Preschool Lunches With Gardein
Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #gardeinmeatlessmeats #lovesprouts #CollectiveBias
As the school year begins, and we prepare to move into our newly renovated modern farmhouse, #PimentalRanch, I am setting up all the easy solutions for our days to run smoothly. I call these solutions my daily rhythms.
One of them, even though we home school, or maybe especially because we home school, is having our meals prepped and ready to grab at mealtime. Having them prepped for the day or week ahead, helps me keep the meals on our school table nutritious and balanced.
As a nutritionist mama to a kiddo that loves veggies, (praise! Hoping all my littles share this love, haha), I love having vegan mealtime options. Your family needn't sacrifice taste or texture when opting for vegan entrees in a school lunch. You can parent young ones while leading a plant based life. Gardein offers a large selection of products to choose from for variety throughout the week.
Our favorites this week have been the Sweet and Sour Porkless Bites and the Seven-Grain Crispy Tenders that we picked up at Sprouts. I'm sharing a list of options below to accompany each entree for a well-rounded meal for your kids or yourself.
Good for the body and the planet, it's choices we can feel good about. With a wide-variety of the products on a path to Non-GMO verified, Gardein doesn't use any artificial colors or flavors. This is HUGE on my mama radar - artificial coloring and flavor can cause so many problems in our bodies, that we want to protect our kids bodies from being exposed to things we can prevent.
For those of you with soy or gluten sensitive kiddos, the ones shown wouldn't be an option but they do offer gluten-free varieties!. For those who can enjoy these ingredients, these are a great option - good for little growing bodies.
Pack The Perfect Plant-Based School Lunch
To make well-rounded meals every day of the week, bookmark this list to check out some of our favorite sides to accompany the Gardein entrees. Easy to pack into lunch boxes, these are healthful hits with kids and adults alike.
To accompany the Gardein Seven-Grain Crispy Tenders
To accompany the Gardein Sweet and Sour Porkless Bites
To make it easy to implement plant-based lunches and go meatless at mealtime, you can find a "Buy 2 Get One Free" coupon below you can use at Sprouts. Click on the Sprouts Digital Coupon link to be taken to the coupon.
Coupon offer good 8/13/2019-11/09/2019. Buy 2 Gardein Meatless Meat products and Get 1 Free at any Sprouts Farmer’s Market Store.
What are some of your favorite plant based back-to-school lunch options? Share them in the comments below!
What Grey Ate - 11 Months
This month has brought on A LOT of new tastes to little man's palette and many more opportunities for him to sample foods outside of the house. This has made going out, and bringing him along on our date nights, much more fun and easy.
Not having to bring so much external food from home makes it easier to be spontaneous and I'm thankful he is eating so many fruits, vegetables, healthy oils and meats now because we can order something for him at almost any restaurant I can eat at.
He's moved to having lunches and dinners that are unique to what we are having, so moving forward you will see separate breakfast, lunch and dinner sections for even more meal ideas.
We also introduced, GLUTEN. (insert shocked gasps here), for many reasons, that I will talk about in next months post, but you will see some bread included in the meals below.
*Note that these are the meals he's served from breakfast, lunch and dinner. He also gets two-three snacks a day. Snacks include apple slices, pear slices, organic teething cookies, organic puffs and vegetable based baby food purees
Banana Bread, Strawberries and Egg Yolk
Turkey Lunch Meat, Avocado, Freeze Dried Berries
Leftover rice from Chipotle, Shredded Chicken and Peaches
What Grey Ate - 10 Months
As we dive deeper into Baby Led Weaning, I thought it would be fun to share the meals that little man enjoys. He's got SUCH an appetite and it's no surprise he's our child, since he's a foodie through and through. We stick to organic, healthy choices for him, and as of yet he's still dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free and pretty much Top 8 Free. We are going slow with introductions and now that he's almost 1, we will be introducing more and more for variety and nutrition.
I've posted some photos of the meals I put together for him, and I plan to share along the way, leading up to toddler meals. These are the meals he's currently enjoying at 10 months of age.
I would love your ideas too! If you have some great infant or toddler food or meal ideas, feel free to share. Any recipes of a specific dish I make for him, I will link to the recipe here on NoshandNurture.com!
*Note that these are the meals he's served from breakfast, lunch and dinner. He also gets two-three snacks a day. Snacks include apple slices, pear slices, organic teething cookies, organic puffs and vegetable based baby food purees.
lunches + dinners
when we're out
The beauty of eating clean, whole foods, is that Grey can usually eat some of what I order.
When traveling in Long Beach, we stayed at the Westin and for breakfast I ordered scrambled eggs, gluten free toast and avocado.
I shared my avocado with Grey, ordered him a side of bananas and brought a puree pouch of baby food to round out his meal.
Mama + baby were satisfied. Done and done!
Keep an eye out for What Grey Ate, every month on Nosh and Nurture! And as always I'd love to hear your feedback and what you're feeding your littles.
I also share a lot of our mealtimes, and more, on my Instagram Stories, so if you're over there, follow along! Find me @noshandnurture.
A Guest Post by Karly
Three weeks ago, I stood in the baby aisle of my neighborhood grocery store analyzing all of the options there are today for baby food. It appeared like so much had changed since my last little one was born. Where did all these options come from? What happened to just regular Gerber baby food? And who thought up some of these awful food combinations – ham in ham gravy? Chicken, peas and zucchini? The color alone made me feel bad for the poor kiddos that were being fed those awful combinations. Then the price of the caught my eye – they wanted me to spend HOW much on ONE jar of baby food? Combine that with some of the preservatives and GMO ingredients that go into said pre-packaged baby foods…
Needless to say I left empty handed and ran home to tell my husband of my adventure. I sat there, staring at my Ninja that I had received as a Christmas gift and realized, it would be just as easy to make baby food at home and probably a lot cheaper. I had seen multiple friends posting on Facebook their baby food making ventures and it sure did look easy. I also quickly added up in my head the cost of the handful of vegetables they bought in order to make those items and immediately thought they were on to something.
