Tag Archives: Fruit

Lunch box ideas?

School lunch box ideas.

With the school term fast approaching I’ve been thinking of different foods that I can use in my little mans lunch box that are nutritious and yummy.

He is a very fussy eater so coming up with different food ideas that he won’t get ‘bored’ of but foods that will also sustain his hunger, give him energy, are healthy options and are a nice variety.

He is only 3 but is very picky. He used to be a great eater and ate everything I have him, right up until he was about 2.5 years old. Then, like a switch, he ‘didn’t like anything’.

I try many options in his lunch box but the majority of the time, the lunch box comes back with the prepared food still not touched. Such a waste of good, wholesome healthy food.

I’ve tried asking him what he would like to eat. He still won’t eat it. I end up packing things that I know he will eat. Not always the healthiest options but he will eat it.

It makes me question, is it better to feed them what they like and want knowing it will get eaten?

Or pack him what I think is a better and healthier option knowing that it may possibly come back home untouched and know, my little guy went hungry as he didn’t like what was prepared for him?

He isn’t one of those children that sees other children eat and decided he wants to eat the same. He isn’t swayed by peer pressure. He is very head strong and is very confident.

So below are some options that I pack for my little guys preschool lunch box. I’d love to hear what you pack in your little ones lunch boxes.

Vegetable pancakes –
Yes I purée vegetables and put it in a pancake mix then make ‘regular’ pancakes. Great way to hide vegetables as my little man loves pancakes but ‘doesn’t like vegetables’.

Cereal –
I pack either Nutri grain or mini wheats. Yes I know they have sugar, but not as much as Cheerios or fruit loops and many other cereals. My little man will eat both and it’s a good easy way to get him to eat whole grains.

Crackers –
I make home made ones with my ThermoMix, they are quite healthy and really tasty. He eats them plain. If I have made a batch I will pack brown rice crackers or vita wheats. Again he eats them plain. Another easy way to have him eat while grains.

Cheese sticks –
A good source of dairy and protien and they keep well. If I have no cheese sticks I will cut up cubes of cheese. Full day of course.

Yogurt squirts –
I pop these in the freezer the night before school to ensure they stay cold for his lunch box. He will only eat vanilla and that’s fine. It’s another way to get dairy in his lunch box and brewing a squeeze pack, no mess and no need to pack a spoon.

Fruit squeeze pack / jelly squeeze pack –
I know some of you will think SUGAR but, I go for the lowest with no added sugar. He refuses to eat solid fruit even if I cut it up, so this way he is still getting fruit, some fibre and it’s a ‘sweet treat’.
I have tried making my own and using the refillable squeeze packs but he won’t touch them. I’m happy to buy them as its something I know he will eat.

Left over cold meats –
Example of i make mini meatballs for dinner, I will cook extra and pop those into his lunch box. He happily eats them cold. Or an extra sausage. Again if u cut it up he will eat it cold. Or even chicken tenders or home made chicken nuggets. So easy to make, good source or protein and iron and he will eat them cold.

Cold pasta –
Befor you think I’m nuts, it’s easy. I cook either shells or spirals, let them cool and put some in his lunch box. He likes cold pasta. I usually do while grain pasta or spinach. He won’t eat the ‘red’ but I find he doesn’t mind the ‘green’ or ‘brown’. Good carbohydrates and being low GI keeps his energy levels up.

Banana bread fingers –
He thinks it’s cake 😉 occasionally he will eat it. Plain though, no butter and it must be cut in rectangles. I again make my own in my ThermoMix so has almost no sugar and I again make it on half kamut and half wholemeal flour rather than plain white. Kamut flour is high in protein. You could also use chickpea flour.

An alternate in the banana bread fingers could be mini fruit muffins? If you make them yourself you can cut down in the sugar. I know some may question why cutting down on sugar in children.

Well 1 it rots teeth, 2 it can cause health issues and 3 if sugar is not burnt within the body from activity or exercise its stored as fat and our nation is already overweight. I don’t see I big issue in using either natural sugar sources such as fruit over refined sugar and I also think so much food has hidden added sugar that by cutting down on some can not hurt.

I don’t send my little man to school with muesli bars as its a nut free environment. I also don’t like the idea of roll up as its loaded with refined sugar.

I’d love to hear your ideas for fussy eaters that won’t eat a sandwich or cut fruit and vegetables.

Email me :
Noordinarymummy@gmail.com

Pregnancy snacks – healthy options.

Healthy pregnancy snacks!

