Primal lunch box quandry
So heres the thing. My kids lunch boxes.
Its easy for me to change my diet etc. Its relatively easy for me to change all the breakfasts and dinners, but the kids school lunchboxes are a bit of a sticky point.
Apart from changing their lunches to something different, theres the 'cool' elements and the peer comments at school.
Obviously junk food with bright wrappers is considered 'cool' and the more bright wrappers, chocolate and crisps [potato chips] they have, the cooler they are. Conversely, the more pots of obscure food they have in their lunch box, the less cool and the more peer dissaproval.
A typical kids lunch box round here is:
Sandwiches[white bread is more cool] containing jam/marmite/cheese & mayo etc [tuna is less cool - the smell]
Drink of squash.
I have slightly changed their lunch boxes to:
One sandwich [still white bread though] or sometimes a pitta bread slice
Pot of grapes
Tub of cocktail sausages
Pot of raisens
Drink of Squash
+/- Sometimes crisps and choc bar, but not every day.
Sometimes carrot sticks get in there, sometimes cucumber slices or cherry tomatoes. But Im not really willing to make them get the p*ss taken out of them at school due to their food of all things, as I dont want them to have a rough time.
Also a big factor is the cost of it. I dont know about you, but when you cut out cheap filling wheaty foods, suddenly the shopping bill goes up due to all the pricey meat and fresh fruit & veggies, and Im certainly not loaded with cash.
Add to this the fact they are growing and very active [ages 6 and 8].
I suppose Id just like a whole bunch of ideas that I can try out!!
(My 11 year old is a different matter entirely, being a fussy eater who will always choose chocolate over anything else, and who uses her allowance to buy who-knows-what in the school canteen - probably the most 'cool' food she can buy, and you can guess what that might be - cookies, chips, crisps, sweet drinks etc. Her lunch box has been coming home with most of the food still in it for years.)
My youngest was diagnosed a non-coeliac gluten-intolerant when she was 5, so we went through the whole lunch-box scenario, as well as all the teasing about "non-cool" foods - I know just where you're coming from on that one!
Some of her favourite packed lunches were home-made vegetable crisps (I use a mandolin to slice carrots, sweet potatoes, beetroot, parsnips, etc, then dry them with kitchen paper, lay them in batches on trays and spritz with olive oil and bake - delicious and you can spice them up if you like!), Scotch eggs with bashed vegetable crisp crumbs instead of the breadcrumbs, baby stuffed peppers (which I used to do with tuna mayo because she didn't care about the smell), cold meatballs, fruit dipped in dark chocolate was always a favourite for pudding, and I'd often include a thermos of home-made soup for her in the winter. I'd also often give her a slice of frittata, or make baby quiches for her (gluten-free, of course).
I would agree that this is the hardest meal to keep primal.
I think your lunch boxes seem pretty good. What's in the sandwich? Chicken, ham, nut butter, cheese are all good sources of protein.
You could consider adding nuts to the pot of grapes, but of course cost is a big factor here.
Instead of a chocolate bar, you might find some type of nut or seed bar, it might even have chocolate as well.
I doubt there's any reasonable alternative to crisps, I simply never pack them, regarding them as non food. My daughter's lunch is probably not cool, but it feeds her.
Recently saw a documentary showing typical school lunches in 2 schools. If the kids from school A could see what the kids from school B had (or in most cases, didn't have) they would soon stop complaining about whether theirs was cool or not.
Olivia, these lunches sound incredible! And I stand corrected about their being no reasonable alternative to crisps!!
Originally Posted by oliviascotland
@oliviascotland - Oo, the crisps sound interesting!! And they love scotch eggs so I may tray that variation thanks!
@Annieh - I guess I just wanted a wider variety - they soon get sick of the same stuff everyday [unless its junk] they are not allowed to take nut products into school even in their own lunchboxes, due to those kids that have nut allergies, otherwise I would definately put them in.
I know that I'm radical and subversive, but here goes.
First, I would make sure that breakfast and dinner were stellar and able to meet the dietary needs of the children. That is, this will be the "healthy" meals of the day. Then, I wouldn't worry about as much in between.
But, still packing a lunch, I would go paleo-treat. Make the veggie crisps -- see how that goes. Perhaps include some home-made dips for them as well, if that suits your crew. Mine could care less, he'll eat crisps straight.
And then, cakes. I know it seems insane. But, a friend of mine makes gluten-free, beet-root and chocolate cakes with a dark-chocolate glaze that is *divine*, and her carrot cake with coconut-honey drizzle is amazing. These cakes are chock-full of delicious, sweet veggies, and when they are not made predominately with nut flours (though I think she uses a fair amount of coconut flour), then they are really quite healthy too.
Consider putting in 3 or 4 different "cupcakes" made with veggies instead of regular sugar ones, or even ones made with fruit. Banana "breads" might work nicely too.
Then, the kids open up to a big feast of sweets!
I might also include home-made sodas (you can go onto youtube and learn how to make traditional, lacto-fermented soda. . . i love strawberry, blueberry, and orange myself!), which woudl be a fun project for the kids to get into and learn to make (DS loves to ferment!), and also have a sweet reward. And, it's low, low sugar because the lactobacillus eats the sugar. YOu only get the fruit goodness and the gut-benefits of the bacteria! WOOT!
Anyway, it's unconventional, but just go with it. make a bunch of cupcake versions of these beautiful things, put some nice icings together, make a BIG bag of crisps, send along some home-made sodas. . .yeah, I think I have a plan for DS's lunchbox next year. LOL (though, this boy has a preference for his meat ball dippers and raw cut veggies and straight up fruit. And a carrot. he has to ALWAYS have a carrot in his box).
Could you get a recipe, perhaps? I have a lot of beets in the yeard, and wouldn't mind baking one for my folks. I found a couple on the net, but I of course want the original!
This one uses bean flour (I want rice flour)
Gluten-Free Chocolate Beet Cake | Delectably Free
This one has whey protein (?)
Gluten Free Beetroot Chocolate Cake | Gluten Free Cooking
This one seems to be the winner so far, apart from me being puzzled over 'garsseed oil' - I figure coconut oil is OKay? and I don't have agave nectar, honey or maple syrop?
Purple Velvet Torte - Healthy Chocolate Beet Flourless Cake | Elana's Pantry
Last edited by Leida; 09-21-2012 at 06:04 AM.
Great suggestions! I better get some new baking tins
it doesn't look like the flour-less one, but that's the one that *i* would make, and yes, I would go ahead and sub coconut oil, though warm it to liquid before mixing, probably. Looks delicious. I love beets.
here's a paleo flour-less carrot cake, too, with a frosting recipe as well. it uses ground pecans, though. I would probably also add some raisins and maybe some ginger to it, but it looks delicious.
One of my favorite cookies is pumpkin-chocolate chip. we have to roast the pumpkins down here to get a puree (they don't sell it canned!), and I also add shredded coconut to mine for more texture. I would use coconut oil instead of other oil in this recipe, but it's the right idea. And uses rice flour.
Here are some delicious raw, vegan macaroons that I enjoy making -- and there are lots of variations on this recipe, so you can make these using all kinds of different flavorings, but. . . yeah, delicious. I like to use honey and sometimes make a honey-ginger one (i use ginger juice. . . just a little, so it doesn't kill me, but some people like to use candied ginger).
Well, I don't think that you should overs-stress about your child food in such detail. Most of the kids don't understand this stuff and it would be weird for them to be "different" than the other kids.
I suggest you to let them have whatever they want and keep them happy.