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Seven ways to supercharge your child’s snacks

Written by lee on . Posted in Before and After School Snacks, Blog, Kids, Kids Recipe Book, Kids' Recipes, lunch box ideas, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Supercharged Food Menu

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There are many challenges that parents face in the daily rhythms of raising children, and one thing that can take the edge off the chaos is ensuring that your child is nourished with the right foods. I cover this in my new kids cookbook Supercharged Food for Kids.

Whilst I'm a firm believer that the three main meals should be the greatest priority for filling your little one with the bulk of their nutrients and fuel, I also think snacks need to be well thought out as they are what regulate their blood sugar and moods.

Here are seven ways you can supercharge your child's snacks.

1. Load them up on protein

Protein is the building block of your child’s growth. Really, there is little that goes on within the body that doesn't require protein. When paired with carbohydrates, including protein in a snack will help to keep a turbulent tantrum at bay by regulating the uptake of sugar. Eggs, meat, fish, cheese and combining grains with nuts or seeds, or pulses with grains will provide a hit of protein.

2. Be generous with fat

Do not fear fat! Saturated fat from animal (butter, ghee, chicken skin, full fat dairy, and fats from pastured meat) or plant (coconut oil) sources are responsible for many critical functions in the body, and will keep your child full and nourished between meals when added to snacks. Unsaturated fats from avocado, nuts and seeds are also wonderfully nourishing to growing bodies. Nut butters, cheese, avocado, labna or yoghurt are lovely snack additions for kids. Try making these Cucumber Sailing Boats.

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3. Focus on complex carbs

There is absolutely no place for many of the commercial snack foods available today that are high in simple carbohydrates that spike sugar levels and are highly processed. When using carbohydrates in snacks, always opt for wholefood sources of carbohydrate like wholegrains like quinoa, millet, brown rice, amaranth, buckwheat, spelt, lentils as well as potatoes and sweet potatoes.

4. Explore colour

Once you’ve covered the macronutrients through fats, proteins and complex carbs, you can be liberal with colourful fruits and vegetables that will fill your child’s body with vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients that will cover an enormous range of compounds to contribute to good health. Try to cover all colours of the rainbow to supply a diverse range of protective antioxidants.

5. Be savvy about sweetness.

Kids love a good treat, and there’s no reason to deprive them if they are homemade and full of nourishing ingredients. My favourite real food sweeteners include raw honey, coconut sugar, rice malt syrup, stevia, and dried unsulfured fruits like apricots and dates. Use these to make sweet treats. They'll love these fabulous Chocolate Popsicles.

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6. Persist with diversity. Snacks are a great opportunity to introduce a range of foods to your children. Supercharging your child’s diet means exposing them to a diverse range of foods that will provide a range of nutrients for their growth and development. Persist through rejection. Sometimes it takes four or five introductions to a food before a young child will accept the new taste.

7. Cram the goodness into a smoothie. Smoothies are a great pick-me-up snack for kids, especially in the afternoons after a big day out. They are hydrating and potentially highly nutritious—you’ll be able to add sneaky ingredients that they’d normally reject.

You'll find more delicious recipes for kids in my book Supercharged Food for Kids.

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IQS Aussie Splice Block Recipe and Book Review

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Snacks, Dairy Free, Dessert, Kids, Kids Recipe Book, Kids' Recipes, Nutrient Rich, Push Ups and Icy Poles, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

