Healthy Ideas for School Lunches

It’s been a while since I have written a blog as life with a husband, two children, an online business and back working full time this year has kept me busy.

This year our little family has grown into the life of school. My daughter Avery started prep this year, which means the start of many years of preparing school lunches. So I thought I would share with you my tips on how I provide my daughter and my son Archie who is at kinder with a healthy lunch each day.

My biggest tip is to find the right lunchbox! Hate losing lids to containers that you put in your children’s lunches? The solution is to use a lunchbox that has compartments. This also enables you to mix up the children’s lunches each day. There are lots of great products out there and the one I bought for my children is the Yumbox, pictured below.

Baja-Blue-Org-Open-Empty Parisian-Pink-Exterior-No-StarsPink-Open-4-Comp

These lunchboxes are leak proof so you can add foods like yoghurt, pureed fruit and it seals with one lid. They are BPA-free and phthalates-free and are dishwasher safe. They come with different compartments inside and you are helping the environment by not utilsing plastic wraps and other plastic bags to store and protect food. They also fit perfectly in the bottom of the squiggle two compartment lunchboxes so you can add more food for both of their school lunch/recess breaks in the top compartment.

So what types of food do I prepare for my children? Here is a list of all the things I include:

  • Wholegrain sandwiches or wraps filled with so many different combinations
  • Carrot Sticks
  • Red Capsicum Sticks
  • Celery Sticks
  • Slices of Cheese
  • Cucumber
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Corn on the Cob or sliced off
  • Fruit cut up including watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, blueberries, mango, kiwi, raspberries, apples, oranges, pears, mandarins, grapes etc.
  • Yoghurt
  • Left over veggies from dinner
  • Left over cold pasta i.e. penne (gluten free)
  • Cold homemade chicken nuggets with homemade tomato sauce (recipe in the first Healthy eBook)
  • Dips especially hummus (children love to dip food)
  • Cold pieces of frittata or mini egg delights (recipes in the first Healthy eBook)
  • Cold meats
  • Olives
  • Dry wholegrain biscuits and cheese
  • Pureed fruit (my children love my apple sauce recipe)
  • Sultanas
  • Medjool Dates
  • Dried Fruit (check no added sugars)
  • Boiled Eggs
  • Avocado slices
  • Omelet wraps with lots of different combinations
  • Zucchini Fritters
  • Rice crackers
  • Healthy homemade sweet muffins or biscuits
  • Left over homemade skewers, lots of combinations i.e. chicken satay, veggie skewers, honey and soy chicken.
  • Left over healthy pancakes (recipe in the second Healthy Lifestyle eBook)

This is by no means a full list but are some of the ideas I utilise for my children’s lunches. Raw nuts and my healthy treat balls would be great too but most schools don’t allow nuts due to allergies.

My children have always loved a mezze plate or antipasto plate full of lots of choices. It makes lunchtime more enjoyable and interesting. Here are a few pictures of my children’s lunches and I hope this gives my lovely fellow mummas some ideas.

Lisa x

Lunch boxes 2 Lunch boxes 3 Lunch boxes Lunch boxes 4

 

 

Turmeric

Recently I had a foot injury that inhibited me from my normal exercise regime. Wow wasn’t I one grumpy mumma, just ask my husband and family! Which is why I decided to write about turmeric and it’s wonderful health benefits.