I feel fortunate in the sense that my in-laws have their own garden out on their acreage and canned a lot of what they grow – and they so generously pass it on to their children. I had some jars of vegetables in my house thanks to them and decided to grab those, along with some additional items, and get to work.
Start with whatever kind of vegetable or fruit you want, it can be fresh or frozen. I generally try to make a weeks’ worth of servings. There’s also a variety of ways to store the food – there are some affordable plastic baby food containers on amazon, but glass is the preferable method. You can also use Mason jars and scoop out individual servings as you go. You can also pour it into ice cube trays and freeze for them an hour then pop into a glass bowl, throw on a lid and put in the freezer. You would then pull out only what you need each day.
The fruit creations are super simple, you throw your produce, preferably organic (if not then wash them REALLY WELL), in the blender, hit start until pureed and you’re done. For veggies there’s a lot of dicing, cooking, and then blending. But your little ones get much more nutrient dense food that way, so make sure to mix it up.
I chop up my veggies and tend to steam most of them, then I put them in my Ninja with a little water and turn it on.
If you are crunched for time, you can always do it once a week or even once a month and then store it in the freezer. A few times a week, I toss whatever vegetables the rest of us are having for dinner into the blender so my little one can eat the same foods we are.
Karly is a true southern girl through and through. Wife and mama to two sweet boys, she is also a professional event planner and publicist and has traveled with her littles more times than she can count. The sweet tea, loving Granola Mommy is a first time blogger on Nosh & Nurture and plans to continue writing on topics on various platforms to help mama's make healthy choices for their children.
Next up on my Lunch 4 Littles series is a kid friendly chili and hot dog dish done healthier.
My nieces and nephews adore hot dogs. At every party or holiday event, hot dogs are usually on the menu. What I don't adore are all of the preservatives, nitrates and unnecessary animal parts (I'm sorry but it's true) that these little bodies are consuming.
I have to admit, after this post, I actually ate it and it was delicious. So mommies, this is something you can eat too, and since all the ingredients are organic you don't have to feel guilty for eating what the kids are having. I added some green beans on the side to add in a vegetable, and if your kids like green veggies, all the better to add it to their meal too!
What I Served:
1 Applegate Farms Turkey Hotdog
1 Can of Fry's (or Kroger) Organic Vegan Chili Beans (they are very mild)
1 Gluten-Free Yahuda's Cracker, Crumbled on top (These contain egg, so omit if allergic)
I sliced the hotdog and cooked in a pan until seared through. In a small sauce pan I heated the chili until hot, then let it cool. You want to make sure it's fully cooked, but then set aside so you don't burn little mouths. Put it together in a small dish and serve with crumbled crackers on top.
What are some of your favorite toddler and kid meals? Contact me and the best will be featured here!
Your a mom. It's Friday afternoon, you worked all week, you're on deadline, the laundry is flowing out of the laundry room and into the hall, the kids had a half-day and you havn't even started thinking about dinner. A dinner in which your in-laws will be present for. So I understand why you would just sit the kids down and feed them a hot dog. Or macaroni. Or a burger. It's easy. It's cheap. And it allows you to get to the laundry. The paperwork. The dinner prep.
Now, I myself am not a mommy yet. However, I do see a lot of friends and families presented with the challenge of wanting to feed their littles better but not having the time, resources or recipes to do so. So I wanted to start a series of posts that help put together meals for toddlers, kids and teens that are still in the traditional food realm, but that cut back on unnecessary sugar, starches, fat and artificial ingredients.
The good news is that GOOD QUALITY food still does exist. Sometimes it means visiting another market or a farmer's market. Sometimes it means cooking in the oven over the microwave, but for the most part, kids can still enjoy the food they know and love, while you give them healthier options to do so. Recipe for today below.
A Healthier Hot Dog & Fries:
1 Applegate Farms Natural Turkey Hot Dog - These hot dogs are casein and gluten-free, use no anti-biotics, are humanely raised and have no nitrates, nitrites or nasty preservatives.
5 Dr. Praeger Sponge Bob Broccoli Bites. These cute little potato and broccoli bites are fun shaped, and delicious for the kids who love fries. As a healthier version, they are packed with broccoli bits. These are made with egg, so if your little has an allergy, skip these and maybe bake some healthy sweet potato fries.
A handful of organic green beans. (or any vegetable your little will eat) Greens are very important.
I served this dish with a side of paleo ketchup, made with xyltiol and apple cider vinegar instead of corn-syrup that is found in store-bought ketchup. Nature's Hollow makes an amazing ketchup that is sugar free. If you are going to buy ketchup at a regular store, opt for Simply Heinz which skips the corn-syrup. 90% of corn in the US contains GMO's so best to skip it all together unless it states it's verified non-GMO.
Remember to keep mealtime fun and allow kids to see food in a positive, healthy light.
This is a crucial time in a kid's life, they are growing and it's important they receive the proper fuel. I've heard the argument many, many times that "what I'm feeding them is no different than when we were growing up and we turned out fine."
However, it is different than when we, or our parents, or our parents parents were growing up. GMO's (genetically modified organisms) didn't play as big of a role back then. Neither did the amount of harsh chemicals and pesticides used in our food supply today. Additionally, it may seem that we "turned out fine", while in reality cancer, auto-immune issues and diabetes numbers have sky-rocketed and new diseases that didn't exist 10, 20, 40, 60 years ago have come into play. Problems that weren't around when the 1950's diners served up fresh milk milkshakes and grass fed burgers.