‘Tis the season–it’s back to school time! I am sure you parents and caregivers out there have been bombarded with back-to-school blogs, articles and ads! So it is with reluctance that I add mine to the mix.
I am indeed reluctant, because I feel that, inherent in these well-meaning back-to-school pieces of advice everywhere these days, is the implication that you haven’t done enough!!
Believe me: I have been there, done that with the kids and the schedules and the schlepping and the juggling! The last thing I want is to create any more pressure on you, because that’s the last thing you need right now!
So, please take these little recipes I am giving away today as healthy ideas or suggestions in the spirit in which I intended them: when you need them, or you are short of ideas and you are fed up with putting yet the same thing in that lunch box, or feed them the same breakfast out the door, just take whatever recipe or idea that inspires you and run with it and make it your own!
Do we have a deal?
Ok, so let me start with a nice variation on the theme of sandwich: the PANINI.
What I like about paninis–even if you make them ahead the night before and they are cold by the time your kid finds it in his/her lunch box— is that they stay compact. What I mean is that whatever was melting/cooking in there at the time you made them–whether it was that baby spinach or cheese or bean dip or even chocolate–becomes part of the whole flavor as opposed to something they can pick out. I find that a grilled panini makes the whole sandwich more of a concoction that is much more tasty and delicious.
My favorite panini for kids is my Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Panini –It speaks for itself! But there are others: some savory, such as my Spinach Bean and Cheddar Panini, with or without sliced Grilled Orange Herb Chicken and some sweet, such as my Strawberry Banana Panini or my Apple Honey Panini. Of course, feel free to replace the ingredients with whatever your kid likes best. The options are limitless, as long as you use wholesome ingredients: It’s the grilling in the panini maker that makes them special for the kids.
Another fun alternative–this one doesn’t require bread and your kid can bite into it without silverware— is my Potato Tortilla. Kids love this lunch at room temperature or cold, so you can make it ahead (it freezes well). You can also serve it for breakfast. It is filled with protein and is so yummy and filling.
My Power Chocolate Banana Milk shake, which my now 16-year-old son makes for himself every single morning, he loves it so much, is quick and easy to make. It is filled with protein, fiber, potassium and calcium and it just makes you feel so good inside knowing you got them to slurp up something that’s so good for them, with such gusto! You have to check out what power ingredients I hide in there. If your kid doesn’t like chocolate (WHAT??!), you can do the same with my Power Strawberry Banana Milkshake.
It makes for a great breakfast, but also a great snack at school if you put it in a thermos. The same goes for Simply Oatmeal or Simply Porridge, whether as a quick healthy breakfast before they head out the door or a snack at school, you cannot go wrong, especially if you add fresh or dried (unsweetened) fruit and chopped nuts to it. YUM!
I think you can tell I LOVE chocolate and so do my kids but I think it’s a fair assumption to say that most kids love chocolate too, so if you and/or your kids are one of them, oh my GOODNESS, do I have the most luscious chocolate snacks/desserts for you!
These are brand new recipes I created and I am so impressed by them (haha, if I say so myself!). They are vegan, filled with plant-based protein and absolutely DELICIOUS!
So while your kids think you went absolutely berserk giving them such a tasty dessert in the middle of their school day, you know full well that you have actually fueled them up with superb nutrition!
My Silky Chocolate Pudding requires no cooking or baking, just mixing in a blender and…WOW! So, make a batch and divide it up in little tupperware containers for the week to put in their lunch box. The kids will LOVE it and, of course it will LOVE them back!
Then there is my Baked Chocolate Custards, which are just heavenly. These remind me of French “Petits Pots de Crème au Chocolat” classically baked in individual little porcelain ramekins! Typically, these petits Pots are made with dark chocolate, heavy cream, egg yolks and sugar. Of course I have revamped them, Cuisinicity style, while keeping their rich creamy texture and luscious flavor. I have done away with the heavy cream, the eggs and…even the sugar!! Of course the porcelain ramekins had to go too: You have to go check those out, I promise they are worth your while!
Finally, there is one line of snacks that my kids absolutely LOVE and that I highly recommend because they are so handy, so satisfying and so nutritious! They were designed and created by my dear friend, nutrition expert Joy Bauer and WOW, there is such a wide variety of them to choose from and they are absolutely wonderful to throw in a lunch box! You can click here to find out more about them–YUM!!
I could go on and on but I won’t! After all, I did promise not to bombard you with more advice than you know what to do with!
So, I will end here and just refer you to my Stealth Mom tips that you can check out at your leisure whenever you are in need of a new idea throughout the year!
Parents, I am so with you! Whatever you are doing already, is wonderful!
If there is anything I can help you with, great, don’t hesitate to ask me. If not, I just wish you a productive and fulfilling year, filled with pride and joy for your kids and….for yourselves!