I recently became aware of Bluegrass for Babies, which is an organization that aims to provide parents the tools and resources to create an environment to raise healthy kids from the start. To avoid any confusion, I’m not a parent but I’m an aunt and my occupation puts me in contact with parents and children often.
Anne, one of the founders of Bluegrass for Babies, was gracious enough to contribute a family-friendly lunch post for this blog. After reading her post, I realized this is probably the healthiest post to help those who email me and say packing a healthy lunch is hard. Or that continually packing a lunch is hard. I get it.
Anne’s take on packing a healthy lunch is to prepare one with REAL FOOD, not processed or foods that can be found in nature so that you can quickly pull something together. Using three main education goals from Bluegrass for Babies’ Healthy Kids Outreach Program, Anne gives a shopping list of fruits and raw vegetables to choose as well as two recipes.
Anne recommends having fresh fruit and vegetable finger foods to choose from including, berries, bananas, grapes, melons, pineapple, orange slices, and apple slices. As for raw vegetables, she recommends sliced carrots, slice sweet peppers and broccoli florets. When possible Anne opts for organic produce, especially the dirty dozen.
When packing a lunch, pick 1-2 fruits and a vegetable with hummus or baba ghanoush for dipping. Then, add a sandwich like cheese or no-sugar added raw nut butter on whole grain bread for kids. Adults might like a sandwich of hummus and spinach or raw nut butter on gluten-free bread.
If you prefer to drink your lunch, try a green smoothie using a nutritional shake supplement, spinach, fresh fruit and unsweetened almond or coconut milk. Green smoothies are excellent way to get extra greens if you’re not already eating enough through the day.
Instead of drinking your calories, adults might choose water or unsweetened iced tea or while kids can have milk.
Anne prefers to save her sugar for a dessert so she reads labels to avoid everything with high fructose corn syrup and added sugar especially if it isn’t a natural sweetener.
Anne is an advocate for reusable containers in glass or stainless steel as well as a user of bags like snackTaxi. IF you’re new to this site, scan through the product posts and you’ll find plenty of reviews of reusable sandwich lunch bags, lunch totes and other products for packing a lunch. Or skip to buying and click through the ads on right side or footer.
Recipe: Homemade Hummus
1 ½ c. canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 garlic cloves
2-3 T. water
2 T. sesame seed paste (Tahini)
1 T. olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Paprika to garnish
Place the chickpeas, garlic, water, sesame seed paste, olive oil, and lemon juice in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth, adding more water or lemon juice if necessary. Season with black pepper. Transfer to a bowl and cover, then refrigerate. To serve, garnish with a sprinkling of paprika.
Source: Mary Rassmussen, Pure Life Studio
Recipe: Green Smoothie – You can’t even taste the spinach!
1 cup spinach
1 cup frozen strawberries
½ cup frozen pineapple
1-2 scoop(s) of supplement (either Vega or Standard Process)
2 cups unsweetened coconut or almond milk (add more if too thick)
Blend on low setting first, and gradually increase speed until totally smooth.
Thank you Anne for this informative post. If you have questions, please leave a comment and I’ll work with Anne to get an answer.