Turmeric is a natural remedy for anti-inflammatory and I was adding it as much as I could to my diet to help my injury heal as fast it could. The health benefits of turmeric are endless and include:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Natural antibiotic
  • Prevent prostate cancer
  • Strengthens ligaments
  • Treatment for skin disorders
  • Cure cough
  • Prevents asthma
  • Reduce risk of colon cancer
  • Treat depression
  • Prevent Alzheimer’s
  • Reduces arthritis
  • Detoxify the liver
  • Blood purifier
  • Boost metabolism
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Reduce risk of blood clots
  • Prevents stroke
  • Reduce bad cholesterol
  • Improves digestion
  • Slow the progression of multiple sclerosis

Turmeric comes in two different ways, fresh or as a ground spice. It is becoming more and more popular and you will now find the fresh variety available in most supermarkets. It looks similar to fresh ginger however is orange in colour.Turmeric
There are so many ways you can add turmeric to your diet. Some examples include adding it to your smoothies (either fresh or ground spice), including it in marinades, soups and dressings. Below are a few Healthy Mumma recipes that have both fresh and ground turmeric added including:

Laksa Paste
Chicken and Prawn Laksa Soup
Tandoori Paste
Tandoori Dressing
Tandoori Chicken Salad
Smoothies
Vegetable Soup
Chicken Curry
Lamb Curry
Tandoori Chicken with Guilt Free Rice
Tandoori Lamb with Guilt Free Rice
Tandoori Cabbage
Vietnamese Curry

Chicken and Prawn Laksa Soup Tandoori Chicken Tenderloins and Tandoori Dressing Tandoori Chicken Salad Lamb Curry 2 Tandoori Cabbage  Chicken Curry 2 Turmeric Vegetable Soup Turmeric Smoothie Tandoori Chicken with Guilt Free Rice Homemade Laksa Paste

These recipes can be found in the two Health Mumma eBooks and a few were sent out as free recipes to my loyal subscribers. This week my subscribers will be receiving a free recipe for a yummy Vietnamese Curry. If you would like to receive free recipes, healthy inspiration, tips and special offers subscribe at the bottom of the page.

So why not start adding turmeric to your lifestyle, it has an enormous amount of health benefits for you and your family.

Overview!

Thought it was time I did my second overview of all my blogs I have written to date. Since starting up Healthy Mumma almost 18 months ago I have had lots of wonderful new followers and thought that there may be some topics of interest to those that may not have been following from the start.

So here is the list of blogs I have posted so far from my first blog to my most recent:

Welcome to the Healthy Mumma Blog
Why Use Himalayan Salt?
Healthy Snack Ideas
Why Use Coconut Oil?
Why Use Filtered Water?
Tips for Making Meals Child Friendly
Tips for Eating Healthy
Why Use Raw Honey?
Tamari v Soy Sauce
Before and After
Check Labels
Eliminate Cane Sugar
Miso Paste, is it Healthy?
Quinoa
Cacao v Cocoa
Healthy Nutritional Fibre
Is Eating Healthy Expensive?
A Balanced Healthy Lifestyle..
Healthy Alternatives to Wheat Flour
Exercise.. Get Moving!
Alternatives to Pasta
Sauerkraut… Superkraut… Fermented Foods
White Potatoes vs Sweet Potatoes
Hemp Seeds
Eating Out
Alternatives to Dairy
Tapioca Flour
Apple Cider Vinegar
Healthy Oils
Healthy Treats
Bone Broth
Juggling
Smoothies
Healthy Mumma Turns 1!
Healthy Dressings
Healthy Mumma Staples and Cheat Sheet
Nutella Craze
That Sugar Film
Winter
Just Be!

If you are interested in reading any of the topics above simply continue to scroll down the page until you find the one you want. If you have been reading all my blogs to date there might be one that you are interested in reading again.

I’m hoping Healthy Mumma is providing you all with lots of healthy inspiration, tips and simple, easy, healthy changes to you and your family’s lifestyle. Would love to hear from all my fellow mumma’s out there, simply leave a comment at the top of this blog!

Just Be!

This blog is a timely reminder to myself to Just Be! Recently I have had lots of reminders on this topic including a beautifully written article one of my friends shared on Facebook and a great advertisement another one of my good friends shared. It was also just this morning when I was waiting in line to be served at Kmart and the man in front of me was finishing up at the register putting his card back into his wallet, looked over at me and said “Sorry, you mothers are always in a rush.” It got me thinking, it’s so true. We are always rushing around with our busy lives and this is a friendly reminder to myself and other mummas that sometimes we just need to be!