Aussie Ice Blocks If you’re on the hunt for a cool down recipe to keep the kids happy this summer, there’s nothing more refreshing than a splice ice-block.  This tastes-like-summer treat is made with an infusion of creamy avocado, spinach and banana, making it a more nutritious layered swirl of thirst quenching goodness minus the artificial flavours and colours.
This energising recipe comes straight out of the pages of Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar Kids Cookbook, now available as a print edition. Earlier this year I reviewed the original e-book version and suggested trying out Sarah’s version of another Australian favourite The Bounty Bar which is a good-for-you recipe for the whole family and one that I make regularly.
The original e-book has since been updated with the addition of a whole lot more sugar-free recipes and released in a hard copy format. The sugar free Kids Cookbook has over 85 recipes to make delicious sweet and savoury foods, aimed at giving kids nutritious meals that don’t compromise on flavour or promote the dreaded artificial sugar high.
In the book you’ll discover a huge variety of recipes with an easy to read layout, separating recipes into chapters such as “Breakfast for Brain Power”, “Let’s Party” and “Grab n’ Run”.  A handy chapter for parents of school-agers is “Lunch Box Ideas and Snacks” packed with recipes to ensure your child’s lunchbox is the envy of all their school friends.  You’ll find some convenient suggestions about how to navigate school canteen menus, ensuring you and your kids make positive and beneficial choices.
Another great part of the I Quit Sugar Kids Cookbook is a section on tips and tricks for getting your child to help in the cooking process and growing ingredients. I’m a firm believer in teaching kids where their food comes from and how it’s made to ensure they begin healthy habits from an early age. I also talk about it in my Supercharged Food for Kids Book.  Why not include your kids when making one of these recipes, because you ever know, you could be nurturing a budding chef!
I Quit Sugar Kids Cookbook can be found online and at $24.99 it’s a good value for money addition to your recipe book shelf and one that can be used time and time again.
Aussie Splice Blocks
Makes: 8-12
Preparation time: 4 hours
Ingredients
Green Layer:
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup coconut water
  Gold Layer:
  • 400 ml can coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon rice malt syrup
  • 1 cup diced, frozen mango
  Method
  1. Blend all ingredients for green layer in a high-powered blender. Pour mixture into Popsicle moulds halfway; freeze for 1-2 hours until firm.
  2. Blend all ingredients for gold layer in a high-powered blender. Pour mixture into moulds on top of green layer; freeze for a further 1-2 hours until popsicles are frozen.
 

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Feeding Fussy Eaters

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog Snacks, Bread and Wrap basics, Healthy Meals, Kids, Kids Recipe Book, Kids' Recipes, Lunch Box Ideas

Photo by the Whimsical Wife

Photo by The Whimsical Wife

This blog post goes out to all of the parents or caregivers of picky eaters, and ones who are raising children in a processed fast food nation. I think that covers just about every parent.

If your child is stuck in a pasta, nugget, boiled rice or potato mash commercial time warp, here are three no-nag ways to ward off an oncoming meal-time battle and have them eating out of your hands.

There’ll be no more shaking of heads and sealing of lips, look forward to saucer eyes and open mouths as kids hoover up these healthy meals like there’s no tomorrow. You can find more recipes in my Supercharged Food for Kids recipe book here.

But first, five tips to help you to encourage your children to eat well...

  1. Don’t be afraid to say no and express your love with healthy foods.  A way of nurturing kids is not to give them nuked processed foods full of sugar and bad fats. Show them you care by feeding them foods that will help them grow and develop.  They’ll also be able to understand and experience the taste of real food and set up their taste buds for life.
  2. Follow the 80/20 rule.  Don’t feed them squeaky clean food all of the time and let them indulge in treats in moderation.  They will develop a healthy relationship with food that way and not be the playground health nerd.
  3. Keep a healthy pantry, if you don’t have Tim Tams in the house it’s easier to offer an alternative and say try this ‘zoo poo” rather than yes we have a packet of Tim Tams but we’re not letting you anywhere near it.  Pester power will be in full swing if they can see it’s in the pantry and know it’s only a pincer grip away.
  4. Don’t force the issue.  If kids don’t want to eat something then let it go and have a healthy backup plan that you know they'll enjoy and can fall back on. Explain how certain foods will make them have strong bones and healthy bodies and why it will benefit them.
  5. Create kid friendly versions of your meals; for example if you’re making a delicious pumpkin soup, use the base mash for your little one and then turn it into a soup for you by adding herbs, coconut milk or stock. Talk to your child about the flavours and textures of the food you’re eating and if you can, sit down and eat meals together.

I'd love you to introduce these recipes into your child’s life and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Supercharged Breakfast Bar

My breakfast bar is packed with good fats, zinc, dietary fibre and B vitamins and these bars make a quick brekkie, lunch box favourite or after school snack.

Makes 10 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup almond flour or (flax seed meal for nut free)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened)
  • 1 1/4 cup mixed nuts or (seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower for nut free)
  • 2 TBS dried blueberries
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup rice malt syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  • Set oven temperature to 175 degrees Celsius
  • Line a baking dish with baking paper
  • Combine all dry ingredients, almond flour, salt, bicarb soda, coconut flakes, nuts/seeds and blueberries
  • In a large bowl, place melted butter, rice malt syrup and vanilla extract
  • Mix the dry ingredients into wet
  • Press the mixture firmly into the baking dish to prevent crumbling
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes
  • Chill to harden up before serving