Firstly let me start by saying, these are not just snacks for pregnant women. However when your pregnant there are many restrictions that you perhaps should and shouldn’t have within your diet, so finding healthy options to curb your craving and stop the nausea can sometimes be difficult.

Below are my trusty snacks that are a healthy option – so that I’m not packing on too many extra kilo’s but also eating the right foods for both bub and me.

I understand cravings can override health and you just want to reach for a burger and fry’s, well I’m not saying don’t, what I’m saying is choose better choices. I sometimes find that if I’m craving hot chips / fry’s and I make my own oven baked rather than deep fried, they succumb the craving and I don’t generally eat the serving that I made for myself anyway.

Green apples – I love crunchy food during pregnancy, not sure why but I do.

Vita wheats – just plain, nothing on them, again crunchy but filled with many vitamins, seeds, whole grains and good stuff.

Cheddar / tasty cheese – yes unfort they say to stay away from soft or light coloured cheeses due to homogenised mill etc but a sharp tasty is just as delicious either alone or on crackers.

Yogurt – extra dairy which is great calcium, just watch the sugar content. Sometimes it best to have natural Greek yogurt and add your own fresh fruit for the sweetness.

Toss Salad – easy and healthy and crunchy packed with vitamins and minerals. A simple tomato, half an avocado and some chopped cucumber, cold, fresh, crunchy and delicious. I sometimes squeeze fresh lemon juice in for extra kick. This will satisfy both sweet or sour cravings.you could also add cheese.

Carrots – Yep trusty old crunchy carrot sticks! Cold and full of fibre and good vitamins.

Potato chips / wedges – Yep you can indulge – make your own. Cut your potatoes in either wedges or strips/chips and put on a non stick oven tray and bake for approx 25 minutes or until golden. You can use white or sweet potato. Add some salt and munch away!

Cold sausages – yes I said it. I know some women can’t stand the smell of cooked meat so have someone else BBQ these for you and store them cold. It’s important to keep up unite proteins and iron levels during pregnancy so try not to cut out red meats. Eating them cold generally helps subside the aromas.

Orange – I like mine cold, I also find it hard to keep my fluids up as I suffer terrible morning sickness. By eating an orange I’m getting lots of vitamins especially vitamin c and it’s also helping with my hydration.

Boiled Eggs – Packed full of lots of good things, boiled eggs are great to have in the fridge. I do a batch and just leave them. Again once cold the aroma isn’t too bad and these little babies are full of goodness. One large egg contains (1):
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): 9% of the RDA.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 15% of the RDA.
Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA.
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 7% of the RDA.
Selenium: 22% of the RDA.
Eggs also contain small amounts of almost every vitamin and mineral required by the human body… including calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, manganese, Vitamin E, Folate and many more.
A large egg contains 77 calories, with 6 grams of quality protein, 5 grams of fat and trace amounts of carbohydrates.

Sunflower or pumpkin seeds – full of magnesium these are a good nibble.

Pork – an excellent source of thiamine. Have the occasional good-quality grilled sausage or slice of lean ham. Even on toast this is also helping with protein.

Beans (baked beans) – high in fibre these will help stop the dreaded constipation that most women experience during pregnancy.

Pikelets – I personally love the golden ones from the super market and I eat them dry. I find that they are light, fluffy, not dense and with minimal flavour eaten dry they seem to calm my nausea.

Sparkle Strawberries!

For all the fairy princess’s out there, this one is for you.

This can actually be done with many fruits, including other berries and bananas. If using bananas, perhaps cut them in half or quarters based on how large they are.

Making these with blueberries are quite cute also, a bit fiddley but very cute!

Fun for kids party’s or as a side to a cocktail glass!

Sparkle strawberries!

1 x punnet fresh Strawberries
1 x cup Chopped chocolate, melted (I like to use white chocolate but milk is always a winner)
Toothpicks
Hundreds & thousands for decoration
Method

Prepare a clean dish suitable for the fridge.

Wash the strawberry and dry them thoroughly.

Pin the bottom side strawberry with a toothpick, dip it in the melted chocolate.

Sprinkle with the hundreds and thousands or gently dip the strawberry in a shallow bowl of the hundreds and thousands. Which ever is easier for you.

Refrigerate them for 30 minutes to set the chocolate.

Overnight oats!

Overnight oats!

Ok so perhaps I’ve jumped on ten bandwagon here 🙂

These are actually delicious and creamy! My little guy and I have porridge every morning so I thought, hey why not try these. Simple, easy, delicious!

1 x cup rolled oats
1 x cup milk – your choice. I’ve used almond and full cream. (Not together)
1 x teaspoon chia seeds
1 x tablespoon honey

Add all ingredients into a jar with a lid or Tupperware is great also.
Shake, refrigerate, eat!