A friend of mine and I were talking the other day about how social media has changed things for us mums and not just mums, everyone. There is so much pressure on us mums to be the perfect wife, mother, daughter, daughter in law, sister, sister in law and friend! Pressure to have the perfectly dressed children, pressure to have the perfectly styled kids bedroom, pressure to have the perfect house and styled perfectly, pressure to have the perfect birthday celebrations for your children, pressure to be a perfectly groomed and dressed mum even in your exercise gear, pressure to have the perfect garden, pressure to just be well PERFECT!

My friend and I were just saying that we are so glad to have been married before Instagram and Pinterest was around! Wow the pressure to have the most perfect wedding now with all the images around would just be too much for me!

A few weeks ago this sounds silly but I did a huge clean out of my Instagram to stop seeing all those pictures that made me feel a huge sense of pressure. I got back to what I enjoy and my passion which is healthy lifestyle pictures. Don’t get me wrong I am all for supporting all those mummas and other people out there that have taken the leap like I have to start up their own little businesses but this just had to be done for me. As mums we always think about ourselves and what is best for us last!

These welcomed reminders to just be allowed me the chance last week to do just that. We have just finished winter here in Melbourne and it has been the coldest winter in 26 years which also means sickness. My two children and I were sick last week and we spent two days cuddling on the couch reading books, watching TV, playing board games, colouring in, playing the iPad together and we even spent a few mornings in bed just lying to rest and recover. It was so refreshing to JUST BE! The housework and other chores were all left behind!

Why have I decided to blog about this, well I firmly believe that to be a healthy, happy mumma you need to take a step back and sometimes JUST BE!  Enjoy your children when they are little as time really does go so fast and you will never get that time back. Sometimes the housework, chores and everything else that needs to be done can just wait. I certainly don’t want to regret not spending quality time with my children by just being because I was too busy doing all the unimportant things in life and I sometimes need to remind myself of that. I’m hoping this blog post is a friendly reminder to all you amazing mummas out there doing the best job we can!

Winter

Well it’s definitely winter here in Melbourne! To be honest I don’t remember our winters being this cold and I have really felt it this winter. Winter is definitely a time when you just want to hibernate, keep warm and eat lots of food. This week I thought I would share with you how I keep a healthy lifestyle going in the colder months including exercise.

It is really, really hard to motivate yourself to venture out of the house in winter let alone go and exercise. My exercise regime consists of exercising outside, so I must admit it has been a hard slog this winter. I love my outdoor group personal training sessions as I have a great trainer and train with a great bunch of people all who I have met through our training sessions.

So what are my main motivators for continuing to exercise outside in the winter months? Well they are my trainer, the people I train with and I must say I am now addicted to how a good exercise session makes me feel after. The hardest part of exercising in winter is getting yourself there but once you are there it is well worth the effort.

My moto when I exercise is that I’m only there for an hour, make it count and work hard. If you think about the amount of time you exercise in a week one hour out of your day really is nothing and the benefits are of course positive on your health and well being. My biggest advice for exercising is to find something you enjoy doing. For me I really like running and my outdoor group personal training sessions, for others it could be playing sport, yoga, pilates, cardio classes, the gym, nature walks, bike riding, swimming and the options are really endless.

With a healthy lifestyle not only does exercise play an important part but so does food. If you are not fuelling your body with good healthy food you can exercise as much as you like but you will not see any improvements. Exercise and a healthy diet go hand in hand.

