Allergies, picky eaters, food sensitivities, aversions, autism or other spectrum disorders that are affected by food, taste, smell, texture … you name it we’ve faced it!
Finding the balancing act in our family that also includes me, a foodie with none of the above, very challenging. Not only do I not have an issue with food, I love food. I love multicultural food. I love spicy food. I love cooking. I love recipe’s. I love trying new foods. I love raw foods. Seafood. Strange foods and new foods.
Issue number one. Gluten intolerance.
How do I pack a lunch for a child who a) hardly eats lunch and b) can not or will not have a sandwich? I’ve tried letting them pack their own lunch. I’ve tried putting 7-8 different small options in their lunch. I’ve tried only putting 2 things in their boxes…One way or another it was a fail. I never felt like they were getting enough nutrients and I felt judged by the teachers looking into their lunch boxes filled mainly with air because I was so sick to death of emptying the food brought home.
Gluten free bread I have come to love. 9 grain sour dough gluten free bread toasted three times because I love the way the seeds roast with feta cheese smashed into it followed by avocado, tomato’s and balsamic vinegar. Oh yeah. Now that is living my friends. My kids on the other hand would beg to differ.
Recently I’ve tried something that seems to be actually working. I’ll share my secrets, but only if you try it for yourselves. Just do it. What have you got to lose?
- You can add protein powder. You can add raw egg (no, they can not taste it!!!) You can use almond milk, full cream organic milk or coconut milk. Add in a spoonful of coconut oil, some raw honey, throw in an organic banana, some frozen or fresh mango and if you have a thermomix or even a coffee grinder put some seseme, chia or pumpkin seeds in and pulverise them to a powder (your children will be nonethewiser.) Do not show them what you are putting in their “milk shakes” it’s a SURPRISE!!! And be VERY positive.
- Breakfast ice cream. I make mine with organic yogurt (sweetened with raw honey), frozen strawberries, full cream milk and a spoon full of protein powder. Mix, freeze and voila. Maybe start with a chocolate one if the colour or fruit is going to put them off and add a banana instead. Again, they will be fooled!!!
- Egg and bacon wraps. My little one didn’t like the look of the egg. So I wrap it up. We do sausage and egg (sometimes with cheese) wraps then are put in the sandwich press. The eldest likes sauce, the youngest wouldn’t dream of it. Either way, for a warm breakfast on the run this does the trick.
- Banana bread. Mix all together in one bowl. 4 VERY ripe bananas. ½ cup coconut flour (another flour will NOT work for this recipe, ½ cup chia seeds (or chocolate chips or nuts), ½ cup coconut oil, 1 heaped tsp baking soda/bi carb soda (NOT baking powder) 4 organic eggs, 1 tsp vanilla and bake in a pre heated oven (in a greased bread tin) for 40min at 175 degrees. (It should be brown and bounce back a bit if done.) Cool onto a rack. Cut up and freeze in sandwich or snack bags.
- Zucchini loaf. Yup. I’ve got my kids eating zucchini every single day and they love it. They have no idea what I’m up to!!! In one bowl mix ¼-½ cup honey, ¼ cup coconut oil, 3 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla. In a separate bowl mix 2 cups almond flour, 1 ½ tsp baking soda/bi carb soda (NOT baking powder) and mix into the wet ingredients. Fold 1 cup grated zucchini (and maybe some chocolate chips if you want it a little sweeter or you want to hide the veg a little more but we didn’t need to.) Grease your loaf tin and bake in a pre heated oven at 175 degrees, 20-25min should do it. Cool onto a rack. Cut up and freeze in sandwich or snack bags.
- Quinoa chips, Hummus chips or Organic tortilla chips with flaxeed – Found in the gluten free section of Coles. Into snack bags they go.
- A fruit of their choice. One likes green apples cut up into fine pieces, the other bananas. Fine. Whatever works with regards to fruit. Same fruit every day? I don’t care.
Broth: No they don’t know they are having it. I make my own home made organic bone broth and it’s easy and it is the best thing for your family you could ever have. And it’s great for wrinkles (just by consuming it. Stimulates collagen so I love it for more than the tast.)
Every other week I will roast an organic chicken (I also buy organic bones from the butcher when I can.) The left over bones I will roast again and pop into a broth pot. It’s a giant pot that sits into another giant pot so I can separate the bones and veg from the liquid with ease. Worth buying if you are considering doing this but not essential.
Into my pot goes my roasted bones, onion, garlic, herbs, carrots (purple and orange), celery and any leftover vegetables I have. Add in water and simmer. Every 6 hours I add more water and continue to simmer. I simmer for 2-3 days (48-72 hours) you can turn your stove off over night and place your pot in the oven if you wish. You do not have to cook it for days on end but this is where the magic happens. The marrow from the bones is so full of healing properties, the vitamins from the vegetables are swimming in your broth and this is the elixir of good health.
What to do with it once you’re done? Season it with salt. Bottle it up and pop it in the freezer or fridge (it will last unopen for 2-3 weeks.)
Day 1: Make a risotto with your broth. Plain risotto is suddenly amazing. Add in chicken, pumpkin, mushrooms or cashews. For the plain, you have a beautiful healthy amazingly tasting rice dish that is easy. Add nothing, you don’t need to.
Day 2: Put a roast pork, beef or chicken into the slow cooker and add one bottle (2 ladels) of broth to the bottom. Let it do it’s thing.
Day 3: Use the left over pork, chicken or beef and simmer it in a bottle of broth on the stove for enchilada’s or taco’s or burritos. Add in your own Mexican or other seasoning for flavour. Don’t have all the spices? Buy a 1.99 taco mix from the IGA and add that in.
Day 4: Use the left over pork, chicken or beef and put it over nacho’s or on a homemade pizza.
Day 5: Make a pasta and add in a spoonful of broth before you serve it.
You can get this goodness into even the pickiest of eaters. Trust me. It can be used to marinade. It can be used as a gravy. It can be used as a sauce. It can be used as a soup. You name it, it can be done. And you’ll have done your bit. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to get this good stuff into their bellies.
And you’ll enjoy it too!