I had the pleasure of writing a guest post on the very informative blog www.drjoesays.com. Dr. Joe is a pediatrician with The Children’s Clinic in Greenville, SC. He is our personal pediatrician and I admire the fact that he is open to my natural approach to medicine. He listens carefully to my thoughts and ideas and this lends to a very successful partnership between parent, child and doctor. His bedside manner is one that makes children feel comfortable and safe during the time they are in his care. I eagerly accepted his request to guest post on his blog as I feel our desire to educate and assist others with health goes hand-in-hand.
5 Healthy Lunch Ideas
With school starting this week, my brain began the process of planning daily lunches for my grade-schooler. As he has grown more and more open to eating clean healthy foods, I am continuing my quest to ensure these habits endure by offering exciting fun lunches that he will look forward to, and better yet, will eat. This process is not difficult, it just takes a bit of planning and creativity.
After being diagnosed with severe IBS nine years ago, my family and I have been on a clean eating journey. My passionate pursuit of research and education began so that I could prepare clean healthy meals using ingredients that I was somewhat unfamiliar with. I walked out of my comfort zone and never looked back. Today I educate others in my minimally processed, whole food approach to eating, so that small changes can take place one family at a time.
I wanted to share a few of my favorite “go-to” lunch items along with the health benefits of making these particular food choices.
1. Chicken Wraps – I choose fresh chicken over processed deli meats. I purchase either a whole organic chicken or organic chicken breasts and cook them over the weekend to use for sandwiches and meals during the week. Choosing organic chicken ensures that there were no hormones or antibiotics administered to the chickens, as well as limits the amount of pesticides used. Fresh chicken also doesn’t have nitrates or nitrites added (to keep color and extend shelf life). For a sandwich, I add chicken, goat cheese, hummus and cucumber in a whole grain wrap.
2. Sprouted Grain Bread with Nut Butter – I use sprouted grain bread such as Ezekiel 4:9, since it is a healthier alternative to standard white bread. Sprouted grains are soaked in water until they begin to sprout and are then dried and ground into flour. There is minimal processing involved with sprouted grains and are therefore easier to digest than other highly processed grains. For a sandwich, I add organic almond or peanut butter and slices of apple or banana.
3. Hummus and Vegetables – I used to purchase container upon container of hummus at the grocery, until I realized I could make it homemade for much less money and a whole lot more nutrition. When you make your own hummus, you know exactly what goes into it and the list of ingredients is very short. Please check out my homemade recipe that takes 5 minutes to prepare. For lunch, I cut up veggies such as carrots and celery and have a side of hummus for dipping.
4. Fruit and Yogurt Dip – I choose seasonal organic fruits and mix Greek yogurt and raw local honey for dipping.
5. Organic Cheese and Whole Grain Crackers – I use goat Gouda and Nut Thin crackers as a side item for my children’s lunch. Organic Valley makes a great string cheese that is really easy to pop in a lunchbox. We do not eat cow cheese very often, but when we do, this is my choice. Goat cheese is much easier to digest and isn’t loaded with antibiotics or hormones.
I hope this list is helpful. Please know that starting a clean eating lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight, and taking small baby steps is absolutely okay. I understand that the health of your children is of the upmost importance and my thoughts and ideas are meant to be a guideline as a good place to start.