For the past few years I have been telling my kids I am not going to make their lunches but somehow it just doesn’t stick. As much as I’d love for them to make it themselves I sometimes end up pulling it together for them in the morning. Doesn’t matter if I remind them the night before or remind them in the morning when they get up. I don’t really want to remind them anymore, I don’t even want to think about their lunches honestly. But what happens if they are pressed for time? Would they, could they go to school without lunch? Would I let that happen? Should I let that happen? Not sure what the right answer is.
Though we don’t usually think about seeds as replacements for animal protein in our diet, they can be a great addition to a vegetarian meal to increase its nutritional value.
At last count, I had the following in my pantry:
With school winding down it is time to start getting ready for summer camp. I am airing out duffel and sleeping bags, washing towels and sheets and printing off packing lists. Does your daughter go to sleep-away camp? If so, you might be concerned that she won’t be able to follow a healthy vegetarian diet while she is away from home. I know I was worried when my daughter went away for the first time.
Mornings can be a crazy time with getting everyone up, fed and out the door on time. Smoothies are a great way to ensure everyone leaves the house with a healthy start to their day. Whether it be a picky eater, a vegetarian/vegan or anyone else with dietary restrictions, everyone loves smoothies.
When my daughter decided to become a vegetarian, I used our morning smoothie to get her to consume as many nutrients possible before she left for school. I tried to make it prior to her getting out of bed so she wouldn’t see what I was putting in it. Though it didn’t quite matter as she managed to pick out all the tiny green pieces anyway. We experimented with a lot of different fruits, some veggies/herbs, fish oil, hemp seeds, chia seeds… you name it, I added it to our smoothies. Did she drink them? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
Here are a few tips to get the most out of your morning smoothie. Give them a try and you won’t have to worry about your kids leaving the house hungry and malnourished in the morning:
. Choose fruit you know everyone likes. I always recommend starting with berries- strawberries, raspberries or blueberries are all good options.
. Add some healthy fats, a tablespoon of coconut oil or avocado will do the trick. Depending on what type of smoothie your family likes a tablespoon of nut or seed butter will also work well. Theses will also add some protein.
. Add proteins like silken tofu or Greek yogurt (choose plant-based if your child is vegan) to get a smooth creamy texture.
. Instead of water, use soy milk to increase the protein content as it contains the most protein of all non-dairy beverages.
. Add a ripe banana, ripe pear or some pineapple to sweeten things up.
. Sneak in some greens like parsley or watercress as they have a mild flavour.
. Sprinkle in some chia or hemp seeds which will add protein, healthy fats and some Omega 3 fatty acids.
. Us frozen fruit if fresh it not available. It will also make the smoothie nice and cold without using ice.
Here is a tried and true recipe from our house, though quantities are approximate as I never really measure.
Mixed Fruit Smoothie
1/4 cup frozen mango
1/4 cup fresh pineapple
1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 ripe medium banana
1/2 tbsp chia or hemp seeds
Vanilla soy milk to desired consistency
Place ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
What’s your favourite go-to smoothie?
We usually eat one tofu meal a week in our house. We often eat edamame and use miso quite a bit. All of these foods are made from soybeans. Soy, it seems, is quite a controversial topic. A simple google search will make your head spin.
Fellow RHN, Bonnie Wisener, recently published a blog post about soy that I wanted to share. You can find the link here.
And if you are looking for something to make with tofu, you can find this recipe I posted a while ago here.
Do you have any favourite soy recipes to share? If so, post in the comments section below. I’d love to give them a try.