Thursday, August 15, 2013

Top 10 "Back To School" Basics for Simple Vegan Meals and Snacks

Now that most kids are heading back to school in the next few weeks, I wanted to create a list of some simple and basic ways for you to build and create your own amazing, kid-friendly, and nutrient dense snacks and meals for yourself and your kids! Sometimes, recipes are necessary, and other times (like in my case) necessity is the mother of all inventions - and I LOVE inventing new recipes and treats from what I already have in the kitchen.

My daughter is 9 (and home schooled/Unschooled - so technically no "Back To School" happening in this house) but thankfully, she is open to trying most things I concoct in the kitchen - including enjoying making her own creations. Although, I don't always hit home-run's and she definitely will let me know that she doesn't like something! I bet your kids do the same things like: Simply not eating it, pushing their noses up to the dish then you see those curled up lips and looks of disgust, Haha - I suppose most parent's know that look! 

Well, I've compiled a list of simple go-to foods that I like to have available in the kitchen to whip together quick healthy meals or snacks, that are both child-friendly AND parent-friendly and even BUDGET friendly!

1. Fresh Whole Organic Fruit

Fresh fruit is the easiest food to keep handy in the kitchen, is packed full of natural occurring vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and yes - even protein! Most kids love fruit, and so do most adults (I know I do). If you have a blender in the kitchen it's super easy to make simple fruit smoothie's for breakfast in the mornings, or snacks after school. The extra potassium and vitamins in fruits, will help keep their energy up to focus on their homework after they get home from school - plus, they are really nature's "Fast Food" and are great for any lunch box!

The options are virtually endless when you keep fresh fruit on hand in the kitchen! Get creative. Just make sure to eat it up fast or those pesky fruit flies will start showing up! If you compost, utilize it to place the extra fruit skins and remains into the bin for your garden, and keep from attracting the flies into the kitchen. It's a great way to recycle and really creates amazing soil for growing your own, delicious, organic food in your backyard!

2. Organic Beans/Lentils

Beans and Lentils are super affordable, can be purchased pre-made in a can or dried and in the bulk bins at the grocery stores and health food stores - and are also packed full of protein! Lentils cook fairly quickly so, they are always great to have around in a pinch.

3. Gluten Free Pasta

4. Organic Marinara Sauce

5. Nut milks

6. Frozen and Fresh Vegetables

7. Trail Mix

8. Homemade Granola

9. Organic Tofu

10. Brown Rice/ Quinoa

All of these can be mixed and matched very simply to create all kinds of wonderful, delicious, and healthy snacks and meals for your family! 

What is YOUR favorite go-to item in YOUR kitchen, and why?

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