Snacks, School Lunch, & Treats

Our consumption of sugar has increased nearly 1000-fold since a 1923 US Farmers Bulletin recommended one pound of sugar per person per day. The experts are right, we do need to dramatically reduce our sugar consumption given its negative affects on behavior and health. Yet we continue to find sugar added to everything on the store shelves, even “plain” organic chicken broth!!

With most schools across the US are rethinking their vending machine strategy, removing soft drinks and some junk food after definitive evidence showing the effects on grades and behavior, finding healthy snacks and treats proves an even greater challenge.

How to have healthy, crunchy snacks?

The worst choices are often made in between meals, when we reach for a quick something to stave off our hunger: cookies, commercial “energy bars” that are laden with sugars (so little of the protein is absorbed), chips and dips with inflammatory seed oils… the list goes on.

That “quick snack until you eat a real meal” often has more calories and bulk than the meal you finally arrive at later.

Consider a snack as a “mini-meal.” Select it as carefully as you would the main course. Make it nutrient dense and ridiculously tasty with these ideas.

And what’s for lunch?

What can be packed and taken and still look and taste amazing hours later?

How about treats?

Our children have grown used to receiving a reward in the form of going out for ice cream, candy from their teacher, more cookies… surely we can ask them what they might like for a reward. For good grades, my son loves being taken ice skating, given an extra 15 minutes of recess, have a sleepover… just some ideas.

These recipes

…are not made with cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup, nor do they involve wheat or other grains. But some of these still have sugars like maple syrup and raw honey. So plan wisely.

Goji Cacao Energy Balls

Goji Cacao Energy Balls
Raw cacao nibs add a rich, dark chocolate crunch to these bars (cacao nibs are small pieces of the cacao bean--make sure they are raw and unsweetened--TerrAmazon carries a nice product available at Natural Pantry and other places throughout Anchorage) and tart-sweet goji berries contain lots of natural vitamin C, beta-carotene, and iron. According to...

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Zucchini Chips

Zucchini Chips
Ingredients: 6 Zucchini ½ cup Tamari (wheat free and organic or it is probably GMO) ½ tsp cayenne (or to taste) 1 tsp garlic powder Preparation: 1. Wash and thinly slice the zucchini. 2. In a bowl big enough to hold all the zucchini slices, mix together the tamari and spices. 3. Add the zucchini...

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Roasted Spiced Cashews

Roasted Spiced Cashews
Whoa there! Did you know that tamari (unless specified now) is not just fermented soy? Apparently it is less expensive to make it with wheat flour—yikes!! This was certainly under our radar until our crashed reflex (and bloated gut) tested for—yup, wheat. Read the label: the tamari almonds we were buying at Anchorage’s main healthfood...

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Baseball Beef Sticks

Baseball Beef Sticks
This year was an amazing season for my favorite Abbot O' Rabbit Major Little League team, the Cardinals. Of course my son plays on that team. After a grueling series of city league games going into overtime after overtime, our Cardinals were the only AOR team to make it to the final four playoffs. I...

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Tuna Salad Sandwich

Tuna Salad Sandwich
This updated Tuna Sandwich spread is full of fresh flavor and takes just 15 minutes to make. You could make this with canned salmon or chicken... heck, coming home to some really big zucchinis and I’m even thinking it might work with grated carrots and zucchs. Hmmmm… Serves 4-6 Ingredients: 12 oz. can chunk tuna...

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Mom Pockets

Mom Pockets
There I am one day, taking a respite in the kitchen to solve another one of those "what can I send to school for lunch?" questions. My son in his subtle way begins: "I've never eaten a Hot Pocket and then afterwards, been, 'I'm glad I ate that.'" He loves comedian Jim Gaffigan "I was...

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Seeds Gone Crackers

Seeds Gone Crackers
So many “what’s there to eat?” queries are seeking snacks and crunchy. So when I found Doug's sprouted seed cracker recipe among my pile of contributions from our recent “Fermentapalooza” was I ever excited. Better yet, this is a simple recipe—truly beyond simple on any difficulty scale—does need a few kitchen tools that not everyone...

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Grain-free Chicken Nuggets

Grain-free Chicken Nuggets
Looking for a lunchbox item? Look no farther than this scrumptious grain-free chicken nugget dish that actually looks like what your child's friends bring... 😎 Ingredients 1 pound of organic free range chicken tenders or deboned breast meat 1 cup almond flour (or possibly garbanzo-fava flour as a nut alternative) 2 Tablespoons turmeric ¼ teaspoon...