In winter most people want to eat comfort food, good hearty casseroles, slow cooked meats, soups and baked goods. The good news is that comfort food doesn’t have to be unhealthy. You can still eat healthy and delicious comfort food in the colder months. Some of my favourite winter comfort foods that I cook for my family are Osso Bucco, Eggplant Lasagne, Lamb Curry, Chicken Curry, Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Sweet Potato Mash, Lamb and Leek Braise, Chilli Con Carne, Minestrone Soup, Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder, Slow Cooked Pulled Pork, Winter Warmer Veggie Pot, Sweet Potato and Leek Soup, Pumpkin Soup and lots more.
Chicken Curry 2 Lamb Shanks Lamb and Leek Braise Minestrone Soup
Eggplant Lasagne Slow Cooked Lamb with Tabbouleh, Tzatiki and Hummus Chilli Con Carne 2 Vegetarian Pot
If you are interested in these recipes you can find them in my two eBooks at the Healthy Store. My loyal subscribers this week will be receiving a free recipe for an old classic healthy version of Curried Sausages. If you would like to receive free healthy and delicious recipes, subscribe at the bottom of this page.
Curried Sausages
So remember keep yourself motivated to exercise by finding something you enjoy doing and fuel your body with healthy and delicious comfort food during the winter months and it will all pay off when the warmer weather hits. Let’s hope some sunshine comes soon to Melbourne!

That Sugar Film

My hubby and I watched That Sugar Film last week and I thought it was important to spread the word about this film. If you haven’t already seen this film then do yourself a favour and watch it and make up your mind about the messages this film portrays.

That Sugar Film
It wasn’t until about 4 years ago when I started my healthy lifestyle journey that I knew what this films main message is about. The caption for this film is “this will change the way you think about healthy food.” I know I have learnt a lot in the past 4 years and believe food manufacturers have a lot to answer for.  What you think you are eating is healthy and is advertised as healthy in actual fact is not due to the amount of sugar added to a large percentage of products the everyday person consumes and I mean a large percentage.

If you knew this already you will at least learn something else positive from the film. I know I did in relation to calorie counting, I have never been an advocate for calorie counting for many reasons. I personally don’t think it’s a healthy lifestyle choice watching the amount of calories you have a day and I do believe if you are hungry then you should listen to your body and eat. If you are putting only good wholesome food into your body the amount of calories shouldn’t matter and this film proves my thinking right. Secondly as a Mum who has time to count calories! The conclusion about calories in this film is very interesting!

I recommend watching this film as it is very interesting and some parts of it will shock you! Well done to Damon Gameau and his team for getting this message out there! Watch it and make your own mind up about this film and the positive message it portrays!

 

Nutella Craze!

So I obviously wrote my blog this week when I was feeling strongly about this subject. Before you read this blog I don’t mean to pick one product in the marketplace and totally pull it apart. My reasoning for this blog is to inform my readers that things may not seem as they appear. I almost didn’t post this but have a read and hopefully I have highlighted to you something that you didn’t already know.. So here goes..

If you haven’t heard about the latest craze of Nutella donuts then you must be living under a rock! Every time I go on social media something is mentioned about them and all the cafes are advertising them as the hottest new thing out. I don’t why this gets to me so much but Nutella really is an unhealthy food item. What gets me the most irate is that I have seen it advertised as a healthy breakfast option for children! They say on their website “it can be eaten any time of the day when you feel like eating bread or toast.” Let me tell you why Nutella should only be given to children in moderation if at all!

Since starting my Healthy Mumma online business I’ve learnt that when you package products you have to abide by Australian Food Standards which includes listing all ingredients contained in your products. Not only do you have to list the ingredients you also have to list ingredients in descending order (by ingoing weight). This means the first ingredient listed contributes to the largest amount and the last ingredient listed contributes to the least. For example, if sugar is listed near the start of the list the product contains a greater proportion of this ingredient.

Let’s take a look at Nutella’s ingredients list and the order as it appears on the jar:

Ingredients: Sugar, Vegetable Oil (Palm*), Hazelnuts (13%), Skim Milk Powder (8.7%), Fat-Reduced Cocoa Powder (7.4%), Emulsifier (Lecithins) (Soy), Flavouring (Vanillin).

