Healthy lunch boxes for kids – by Raw Foodie Sarah Lea
When I was little I used to throw my morning porridge behind the dresser and refused to eat the cheese pinwheels and smash they’d serve me at lunch at first school. The milk that was handed out at morning break used to make me heave and it’d be a cause of anxiety until the bottles and straws were handed back to teacher.
It still seems quite normal for children not to like their cooked veggies, preferring to fill up on breads, pasta, rice and sauces instead. Watching my children and their friends, they always take preference over simply cut up raw fruits and vegetables to a mixed pot of something or other. They act intuitively, knowing what their body needs at any one time. This can prove frustrating at meal times when a favoured dish for the last few weeks becomes inedible to their professional palates overnight. I play simple when breaking their fast. Cut up seasonal fruits for the first course, followed by g’raw’nola and almond milk…letting them dive into their nose bags while I create the green juice of the day.
Sending them out for a day of play, having filled them with the above foods makes the lunch box easy to create. Not needing filler foods such as breads and dairy, having got a foundation of nutrition well laid in the morning, typical lunches are simple and colour-full. Allowing them freedom from sitting and eating, enabling them to graze while their playtime can be uninterupted. Keeping children in a social whirl is important, so filling the lunchbox with yummy alternatives to the norm is an important ingredient. Varying packed lunches and picnics with a simple theme keeps an average of 10 minutes to prepare…usually when the children are slurping their spirulina tablets around the bottom of the juice glass. Filling the box with more food than they need ensures plenty of choice, and leftovers for snacks later in the day.
So, we fill our picnic hamper with little bags of mixed nuts, seeds and dried fruits, cut up strips of carrots, celery, yacon, peppers, a little tub of mixed sprouts; snow peas, blue peas, lentils and alfalfa, cucumber or apple rounds filled with nut butter, raw seaweed crackers, chunks of halva or bliss balls, raw chocolate brownies, fresh fruit and coconut water or pure water.
This may seem alot, but it allows the girls choice. I love watching them delight in deciding what they want rather than eating what they have to. They generally eat all the food, and what doesn’t get eaten gets used for the evening meal. Their friends are inquisitive and the girls are always offering their sweet treats to them, telling them how delicious they are. Packing more than we need is great so that others can try.
For shared food at friends houses I will add a tub of olives, guacamole or a sunflower seed pate, raw chocolate, flax crackers and a bag of fruit to the packed lunch list.
And they know. When we’re out with others they naturally come to me or a friendly elder and ask if they can eat something that we haven’t brought. Usually this is a handful of rice or corn crackers. They know how they feel after bread or cake and don’t want that anymore. Of course, my eldest has questions about what others eat and my three year old is beginning to wonder too. I tell them that we’re not here to be judgemental about the choices of others. I tell them that cooked food can make people poorly and sad. I tell them that what they eat builds strong, healthy bodies and clever brains. And my eldest shouts with joy that she is wild and free, happy and clever because that’s what she feeds her body with.
Check out Sarah’s Facebook page Love Life Raw
LoveLifeRaw Chocolate Workshop. Sunday 26th August. 10am-12 midday. Takaka. For info and bookings please contact Sarah on 525 9102.