At Little Green Pouch, we’re big fans of Real Food, and we’ve made it our mission to keep bringing you the best Real Food Pouch Recipes we can find, so you can fill your reusable food pouches with a delicious, fun variety of healthy foods.
During our 100 Days of Real Food challenge we featured Real Foodies, health benefits, recipes, and some great Facebook giveaways (we love to share the Little Green love!). As we head into Spring, we’re excited to keep our Real Food theme rolling, but with a Paleo twist.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be featuring tasty Paleo Pouch Recipes from special guests, plus great info and resources from Paleo parents, nutritionists, health coaches and others in the Paleo Know.
A Paleo diet is a Real Food diet that’s free of grains, refined sugars, legumes, dairy, potatoes, added salt, and refined oils--otherwise known as staples of the Standard American Diet. Here are a couple of handy Paleo-friendly food lists:
And if you’re looking for incredibly well-researched info on the why’s and how’s of Paleo, The Paleo Mom’s blog is the place to go.
Now, you’re probably already onboard with Real Food. After all, you’re already whipping up your own healthy foods to put in your Little Green Pouches. But let’s say you have this friend, who starts the day Fruity Loopy and ends the day Pastry Puffed; for them, starting a Real Food or Paleo diet can be a big change. And they might ask, “What’s left to eat?”
We have good news for you. 1 Million Delicious Things.
So if you’ve been wondering about Paleo but haven’t yet take in the plunge, now’s your chance to try it out. And if you’re already Paleo, stay tuned for a bunch of great new Paleo Pouch Recipes, give-aways, guest blog posts, and resources.
You’re going to love this food!
Maggie & Melissa
This post comes to you from Healthline and is written by Adrienne Santos-Longhurst. Healthline's mission is to improve health through information. Healthline provides objective, trustworthy, and accurate health information, guided by the principles of responsible journalism and publishing. Enjoy this article on real food lunches.
Knowing what to pack in your child’s lunch box isn’t always easy. From trying to balance between food that’s healthy and food that they’ll actually want to eat can be a downright pain! This can especially hard when it comes to sticking to lunches made up of real food and not just reaching for some of the quick fixes at the grocery store.
Obviously, your child is always worth the effort, but it’s perfectly okay to admit that sometimes a hectic schedule makes it hard to prepare real foods for their lunches five times a week. Before you give into your crazy schedule or your child’s pleading for cheese and cracker snack packs like “all the other kids get,” think about these facts:
-According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 1 in every 3 children in America is overweight or obese.
-Contrary to popular belief, fast food isn’t the main cause of child obesity, according to a recent study. Turns out that the bigger issue is what their parents and caregivers are feeding them, which often includes very little fruits and veggies and loads of processed foods and sugar-filled beverages.
-Obese kids have a higher risk of several health issues such as bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and heart disease. They also have a higher risk of psychological problems like low self-esteem.
-A National Institutes of Health (NIH) panel concluded long ago that food additives and certain foods affect some children with behavioral issues, including ADHD.
It won’t be easy to get your child to eat a lunch box full of whole grains, fruits, and veggies when little Suzy is sitting on one side with her cupcake treat and little Jared on the other eating a pizza pocket. The key to making it work is to create healthy alternatives that taste great and, since kids are visual creatures; look good too.
Since sandwiches are a lunch box staple, be sure to include them even if only a couple times a week. Make your own bread, or buy whole grain breads that list grains as the first ingredient on the label. Pack them with protein-filled natural nut butters and sweeten them up with slices of banana. Honey is also a nice alternative to highly processed jams and spreads. If getting them to eat sandwiches takes a little more coaxing, then add some whimsy by cutting the bread into a fun shape. It’s all in the details with some kids!
Fruits and vegetables can be approached much the same way, by cutting and arranging them into fun shapes. It may seem a little frivolous, but investing a few bucks into spiral slicer or taking a few extra minutes to spiral cucumbers and other veggies can make all the difference in the world! Baking veggies into “chips” is also a sure-fire way to get a child to eat their veggies without any moaning.
And, give them the special fast food treats they want without all the fat and additives. Ground turkey and chicken made into patties and placed in a whole grain bun is a great alternative to the traditional hamburger and making your own whole grain pizza dough and letting them add their own healthy toppings is a fun way to give them a healthy version of a classic kid favorite.
Other kid-friendly real food ideas are:
The way you pack their lunch is also important. It may seem silly since most of us could care less what our lunch is packaged in when break time rolls around and we’re hungry. To a kid, the way the food is packaged matters, especially when they’re surrounded by other kids drinking out of bottles with straws and slurping snacks out of squishy tubes and containers! Look for cool containers to make the “real food” look like “fun kid food”. Snack trays with different compartments like bento boxes are great, as are bright bottles, and yes, the Little Green Pouch too. Its kid and slurp-friendly design is ingenious, along with being reusable and compact, of course. Basically, when it comes to packing a lunch that appeals to kids: If you can rearrange it, squish it, or slurp it; they’ll love it!
Getting your kids to eat real food at school doesn’t have to be a struggle. Put your kid cap on and think like your 6-year-old self when planning and preparing their lunches and snacks. And, don’t forget to ask for their input and include them in the process. You’d be surprised at how excited they get about lunch when they have some say.
Adrienne is a freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and fitness for more than a decade. When she's not holed-up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking about her beach town with husband and dogs in tow or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand up paddle board.
