl of cheerios - 4.4g sugar
100ml of skimmed milk - 5g
250ml of freshly squeezed orange juice - 20g
1/2 small banana - 6g
Amount of total sugar = 35g of sugar or just over 8 tsp. of granulated sugar
This is the shocking truth hiding behind the food that we eat. This is why many parents are starting to find simple ways to reduce their intake of these harmful sugars by teaching their children how to read labels, to look for added sugar in the ingredients lists and keeping the cereals as special treats only bought on occasion.
This is a great start but there is so much more we can do to fight this war on SUGAR. To start parents need to make healthy food choices for their kids and themselves when they are out shopping and focus on real food that is rich in protein, healthy fats, fibre, vitamins, minerals and other supportive compounds to promote growth, development, cognitive health, heart health and aid the weight loss struggles many of us face today. By removing products that contain added sugars and replacing them with healthier options we can begin supporting our long term health and the health of the next generation.
So what should be our focus for a healthy breakfast? One that focuses on a healthy source of protein, fat, fibre, vitamins, minerals and other supportive compounds. We need to think about the food we eat as information for our bodies that allows us to thrive throughout the day. Here are some of my healthy and simple recipe ideas that all kids young and old will love.
Three ingredient pancakes
Makes 9-10 medium sized pancakes
3 large banana
6 organic or free range eggs
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 tbsp. ground flaxseed (linwoods brand found in all grocery stores)
(great source of omega 3 fatty acids ideal for heart health & breain health as well as weight)
- Mash the banana in a bowl and whisk through the eggs and the cinnamon
- Heat a pan over medium heat and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side
- Serve with 1-2 tbsp. of natural bio live organic yogurt and 1/2 cup of blueberries
- 1/2 tbsp. 100% maple syrup buy here
These are simple and easy to prepare - they can be made in large batches, frozen and then taken out every morning for breakfast
Note: You can also make these more like traditional pancakes by adding in 4 1/2 cups of plain oats ground into flour in a food processor or large blender, 1 1/2-2 cups of unsweetened almond milk/coconut milk or organic milk and 3 tsp. of baking powder (this will make 24-30 pancakes) Mix these ingredients with those above and cook the same 2-3 minutes on each side until you see bubbles forming. Serve with your natural bio live yogurt, berries and maple syrup (optional)
Soaked Scrumptious Oats
Serves 2 little ones
1/2 cup of plain oats
3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk/coconut milk or organic milk
2 tbsp. ground flaxseeds
1 tbsp. ground sunflower seeds (or whole if you kids like nuts and seeds)
1 tbsp. ground almonds (or whole if your kids like nuts and seeds)
1 tsp. of ground cinnamon
1 tsp. of raw honey
1/2 organic apple grated (non organic apple peeled and grated)
- Mix all of the ingredients into a jar or bowl and combine until smooth
- Place in the fridge overnight
- In the morning losen with a bit more milk and top with optional 1 tbsp. bio live plain yogurt
If your kids enjoy eating eggs, omelettes, frittatas and vegetables then this would be an excellent start to the day providing them with a great source of protein, fibre, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals to help their body grow, repair, rejuvenate while also supporting optimal health.
Fat doesn't make us Fat - Sugar does
One of the leading doctors in the UK who is supporting the truth about FAT is Dr David Unwin who has evidence that cutting down on sugar, grains and carbs in all its forms and replacing it with healthy fats, proteins, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits lowers levels of diabetes and obesity. He was on Monday nights Food Unwrapped Episode which correlates nicely with this article by BBC on Sugar and our Childrens health.
Written By: Debbie Vanderboom, Nutritional Advisor
With the start of another school year this means parents across the UK are beginning to think about simple, easy and convenient lunch box ideas for their children that will keep them healthy and energized. Some parents may struggle with this task and rely on packaged foods, snacks and sugary drinks that they know their kids will eat at school. But I am here to share with you some simple, easy and convenient healthy lunch box ideas that will not only keep your kids energized but will also help them stay motivated, focused and support long term health.
The key to creating healthy lunch boxes is to plan ahead for the week. When you go shopping make sure you have lots of healthy options for your kids to choose from and let them help pick out their favourite fruit and vegetable for the week. When making dinner cook a bit extra that you can use for the next day. Take 30 minutes over the weekend to prepare healthy muffins, your kids will love helping you mix the batter and lick the spoon. Or let them create their own healthy smoothie that they can enjoy as a snack.
Here are some of my favourite lunch box ideas:
1) Rice Cakes with Hummus or Tzatziki served with chopped cucumber, courgettes, carrots, celery and chery tomatoes
2) Roast Chicken (from dinner) served with roasted parsnips and carrots & snap peas
3) Whole grain or lettuce wrap with organic cheese, lettuce, tomato, grated carrots, grated beetroot, avocado and a dijon honey mustard dressing
4) Tuna Nicoise Salad - mixed leaves, hard boiled egg, tuna, green beans, new potatoes, fresh lemon and olive oil (you could add olives and sundried tomatoes as well)
5) Sweet Corn Fritters with a greek salad
6) Vegetable Quiche or Frittata served with fresh fruit salad, natural yogurt and dark chocolate chips
The key to creating a healthy lunch box that will maintain energy levels through the day is to include: At least 2 servings of vegetables (of course you can include more), 1-2 servings of fruit, 1 portion of healthy protein & fat, 1 serving of whole grains (optional) and water
Focus on nutrient rich foods that grow from the ground as much as you can, and try to limit packaged foods with added sugars, chemicals and preservatives. We all know that kids love treats, so why not make them healthier and fun by baking some at home - please see below for a simple banana chocolate chip muffin recipe the whole family will enjoy
Homemade Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (gluten free, egg free)
3 large bananas
160ml of water or coconut milk
65g of coconut oil or rice bran oil
2 tsp of vanilla extract (optional)
50g of maple syrup or 50g of coconut sugar or demerara sugar
140g of gluten free flour (doves farm) or 100g rice flour and 40g of potato flour
30g of ground almonds
50g of ground oats
25g of ground flaxseed
50-90g of dark chocolate chips (or chopped dark chocolate)
1) Preheat the oven to 190C and line a muffin tray with 12 cups
2) Add the bananas to a bowl and mash until smooth, then add in the remaining wet ingredients.
3) Add all the dry ingredients to the bowl along with the dark chocolate and mix until combined.
4) Divide the mixture between the 12 cups and then bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy. These can be frozen and taken out for lunches through the week if they last that long you may have to double the recipe for extras.
Please see my recipe page for the Sweet Corn Fritters
Debbie Vanderboom is a Nutritional Advisor, Natural Juice Therapist and foodie who loves using fresh, wholesome food to nourish the body. Educating her clients on the importance of choosing healthy foods on a daily basis is her focus. She provides her clients with recipes, resources and meal plans to help develop healthy eating habits for life.