Gluten Free Pita Pocket

Makes 4 pitas

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 TBS almond or rice milk
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 TBS coconut flour
  • 1 TBS flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 cup blanched almond meal
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1 TBS mixed herbs chopped fine (optional)

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  • Place baking paper on a baking tray
  • In a bowl whisk egg and add water, milk and olive oil
  • Add dry ingredients and stir well
  • Pour mixture onto baking paper in 2 medium sized circles about 12 cms across and spread
  • evenly with a palette knife
  • Bake for 20 minutes until golden and crispy around the edge
  • Let cool and with a sharp knife slice along the centre so that a pocket is created
  • Stuff with favourite fillings

 Zoo poo

 Cacao powder is loaded with antioxidants and although sometimes bitter in taste, it can be made sweeter with the addition of a natural sweetener.

Makes 8

Ingredients

  • 4 TBS coconut butter
  • 1/8 tsp. stevia powder
  • 1 TBS cacao powder
  • 4 TBS almond or rice milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened

Method

  • Melt the coconut butter in a bowl over boiling water
  • Add stevia and cacao and stir until combined
  • Add milk and stir until thickened
  • Place mixture in the fridge for half an hour to harden
  • Remove from fridge and take one TBS at a time and roll into ball
  • Roll in coconut flakes and place on a tray
  • Refrigerate until ready to eat

You can bu my Supercharged Food for Kids Recipe Book here.

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Rebooting Your Child’s Lunchbox

Written by lee on . Posted in Kids, Kids Recipe Book, Kids' Recipes, Lunch Box Ideas

vintage desk and bikeIt’s almost time to send the kids back to school, which means for many parents and caregivers busy schedules and challenging lunchbox fixing.  If you’re looking to reboot worn out and tired lunch box ideas and get creative then here are some of my simple tips.  Giving kids nutritious meals can really make a big difference to their mental clarity, focus and behavior in the classroom.

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Gluten Free Pita Pockets

Written by lee on . Posted in Before and After School Snacks, Blog, Bread and Wrap basics, Breakfast, Healthy Meals, Kids, Kids Recipe Book, Kids' Recipes, Lunch, Snacks

Photo by The Whimsical Wife

Photo by The Whimsical Wife

Say goodbye to soggy bread.  Sometimes it's good to have a break from sandwiches and introduce new healthy bread options to kids' repertoires.  

Here's a breakfast,  lunch, or bulging snack  idea that kids can easily assemble themselves and have fun in the process. It comes from my book Supercharged Food for Kids which you can find here.

The pockets can be filled with bacon and eggs at breakfast time or veggies, avocado and tuna or leftover dinner meat and spring salad ingredients and topped with homemade mayo or ranch dressing.  

You can pretty much stuff in whatever you like or whatever you have available in the fridge.

The basic recipe can also be made as a flat crusty pizza and delivered to hungry mouths pretty quickly once your favorite toppings have been fixed.

Test these on your brood and let me know what you think?

Makes 4 pitas

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 TBS almond or rice milk
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 TBS coconut flour
  • 1 TBS flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 cup blanched almond meal
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1 TBS mixed herbs chopped fine (optional)

 Method

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  • Place baking paper on a baking tray
  • In a bowl whisk egg and add water, milk and olive oil
  • Add dry ingredients and stir well
  • Pour mixture onto baking paper in 2 medium sized circles about 12 cms across and spread evenly with a palette knife
  • Bake for 20 minutes until golden and crispy around the edge
  • Let cool and with a sharp knife slice along the centre so that a pocket is created
  • Stuff with favourite fillings

Happy Cooking

Lee xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chia Coconut Pikelets

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Breakfast, Breakfast, Dessert, Desserts, Gluten Free, Kids, Kids Recipe Book, Kids' Recipes, Nutrient Rich, Recipe Book, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

 Chia Coconut PikeletsPhoto by Pamela Mackertich

I'd love to share a wholesome and delicious recipe out of my Supercharged Food for Kids book.

Pikelets work well for children as they are smaller than a traditional pancake and become a practical and fun finger food for them.  They can also be used for dessert as well as breakfast or packed into a lunchbox for morning or afternoon tea.

I’ve used chia seeds in this recipe because they are a delicious super food, packed with Omega 3s and ridiculously high in antioxidants. They’re extremely versatile and easy to use too. Some great ways to include them in your child’s diet are by adding them to smoothies, sprinkling them on top of yoghurt or cereal, tossing them in your muffin mix or making these delicious pikelets.