My sons Kelley and Finnegan are 5 and 3. Kelley is in kindergarten, and then goes to an afterschool program for a couple of hours (from 1-3). Finnegan is in preschool during the same hours. This means that mama’s preparing lunch for these guys every day of the week. Yeah, every single day (except holidays and those puzzling “in-service” days).
I’m not sure if you are there yet. You know, waking up each morning with the “I have to make school lunches” dread. Stressing over what to put in that fourth container of your kids’ BPA free bento box. Frantically peeling and chopping that last dehydrated carrot in the back of the produce bin because that’s all the plant material left in the fridge. Searching (for what seems like hours) through the Tupperware drawer to find the lid to that fourth container of your kids’ BPA free bento box. I’ll be honest, it’s a grind.
But I must say, things have gotten easier for me. Planning is huge. Preparing the lunch box the night before is even huger (I just checked Dictionary.com and that is actually a real word). Taking on this Real Food Initiative has helped me on both fronts. The truth is, if you want to eat more real food, you have to be organized, and you have to plan. For example, if I want my kids to have wholesome real food applesauce in a pouch for lunch, instead of one loaded with added sugar and artificial ingredients, I need to do it ahead of time. The good thing about this is if I plan and make it on the weekend, I have enough for the entire week (this recipe is great, you can do it in the slow cooker).
Also, if I plan ahead by making a double batch of a particular recipe, I have extra for the boys’ (and even my) lunches during the week. I’ve been doing that a lot with a recipe from 100 Days of Real Food for macaroni and cheese. And what’s even better about this is, when we finish having this fantastic real food mac ‘n cheese for dinner, I just plop what’s left into the good ol’ bento box and I’m half way to “lunch is packed” heaven.
Leftovers are a true sanity saver for me. Here’s an example of today’s Real Food Lunchbox with leftover pork (from dinner), French Toast (from breakfast) and cut up fruits and veggies (from the weekend snack). Having this Real Food Lunchbox already prepared when I woke up this morning was pure bliss.
We want to talk lunchbox with you this week. Let us know your tips for creating healthy, real food school lunches. And check in later in the week for some fun, lunch box give-aways.
Today's Real Foodie inspiration comes from runner and triathlete, Kristen Chang, of Real Food For Fuel.
As a runner and triathlete, fueling properly throughout the day and during workouts is an essential aspect of my training regime. While studying nutrition throughout college, I slowly began to connect the dots in terms of how great of an effect my daily food choices made on my ability to complete workouts optimally, recover quickly, and just sustain the energy levels I needed to achieve my goals.
This connection between food and athletic performance became even more real for me when I decided to adapt a plant-based (mostly vegan) lifestyle in March 2013. I began to cut out many processed foods from my diet and emphasize fruits, vegetables, plant-based proteins and unrefined grains. My energy levels simply soared and I became leaner, fitter and stronger overall. I've never looked back!
A real foods diet is important for athletes not only to ensure they're getting the correct balance of macro-nutrients to support their training, but to optimize vitamin, minerals and antioxidants within those calories. By focusing on the quality of food, rather than overall quantity, improvements in energy, recovery, stamina and performance will be found. After all the hard work that is put into workouts, why compromise your efforts by eating junk?
My general diet philosophy these days is "every food has a purpose," and I try to remember this when I choose what to eat each day. Eating with a purpose, real food for fuel, everything in moderation: three general guidelines that I abide by to make eating simpler yet healthier. These apply to athletes, adults, teenagers and babies alike!
And check out Kristen’s Homemade Energy Fuel: Sweet Potato & PB Banana Mash-Up. Kristen said she was enjoying one from her Little Green Pouch as she sent it to us! She says it is “Kid friendly, but delicious for adults on the go too,” and that she is “totally looking forward to using these pouches to pack real-food fuel for my longer bike rides this spring and summer. The pouch should fit well into the back of my cycling jersey. It's like a portable picnic lunch!”
Here at Little Green Pouch, we are loving learning about Real Food. There are so many fantastic resources out there for those of us trying to better understand the Real Food movement, and incorporate it into our lifestyle.
We were excited to recently discover a great Real Food resource in Wholesome Mommy. Wholesome Mommy is a blog for busy moms trying to feed their family Real Food. Denise Sawyer, author of the blog, keeps it “REAL SIMPLE for those of us who don’t have all day to spend in the kitchen or don't have time to hunt exotic ingredients.” She has fantastic recipes and provides great tips and tricks (like how to purchase chicken) to make wholesome living easy and affordable (check out her Real Food on a Food Stamp Budget meal plans).
Wholesome Mommy has been kind enough to create a great Real Food Pouch Recipe for Little Green Pouch that is perfect for pouches and also great for Valentine's Day — Apple Beet Sauce. How pretty is that color? You can find the full recipe HERE.
We hope you’ll give this Real Food Pouch Recipe a try, and let us know your thoughts. And don’t forget to send over Real Food Pouch Recipes of your own. If we love them (which we’re certain we will), we’ll include them on our Real Food Recipes hub, our general Recipes Page and our Real Food Pinterest Board. I mean, you’ll practically be famous!
We’ll check in with you next week to let you know how other Real Foodies are filling their Little Green Pouches, and of course, what’s in Parker’s Pouch this week.
‘Til next time,
Maggie & Melissa
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