So as you can see the first ingredient listed is sugar which means this product is full of the stuff! Not only does it contain sugar it also contains Palm Oil an ingredient in itself that has a lot of controversy surrounding it which I won’t go into here as it would be an entire blog on its own. Nutella do however state the following on their website “Ferrero only uses 100% sustainable and segregated certified palm oil” however any vegetable oil should be avoided for health reasons. Again I have another blog on healthy oils that you can go back to that explains my choices of oils in my cooking.

Back to the ingredients list it also only has 13% Hazelnuts and uses artificial flavourings and additives. Nutella also explain on their website that it is free of artificial preservatives and colours that may be the case but it isn’t free of artificial flavours i.e. vanillin and also contains additives! This also makes me angry as for the general consumer you think ok great it doesn’t have any nasties in it, well it does! The way they have worded this is very clever but still misleading to the consumer, they explain that it doesn’t have any artificial colours but what they don’t state is that is DOES have artificial flavourings in the form of vanillin an artificial flavour for vanilla. This to me is misleading information to the consumer.

The scariest thing that people don’t know about Nutella is that it contains monosodium glutamate (MSG), also known as E621. It is cleverly hidden inside the artificial flavour vanillin. Again I could write an entire blog about MSG and the harmful effects it has on our bodies but basically it has been proven to act as an excitotoxin which stimulates the reward system of the brain, so we think it tastes better (than it actually does) and consequently consume more.

So why am I blogging about Nutella this week! I decided that since I have been so annoyed at the current craze of this unhealthy chocolate spread that I would experiment. It’s taken me a few tries but I have come up with a delicious and healthier version of Nutella (see pic below). If I can get one person to stop eating Nutella and making their own healthy version I feel as though I’ve done something positive for someone else’s health and wellbeing.

Healthy Nutella
My loyal subscribers will receive my recipe for this healthy version of this delicious chocolate spread. So if you haven’t subscribed and would like this recipe and other free recipes subscribe at the bottom of any page on my website. Hope you all enjoy it, my two and half year old son loves it!

Archie Nutella

Healthy Mumma Staples and Cheat Sheet

When I first started my little online business venture I put together two very useful documents as a result of lots of questions from others. These questions included what standard ingredients do you stock in your pantry and refridgerator? Where do you purchase these ingredients? What are their uses? What are their benefits? So as a result I put together two documents that you too might find useful including:

  1. Healthy Mumma Pantry and Refrigerator Staples: this includes a full list of all the ingredients I stock in my pantry and refrigerator. If you have all of these ingredients following the Healthy Mumma lifestyle is very easy. Don’t be alarmed when you see the full list and think wow that would be an expensive exercise to stock up on everything. When starting the Healthy Mumma lifestyle just gradually build up your pantry and refrigerator as you would when you first move out of home. It really doesn’t take that long and it eliminates a lot of the items you may have been purchasing before.
  2. Healthy Cheat Sheet: this includes a list of all the ingredients I utilise in my healthy lifestyle and explains the benefits of each ingredient, its uses and where to purchase it.

So this week I am finally sharing these two documents with you all. All you have to do is subscribe to my website, follow me on facebook and Instagram and then send me a quick email to info@healthymumma.com.au to receive your copies.

I hope these tools are useful to all those that are wanting a healthier lifestyle and don’t know where to start! I’ve taken the hard work out of researching ingredients and put all I know into these two reference tools. So if you haven’t already started your healthier lifestyle, why not start now!

Healthy Dressings

After launching my second eBook recently the topic of healthy dressings came to my mind! I’m pretty sure with the combination of my two eBooks I could put together a smaller eBook just on dressings. Cooking for me is all about flavour and dressings are the perfect way to add flavour to your meals. I love to experiment with different combinations.