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Spinach Tortilla Lunch Wraps

Spinach Tortilla Lunch Wraps
The Lunchbox Squad rides again.... with this simple and quite portable version of our popular "Freedom From Wheat and Corn Tortilla" series. Serves 2 Ingredients One recipe of "Freedom From Wheat & Corn Tortillas" (part II) handful of washed spinach or other greens slow roasted shredded roast beef (grass fed) washed, chopped lettuce cold, pre-cooked garbanzo...

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Spicy Sriracha Meatballs

Spicy Sriracha Meatballs
A very smart mom friend of mine made this observation: “when I leave protein snacks out for my children, they don’t bug me for sugary treats” How simple is that? Maybe we just need more ideas from brilliant moms. Smiles Serves 6 Ingredients 1 pound grass fed ground beef 1 egg 2 tablespoons almond or...

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Chocolate Chia Pudding

Chocolate Chia Pudding
Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants, plant-based protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber. (So much fiber, in fact, that there is only one “net carb” per one-ounce serving!) This dish is lightly sweetened with dates but you can choose options like grade B maple syrup or coconut sugar. Please consider your goals and whether or...

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Trail Mix that’s better than GORP

Trail Mix that’s better than GORP
This is the best portable and traditional snack I've ever invented. Smiles  😛 "GORP"  is "Good Old Raisins and Peanuts" That's great! Except when I walk through the health food isle it's peanuts, M&Ms, sweetened pineapple, sweetened coconut, sweetened... Good Old Raisins and Peanuts (GORP)  goes one of two ways: Succumbing to M&Ms or other...

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Think Pink (Beet) Pizza

Think Pink (Beet) Pizza
What to serve for a lite lunch with friends, or mom? An eye-grabbing unique pizza, of course. Who's ever heard of a pink pizza crust? My son thought it a bit wierd, what a guy... Serves 4 Crust Ingredients 1¼ cup pureed beets (about 3 large beets) roasted or boiled first (if you boiled your beets,...

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Greek Dolmades with Lemon Sauce

I am smitten with the flavors of Greek cooking and we all know the health benefits of following a Mediterranean diet. This dolmades recipe blends traditional, garden bounty, and anti-inflammatory ingredients. Continue reading

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Herky Jerky

Herky Jerky
Yummm!! That is really all I have to say. Well, and that this jerky has been a long tradition for me, my family, friends of my family… …and the best news is that it has all things that are good for you. I’ve talked about how great maple syrup is (and how inflammatory the cane...

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Football Chicken Satay

Football Chicken Satay
Born from a need for a nutritious snack to replenish hungry, young athletes without being donuts or cookies or other sugar/carbohydrate-laden junk foods that decimate the athletic fat-burning metabolism, I bring you “all in one” football chicken satay. This recipe combines together the peanut dip flavor and the ginger marinade. For a more authentic Thai...

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Perfectomundo Pizza

Perfectomundo Pizza
One of my great sadnesses on learning what commercial, even organic, wheat does to our digestive tracts and our bodies in general; my great sadness was the loss of pizza. This born-in-New-York gal slowly went through pizza withdrawal, but not without serious longing for what I consider is one of the four major food groups. There is something...

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Epic Meat Bars

Epic Meat Bars
I love great finds for nourishing, on-the-go snacks and lunches. The only think I like more is when I work out how to make something in my own kitchen for a fraction of the cost of buying the original. And the only other thing I like even more than that, is when it is sooooo...

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Billy’s Energy Bars

Billy’s Energy Bars
Named for a husband-wife team who enjoy creating healthful foods, this story is based on a real event in a real kitchen; names are fictitious. This recipe makes about two cookie sheets, can be easily halved and measurements are estimations. Ingredients: 3 cups pitted organic Medjool dates 3 cups dried organic Mission figs 1 vanilla...

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…a big paleo pizza pie, that’s amore

…a big paleo pizza pie, that’s amore
If there is one thing I’ve learned from my Eating to Restore Balance class... ...we love pizza. Unfortunately, with so many food sensitivities and allergies these days... the fact that most of our dairy has become cheap anti-food... wheat and most commercialized grains are cheap anti-food... now there is an abundance of Paleo pizza recipes, gluten-free...

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Paleo Pizza Crust

Paleo Pizza Crust
The first time I made this, I made the thin-crust crispy paleo pizza version. Yummy!—the first ever paleo crust that held together when loaded with toppings and cheese and... still was finger food. The next time I made it, I doubled the recipe, used Coconut Milk Kefir and let it sit on the counter all...

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