Last week, I was interested in getting some feedback on what people consider “healthy” lunch options for kids. (For anyone, really). While I did see some replies with things like hummus, beans, and raw veggies, the majority of replies I got contained whole wheat breads, whole grain wraps, etc. There is a myth floating around that whole grains and whole wheats are healthy, and so many people believe that to be true. The cold hard truth is that they break down into sugars once we eat them, and that can lead to a host of problems. They are also full of gluten, which is terrible for our bodies. Corn, which is in almost everything, is also present in one way or another. Did you know that most corn is bad for our bodies? Most corn is full of GMO’s, which calls for a whole other post… And if we all knew what GMO’s meant and what they do to us, no one would come anywhere near foods that contain them.
The problem is that it’s so hard to make the switch. We are so used to eating one way, that it’s hard to abandon it and eat an entirely different way. I’m in that phase right now – learning more about healthy foods, and about what the foods we presently eat can do to us. Making my husband see how bad it is. Getting my kids to understand it and go from eating all the sugary stuff they like, to better alternatives that won’t lead to potentially life-threatening illnesses down the road. We say things like “I grew up eating this way, and I turned out just fine.” but are we, really? I challenge you to take a look at everything medically wrong that you have experienced recently (colds, flus, gut problems, aches and pains, arthritis, and other more serious complications), and do some research, and tell me that it has nothing to do with how we eat. Even things we might not think are not right, like our bowel movements – it might seem normal to you because it’s how it always is or you’ve gotten used to it over the years. Feeling jittery – you may think you just need a coffee. Or feeling sad for no reason – even that can be caused by the foods we eat. If we take a closer look at the foods we eat, and how we feel on a daily basis, and the things that are not right with us, i.e. Getting sick all the time, getting “the runs” all the time, feeling anxious or hyper, getting hives, all kinds of things – it can almost always be traced back to food.
The sugars that our bodies consume cause all sorts of disasters. It’s bad for our teeth, it can overload our liver and cause liver disease, it can lead to diabetes, metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease, it can even lead to cancer. It is addictive, it raises your cholesterol and causes obesity.
Basically, sugars are BAD NEWS for all of us. There are added sugars in so much of what we eat – and even foods that you don’t think have sugar in them, like breads, still break down into sugar in our bodies. Fruits have natural sugars in them already, so by consuming other things like breads, potatoes, etc., we’re just adding to those natural sugars.
Foods that have been processed aren’t good for us. Our bodies were designed for natural foods, foods that come from the earth. The more natural the food, the better it is for us. The less processed it is, the healthier it is.
Learning all of this information recently, has made me really want to make a healthier change for my kids at least. Sure, they may turn out “just fine” on the surface. But if there is a risk that they could develop serious or life-threatening diseases, and I can prevent that, isn’t it worth it?
There is so much information out there about good foods and bad foods –
enough for an entire separate blog. But for now, I just wanted to post some better alternatives for lunches than what so many of us feed our kids these days. It’s hard to stay healthy – we live in a world of processed foods, added sugars, hidden ingredients that are harmful to our bodies, and big companies that are only interested in profits, not how healthy their consumers are. The fact is that we are fed lies and myths about foods, and we are quick to believe them. What makes the most sense though, and you can’t argue with this really, is that the more natural it is, the less harmful it is.
So without further adieu, here is a list I’ve compiled of healthy lunches/meals that my kids love (as do I!). If we all start eating this way on a daily basis, we would all notice a change in our bodies – we feel better, we are more regular, we are sick less – and that’s beneficial to everyone, most importantly our children. We all want to give them the best we can, and food is such an integral part of that.
The foods/ingredients listed below can be assumed organic whenever possible.
- Chicken Salad on Avocado – pulled or chopped chicken, romaine lettuce, blueberries, mandarins, almond slices, mayo, Herbamare spicy seasoning, mixed together and spooned onto avocado halves
- Homemade (or store bought organic) hummus, cut up raw veggies
- Red Lentil and Carrot Soup (recipe coming)
- Lettuce Wraps (recipe here, although you can fill it with whatever you like – try strawberry halves, roasted red pepper hummus, and avocado – a delicious combo!)
- Butternut squash soup (recipe coming)
- Homemade chicken Fingers and Sweet Potato Fries (recipe coming)
- Greek Salad – my kids go crazy for this (recipe coming)
- Bean Soup (recipe coming)
- Hard Boiled Eggs, peeled, halved and served warm with gutter and sea salt and pepper
- Asparagus and Tomato Omelette
- Quinoa Salad (much like my Greek Salad but with Quinoa added)
- Salmon Salad (recipe coming)
- Add a handful of raw nuts or seeds as a side to any meal – almonds, cashews, sunflower or pumpkin seeds)
- Egg and Veggie Scramble (recipe coming)
- Fruit Salad (use your favourite combination. I like green grapes, pineapple, Apple, banana, pear and strawberries)
- Butternut squash soup
- Watermelon Salad (watermelons, feta cheese cubes and fresh mint)
- Egg and Veggie “Muffins”
- Salmon or Tuna with Spinach, Jicama, Green Beans and Grape Tomatoes in a salad
- Fruit or Veggie Skewers
- Organic Yogurt (although this still contains sugar – so you could make your own by following this recipe, coming soon)
Remember, getting your child(den) involved in the preparation will help get them interested in eating the meal afterwards! Please comment below with your favourite healthy ideas for lunches that don’t include breads, wheats and sugars!