Even before starting my healthy lifestyle I never bought pre made dressings. The reason I didn’t buy them was because making your own dressings is super easy! Since starting my healthy lifestyle and an even bigger reason to make your own dressings is so you know exactly what goes in them. If you take the time to check the ingredients in the pre made dressings you buy at the supermarket you may be a little surprised. They are generally full of lots of nasties, sugar, salt, preservatives and artificial flavours.

Dressings really do only take a minute or two to make and the combinations are endless. I generally have all the ingredients in my pantry or refrigerator as part of my Healthy Mumma staples and can whip up a dressing last minute.

There are so many ingredients you can use including lemons, limes, apple cider vinegar, raspberry vinegar, tamari, avocado oil, sesame oil, rice malt syrup, raw honey, verjuice, mustard, garlic, ginger, himalayan salt, fresh cracked black pepper, tahini, fish sauce, avocado oil, macadamia oil, almond oil, flaxseed oil, extra virgin olive oil, olive oil, coconut oil, rice wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, fresh herbs, dried herbs, spices, greek natural yoghurt, coconut yoghurt, coconut milk, coconut cream, capers, miso paste just to name a few. These ingredients are definitely all pantry staples for me. They can be cold or heated dressings to suit whatever meal you are making i.e. salads or a hot main meal.

One of my favourite ways to dress my salads especially my lunches is to use my homemade sweet chilli sauce. This recipe can be found in my first eBook, Healthy eBook or to save time can be purchased from my Healthy Store online.

Salads Tims Bday Sweet Chilli Sauce Velvet Chicken Dressings Photo
Whilst writing this blog I went through my two eBooks as I was interested to see how many different combinations of dressings I had included. As I thought, there were quite a substantial amount with over 25 different combinations. So this week I have decided that my loyal subscribers will receive my two favourite dressing recipes from my two eBooks. If you haven’t already subscribed to my website and would like to receive free recipes, healthy inspiration, tips and special offers subscribe at the bottom of my homepage. 

So why not throw out those pre made dressings and experiment with your own dressings. They really are quick and easy to do, add lots of flavour and are much healthier for you. Give it a go!

Healthy Mumma Turns 1!

Tomorrow marks the occasion of the first anniversary since I launched Healthy Mumma. Those that have been following and supporting Healthy Mumma since the start, thank you! I really was overwhelmed by the amount of positive feedback and support I received when taking the chance to start this journey. My number one aim is to inspire and share the knowledge that I have gained by showing other mums that leading a healthy lifestyle can be done, and it can be sustainable!

I have been able to live a healthy sustainable lifestyle around healthy eating and exercise for a number of years now and would never go back to my old ways. I feel healthier which means I also feel happier. I strongly believe that a healthy, happy mum means a healthy, happy family. If I can do it, you can too!

To celebrate Healthy Mumma turning 1 I’m very excited to announce that tomorrow I will be releasing my second eBook on the Healthy Mumma website! It has been another year in the making of trialling and testing out new recipes and I can’t wait to share these with you.

It’s called the Healthy Lifestyle eBook with another 110 healthy and delicious recipes. This includes breakfasts, smoothies, entrees, soups, salads, mains, sides, sweets, condiments, treats and more.

Chilli Con Carne  Steamed Barramundi Piri Piri Chicken with Sweet Potato Mash Chocolate Coated Strawberries
All recipes in the second Healthy Lifestyle eBook are cane sugar free, gluten free and diary free (either giving you substituting or omitting ingredients for dairy with the exception of the healthy coleslaw and butter chicken) and there is a substantial selection of nut free, vegan and paleo friendly recipes.

Pancakes with Caramelised Banana and Raspberry Syrup  Prawn and Bean Salad Smoothie 12 - Strawberry Delight Tomato Soup
So keep an eye out tomorrow for the launch of my new eBook. I hope I can continue to provide over the next year useful ideas, tips, and inspiration to all the mummas out there wanting a healthier and happier lifestyle. If you haven’t already done so, make the change, you won’t regret it!

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