This is best if it’s been in the fridge for minimum 12hrs…. I make mine at lunch time for the next morning. Yumo!

You can also add other flavours, such as banana or simply top with fruits? Granola, anything really. It’s just like porridge but no cooking required!

Mummy guilt.

Mummy guilt…

Let’s face it, being a mummy doesn’t come with a manual or handbook and nothing can prepare you for the unknown.

When I say unknown I mean, we all know that a baby cries, drinks milk and sleeps right? Yes we lean that from family, friends and pre natal classes. What we don’t lean is what each cry means and why they are constantly waking when they have a clean nappy, have a full tummy and are at perfect temperature.

If like me you have tried control crying, tried the shhh method, patting, night lights, baby monitors, white noise etc etc but sometimes after 2hrs of continuous toddler waking – for no apparent reason other than he calls out my name and thinks I should be sleeping in his room along side him. You snap…

Well last night I did. I had reached my teather of shhh, patting, white noise, coving in blankets and every other method known to mummy’s all over the world. I raised my voice at my 20 month old little man. The love of my life, my world. I told him ‘just go to sleep mummy is cold and tired and I’m over the constant waking’. He didn’t listen though and as soon as I left his room he started to stream and call out ‘mamma, mamma, mamma’. I eventually gave in as I often get ‘mummy guilt’ and feel bad for raising my voice at such an innocent little delight (delight when he isn’t awake at 2am!).

I gave in at 4am after 2 hours of back and forth from his room to my bed and put him in bed with me. He then slept until 8am. I know this is a terrible bad habit but I suffer ‘mummy guilt’ and this morning I feel terrible for many reasons.

1. I raised my voice at him
2. I ended up giving in to him and allowing him to sleep with me
3. I was to tired to get up and see my hubby off to work
4. It’s 8am when I’m usually up at 6:30am
5. His routine is now out by a couple hours all because ‘I gave in’

Does anyone else suffer from ‘mummy guilt’?

I’ve read all the sleep books, saving our sanity books, taming toddler books, healthy eating books but none of these methods seem to help my little one.

Perhaps he just has it over me?

I look at him with overwhelming love and stare into his beautiful brown eyes and feel besotted with love and adoration. Why am I yelling at him to sleep? Perhaps he is just ready to start his day? He did go down at 7pm. That’s 7hrs sleep, adults survive on that, is it enough? Then the little voice of reason kicks in, I hear it telling me – ‘no all the books say toddlers needs 14 hours of sleep’. So I’m confused and feeling ‘mummy guilt’ again.

It’s not only with his sleep I feel guilt, it’s also with his eating. We all want our children to grow up healthy and as my father used to say ‘big and strong’ and we were drummed in that vegetables and meat made us this way. ‘Eat your veg then your meat’ my dad used to say every night at the dinner table and it was a ceremony of us all sitting down to eat together. So I feel guilty that my little one eats alone at 5pm as to keep to his nightly routine of dinner, bath, bottle, story and bed.

I feel guilty about what if he isn’t getting enough nutrients or fruit and vegetables? I still do purée veg for him to endure he eats veg every night and I do them in weekly batches and freeze then in Snap lock bags, mixing up the veg so that it’s not boring and ensuring he eats a variety of different things. I know a few children who are almost teenagers who still don’t eat veg and I think it’s because it wasn’t encouraged as toddlers.

Your taste buds and also habits evolve on a 30 day cycle so you can either beat a habit or learn to enjoy something if you stick to it for 30 days. Now I’m not saying eat the same veg for 30 days straight but encourage healthy eating from a young age and when ten reach 8, 9 or 10 even older they will enjoy certain veg. Don’t get me wrong we don’t have to love all veg but at least like 1 of every colour. He eats meat every night and I ensure he is having enough dairy such as cheese, yogurt, custards, milk etc. I don’t allow too much excess or un necessary sugars and although I allow treats, I try to minimise chocolate, chips, lollies and biscuits to a special occasion.

I’ve listed some veggie and fruit colours below that I try to have at least one veg from each colour in his weekly cook up. I freeze these in 1 cup lots then thaw for the day and cook fresh meat each evening.

Orange / Yellow = pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot, corn, squash, rockmelon, oranges, lemon, mango, pineapple.

Green = broccoli, peas, beans, Brussels sprouts, green capsicum, spinach, asparagus, avocado, green apple, green grapes, limes, kiwi fruit, pear.

Red = tomato, red capsicum, radish, cherries, rhubarb, red grapes, raspberries, strawberries.

