May 02, 2012
Posted By: Assunta Swier
Remember when being “organic” wasn’t necessarily cool or even necessary at all? Or maybe it was? I guess it depends on if you view being different, doing things against the grain, as cool. Well, these days, I am pretty proud to consider myself as an ‘Organic Mom,’ a title I find to be extremely cool.
No matter what kind of lifestyle you try to instill on your children, at the end of the day, a kid is a kid and, let’s face it, they want kid food. At some point, they are going to leave the shelter of their high chair and enter the real world, a world where you can no longer manipulate what they eat, a world where they are, most likely, learning eating habits from other children whose lunchbox choices may not jive with your values on food choices.
If you were to ask my children what constitutes a gourmet meal, they would gladly tell you that nothing screams gourmet more than mac ‘n cheese, chicken nuggets and, of course, cookies and cake. As a mother, I have worked against the grain, for a very long time, to prevent them from wanting and eating such foods, mainly because most of those options are bad for them in almost every way. But, somewhere in the middle of that struggle, it dawned on me that it was up to ME to make smarter choices for them while still tricking, umm, I mean, helping them think they are still eating the kind of food a kid wants.
So, here are a few of my top picks for feeding my kids their desired ‘kid food’ while still providing them with healthy treats:
Applegate Farms Organic Chicken Strips: Skip Tysons, skip the McDonald’s drive-thru and grab yourself some Applegate Organic Chicken Strips, as it is, by far, our families favorite staple. They offer everything: breakfast, lunch, dinner....even dessert! I’m not gonna lie, I’ll even make double what I need for the children because when we are having chicken nuggets from Applegate Farms, I plan on diving in just like I did when I was a kid. And just like when I was a young girl, I can dive in guilt-free. I like to cook these until they are extra crispy and golden brown. And what would a chicken strip be without a little 365 Organic ketchup? I serve them with 365 Organic corn and homemade fresh cut fries from organic potatoes.
Annie’s Organic Snack Mix: Bye-bye Goldfish, hello Snack Mix.. These are a MUST-HAVE in my kids’ pantry. This is their go-to snack and God forbid I packed a lunch without them. This treat has no trans-fat, no saturated fat, no cholesterol and no artificial ANYTHING...Don’t ask, just go and get them now. I have to buy 10 boxes at a time because they eat them that quickly! Seriously, my kids are addicted!
LARABAR: These are great - especially for “on-the-go” times. They also double as an amazing “sweet treat” for mom. I can make myself a cup of tea and enjoy one of these babies like it’s a piece of carrot cake or a coconut cream pie, depending on the flavor. There is something for everyone. I always keep an entire box in my pantry. We cannot live without these. Even my hubby enjoys them when he is craving a healthy snack. YUMMY! My favorite is Chocolate Chip Brownie. Oh, and p.s. - LARABAR has always been naturally gluten-free and NON GMO!
Natures Path: Koala Chocolate and Peanut bars: these are always around. Everyone in my family loves them. Natures Path is, essentially, a granola bar. They are naturally gluten-free and don’t contain what my kids call ‘weird’ ingredients. Move over, Quaker, there’s a new granola bar in town! This brand also carries many naturally gluten free cereals and all of the products are ORGANIC, NON GMO AND GLUTEN FREE!
365 Organic Waffles: I don’t know what goes on in your house, but each Monday through Friday morning in my house is pure chaos. Getting two little ones up and out by 7am is never smooth sailing - unless I plan ahead. One of the ways I win the morning war is by using Van’s organic frozen waffles. My kids have a slight obsession with these. I’d be lying if I said we topped them with something pure and healthy like raw honey or agave because, well, we don’t. I’m from a European family, and so I’ve passed down the tradition of what I did when I was their age - I top those puppies with Rapunzel Chocolate Hazelnut Butter. It’s chocolate and hazelnut, people, and it tastes good on everything. Everything. You can spread it on fruit and I assure you, even the most picky of eaters will shovel it in. Oh yes, I do whatever it takes! People if you have never sliced yourself an apple and dipped it into Rapunzel, then you have not lived. Trust me on this one...try strawberries too. Another blissful party happening in your mouth...But when there is time to make your own, I love 365 Organic Pancake and Waffle batter or Bob’s Red Mill gluten free pancake mix. I’m drooling right now all over my keyboard at just the thought of it. Let’s move on before I short circuit this thing. *gluten free options available
Food Should Taste Good:: Who doesn’t love chips? These chips are labeled with all the “right” labels for me as a mother. NON-GMO, Gluten Free, Cholesterol Free, No Trans Fat, Low Sodium, No Artificial Colors, Flavors or Preservatives. We serve these with everything from guacamole to farm fresh salsa and homemade hummus. Delish!
Simply Organics Baking Mixes: Because great things in life don’t come easy...there’s Simply Organic. This products offers so many choices for us from cookies to pizza crust. Organic and Gluten Free options as well. The kids love to help make them and fill the cookie jar.
Applegate Organic Lunch Meats: My family is really big into sandwiches. Good ol’ fashion sandwiches. We love Applegate for all our sandwich needs! How can we not, they are No Antibiotics Used • Humanely Raised • No Hormones Used • Gluten & Casein Free • Vegetarian Grain Fed. Try ‘em and tell me what you think. You’ll be a convert, for sure.
Rudi’s Organic Bakery: This really is the best thing since sliced bread. Trust me, I took a poll. Whether you are just wanting better quality, or if you only buy organic, or if you have dietary needs, like being gluten free like me, Rudi’s has it all. Soft, yummy good ol’ fashioned white bread is what my kids want. They want it buttered with peanut butter and jelly ..and yup, you guessed it, Rapunzel Butter!
Honest Kids Juice: These juice boxes are so awesome for on the go times with the kids. They were created by a father for his children...so literally, made with love. Grape and Fruit Punch go quick in our house. NON-GMO labeled, too!!
365 Organic Mac n Cheese: Can mac ‘n cheese be healthy and fun? Yes, it sure can. Especially when it’s organic without the use of any genetically engineered ingredients! That’s really fun if you’re a mother, right! These are even cheaper then our leading brands if you can believe that!
So, these are just a few of my top picks for feeding healthy kids. Yes, just a few top picks - I could go on for days. What can I say, my family eats like hogs. Really healthy hogs. With these items on hand, packing healthy lunch boxes is a super simple task. And it costs about the same as buying the cheap, unhealthy versions. These brands are easy to find, go great in lunchboxes, and make perfect on-the-go snacks. Most of these products can even be purchased right from their websites. It’s so easy, you don’t even have to go to the store. Which any mom knows, kids in a grocery store can be as fun as letting the animals loose at the zoo. At least with these snacks, you aren’t adding to the sugar high.
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