Any time you can squeeze chia into your child’s diet, you’re boosting their nutritional profile. By including plain full fat yoghurt on top of these pikelets, you’ll be providing sustenance as well as essential protein, calcium, vitamin C, iron, potassium and Omega 3 essential fatty acids.

When mixed with water, chia seeds become gelatinous. In this form you can use them as an egg substitute in your baking recipes.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 TBS chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 cup self-raising gluten free flour
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 TBS coconut nectar or sweetener of your choice
  • 2 TBS butter

Method:

  •  In a bowl place chia, flour, coconut milk, water, eggs and sweetener and mix.
  • Heat a frying pan and melt some butter in the pan
  • Pour in mixture and cook on medium heat until bubbles start to form
  • Flip over using a spatula and cook until browned
  • Continue until finished

I hope your whole family enjoys these pikelets. Top with yoghurt, berries or topping of your choice. You can find more recipes for kids here.

 

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4pm Pick Up Biscuits

Written by lee on . Posted in Before and After School Snacks, Kids, Kids Recipe Book, Kids' Recipes

4pm pick up bicks

 

Creating and filing a healthy biscuit barrel isn’t a chore with these yummy 4pm Pick Up Biscuits which not only stave off hunger pangs but also nourish children from the inside out. They are one of my new recipes from my just released book Supercharged Food for Kids.

Every parent has encountered the hullaballoo surrounding a chaotic after school pick up, stuck in an endless car line, disgruntlement rising as every traffic light turns to red and mum or dad trying to navigate across town in the fastest way possible to make it in time to drop the kids off at after school activities.  By the time they hit the car kids are usually quite hungry and can be tired and irritable after a long school day, so it’s important to create good eating patterns at this critical time and feed them a snack which is nutritious as well as being delicious.

The Australian National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey which was conducted in 2007 found that almost 50% of all children surveyed eat biscuits, cakes and pastries after school. These would more often than not be processed and contain high amounts of sugar, bad fats and be devoid of nutrition. A good snack to give kids is something which will keep them full until dinner and give them energy for after school activities. 

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Cacao Bomb Crackles

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, Dessert, Desserts, Kids, Kids Recipe Book, Kids' Recipes

Cacao Bomb CracklesHere’s a recipe from my brand new book Supercharged Food for Kids.

It’s crackle time! You’ve probably all witnessed the unhealthy versions of these hanging around on the table at every kid’s birthday party, loved unconditionally by children and parents alike.  These crunchy, crackles of puffed rice are essentially an old fashioned treat that I have always yearned to recondition for a real food 21st century. 

Using real food will teach your child to appreciate food’s natural flavours and develop and understanding of what real food actually tastes like and this recipe is the perfect example.  If you skip the sugar-filled, artificially flavoured party treats and instead opt for a healthier version it will ensure you are meeting your child’s nutritional needs with a good supply of magnesium and iron from the raw cacao and B vitamins from brown rice puffs.  Coconut oil and butter will add stickiness and sweetness and provide a great all round anti-fungal and anti-bacterial element.

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Chicken Noodle Soup

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Kids, Kids' Recipes, Nutrient Rich, Recipe Book, Seasonal, Soups & Salads, Spring, Sugar Free, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

Chicken Noodle Soup

cH icK en nO O dL e S O U p!

Yum! Chicken Noodle Soup is almost every kid’s favourite, and some adults love to indulge in it on doona-days or bed holidays too.  With this easy recipe, you’ll get delicious and quick results without having to slave over a hot stove for hours. Not to mention the slurpability factor which is just out-of-this-world.

Get ready for shouts of More Please! Here’s what to do…

Ingredients

  • 1 packet brown rice noodles
  • 1 TBS Coconut Oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 4 fresh celery leaves torn
  • 3 celery sticks sliced
  • 3/4 cup carrot sliced
  • 2 Tb minced dried parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 chicken breasts roughly chopped
  • 1 head broccoli roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cauliflower head roughly chopped
  • 1 cup green beans chopped
  • 5 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 1 TBS wheat free tamari
  • 1 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar

Celtic Sea salt to taste

Method

Cook noodles as per directions so that they are al dente
Brown onion in a saucepan in coconut oil
Add celery, carrot and herbs and sauté for a further 3 minutes and season
Add chicken and sauté for 4 minutes stirring often
Add vegetables then pour in stock, and tamari and ACV bring to boil and
reduce and simmer for 20 mins
Just before serving the soup, add the noodles to the pot and stir to separate

 You can purchase the book here.

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