Purple / Blue = beetroot, purple asparagus, red cabbage, eggplant, blue berries, mulberries, black berries.

White / Brown = cauliflower, mushroom, onion, peaches, nectarines, garlic, banana, potato, ginger, brown pears, dates.
I know I’m not the perfect mother, I wish I was but what is ‘perfect’? I try my best to raise my child to be the best person he can be. Encouraging him to try new things, be brave, show leadership skills, be kind and caring, fun and happy, help others but most of all I encourage him to be himself. Strive for what he wants rather than what I want him to be.

Perhaps I just have too high of expectations on what is being a good mummy?

Natural therapies, alternative medicines? Natural IVF?

Alternative therapies and IVF?

Some of you may or may not be aware that we had some difficulties falling pregnant with my now gorgeous 20 month old healthy, happy, busy, boy!

I was told that I had no ‘eggs’ and that I would need to have hormone replacement therapy (HRT) along with IVF.

When I was given this news I was devastated. I thought it was the worst thing I could have ever heard. Such a blow to the ego, why are so women able to have babies so easily and I can’t I was asking myself?

Then anger set in and I was thinking of all the women who neglect their children or fall pregnant to keep or trap a partner. I has all these emotions were running through me. I was 33 years old. Married, trying to start a family with the guy I had been with for at the time 6 years. Why me?

I wasn’t going to let it defeat me. I am a stubborn and defiant personality and I certainly don’t like to loose nor be beat by something. To give up certainly wasn’t in me. I was willing to try anything prior to HRT and IVF.

Not because I am against it, but I wanted to try alternatives as I’d heard how straining on your body and mind both HRT and IVF are and with their costs and risks your still not guaranteed to fall pregnant, therefore is wanted to try other ‘possibilities’ first.

So I went to visit a Chinese Herbalist. He was so lovely, his English was broken but he understood my struggle. He tested my hormone levels via feeling my energies. No needles, no blood samples simply held his hands approx 15cm away from the outline of my arms and head and felt my bodies energies.

At first I thought this was Bizzar but i kept telling myself, whatever works! I really wanted a family with my husband and was willing to try anything!

He made up some specialised herbs for me to take as a tea and suggested I also take other vitamin supplements such as magnesium, iron, calcium, vitamin B and a few others. He also suggested acupuncture, a cleaner diet and meditation. I had used acupuncture previously for a sports injury but never meditated. I am a high energy person and the thought of meditation was a little overwhelming. I had to at least try though. Remembering everyone’s needs are different and these were what my body needed, no necessarily what everyone will need.

I read a few articles and books on self meditation, taking myself to a quiet place abc allowing my thoughts to ‘quieten’. This was very foreign to me and it took many attempts – about 10, before I actually succeeded in meditation. Blocking out sounds and not being distracted I found very challenging. I would meditate every evening. Sitting on my bed or laying. No TV on just me in the dark with my body still and listening to my heart beat. I would slowly tell each part of my body to relax, staring at my toes and working my way up to my brain, with each breath I would feel more calm and at ease with meditation and eventually I could lay alone meditating for an hour.

No I didn’t fall asleep but I would certainly feel relaxed. 🙂

My cleaner diet was, no alcohol, nothing with preservatives or as little as preservatives as possible, (basically nothing from a packet) more fruit, veg and meat. Less processed foods and lower starchy carbohydrates.

I was seeing SYDNEY IVF acupuncture in George street Sydney twice a week for acupuncture, meditating at home daily, eating clean and healthy and took a lot of stresses from my life. Including quitting my job which I loved but my boss was making my role difficult. (If you have been following my previous posts, this is the boss that pursued my friends, ended up dating one and spoke about her in a condescending and revolting manner.) – I quit as I could no longer stand his behaviour. I was unemployed approx a month before I was contacted by my most recent boss doing the same role but with a lot less stress involved , it’s a much larger and more professional organisation with wonderful supporting management and staff.

So with my new lifestyle I fell pregnant. I will admit it still took 7 months but I fell naturally. No chemical HRT no IVF naturally! I felt on top of the world.

So my advice is. If you are struggling to fall pregnant naturally don’t discount HRT and IVF however also don’t be dis heartened. If like me you are open to alternative medicine, go speak to a natural therapist or even an acupuncture specialist. They will be able to help put you in contact with the people who can hopefully help you bring a baby to this world.

I now have my wonderful little man whom I adore more than anything for and am extremely thankful and fragile to have him in my life. If I do encounter these hurdles again I will most certainly try alternative therapies again. 🙂