Okay, so I guess you all are starting to learn my obsession with grass fed beef. It’s not because I’m a food snob, well, not really. And it’s not because I love spending money. You must not know my husband if you think that is the case! I love the organic grass fed beef because I think it’s close to the perfect food for kids. For one, you can always add in plenty of good veggies to whatever you’re cooking. And two, it has so many nutrients such as Vitamin A, D B complex, E, iron, calcium and a host of other minerals. It’s also has high levels of Omega 3s (twice as much as grain fed cows according to NPR and Nurtritional Journal) which is so important for kids. Did you know that the nutrients in organic grass fed beef can:
boost brain development process; help with brain function
help control ADHD
help with learning difficulties such as dyslexia and dyspraxia
and even be beneficial in treating eczema in children?
According to Science News, “Children who had increased amounts of omega-3 fatty acids performed better in school, in reading and in spelling and had fewer behavioral problems.”
Did I also mention that it has high levels beta carotene, a cancer-fighting CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) which also support a healthy immune system, and there is almost no risk of getting E. Coli. Oh and last but certainly not least, no hormones or chemicals in these cow’s, or their food! I do not want my daughter to start her period at age 9. She’s growing up fast enough as is!
People do breakfast for dinner all the time, which can be great.
And some people have cake (aka doughnuts, muffins, pancakes with high fructose corn syrup poured all over) for breakfast. Throw in the word “coffee” with “cake” and wah-laa breakfast, right? No, wrong. So wrong!
So why not dinner for breakfast? My daughter doesn’t love eggs (that’s the main reason we don’t do them) but knowing how important protein is for focus (and she is headed to school after all!), we always start the day with it. It’s usually meat made in spaghetti sauce, sloppy joes, or meatloaf and it’s always grass fed. Why not make one of their favorite dinner meals Sunday night (lots of cooking going on here on Sundays), and give it to them before school all week? What kids doesn’t love a hamburger? Or a grass fed, nitrate free organic hot dog? A hot dog isn’t perfect but it’s a heck of a lot better than cereal! Yes, even Kashi.
Here is one of our staples. We call it Spaghetti Chili since I saw this name on my friend Marla’s rocking blog: www.LeftonAmelia.com. I’m okay with Alice having some flax seed whole grain noodles on occasion but I really prefer just the meat and veggies, and with this new name, how can we argue the need for noodles? Anyway, here’s the recipe and feel free to get creative with the veggies! This is just what we used this time.
2 pounds grass fed beef
1 zucchini (shave skin off for picky eaters)
1 large eggplant (same)
2 packages fresh mushrooms
1 large onion
1 can tomato paste
1-2 cans tomato sauce
6-7 cloves of garlic or 1 tablespoon minced
Celtic sea salt
Italian seasoning of your choice (parsley, oregano, basil, pepper)
Cut up veggies and sautée them in grass fed butter (I like kerrygold. You can get it at publix.). Add some salt.
Brown meat and then turn stove on low.
Toss in veggies, tomato paste and sauce, salt, garlic and spices and let it cook slowly for an hour.
I love the idea of baking after school treats for my kids but I never loved the idea of filling them full of sugar and white flour. But finally I have found it is possible to make them treats that as we say, “wont make us feel tired or bad”. Anyway, my sweet friend Whitney, (thanks W!) so generously gave me a huge bag almond flour today so I just had to do something with it. What to do, what to do? Tate helped me decide that chocolate chip cookie would be the best course of action. He was right. These things are delicious. Now I just have to remember the rule about moderation!
I got the recipe from one of my favorite blogs: www.elanaspantry.com. She has amazing all gluten free and mainly paleo recipes. I did make a few changes and substituted the agave for honey and the grapeseed oil with part coconut oil and part grass fed butter. I love to give my kids that healthy coconut oil and grass fed butter because it is so nourishing for their little growing bodies! Anyway, here it is, hope you enjoy!
2 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup honey or coconut palm sugar
8 tablespoons grass fed butter, melted
1 cup Whole Foods 70 cacao chocolate chips
1 organic egg
1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl
2. Stir together wet ingredients in a smaller bowl
3. Mix wet ingredients into dry
4. Form 1-inch balls onto greased cookie sheet (I use Coconut oil spray)
5. Bake at 350° for 7-10 minutes
6. Cool and enjoy with some almond or coconut milk!
So, lots of people ask what our kids eat for lunch. For today, Tate was eating a grass fed hotdog, organic carrots, organic blueberries, cashews and some 73 percent cacao dark chocolate almonds. And, he loves his almond milk! We get the 60 calorie one with 7 grams of sugar. No flavored ones unless it’s under 7 grams of sugar! And it has 15% more calcium than skim milk. We’re trying to get Pop Pop (my dad) on our meal plan too.
Alice’s lunch comes with a little more variety but we usually include 4 of the following:
Olives, turkey sticks (Wellshire Farms Organics), cucumbers or carrots, nut butter with apples for dipping, grapes, celery with cream cheese, and dark chocolate almonds for a treat. Then sometimes we’ll add in a warm meal in her thermos of either veggie black bean soup, grass fed sloppy joe, grass fed spaghetti sauce, or my version of chicken tetrazzini.)
My kids, probably like most, really seem to like hanging around the kitchen while I’m cooking, kind of like sharks. I use to hear the whining sounds of “I want a snack. I need something to eat”. So now, we do our own nightly “appetizer”. This just means I let the kids eat their greens first. It has really been a sure fire way to make sure they not only get their veggies (and “snack”) but they also tend to eat 3-4xs more veggies this way. We’ll do steamed broccoli (in evoo, celtic sea salt, and sometimes raw parmesan cheese), steamed asparagus (sesame oil, sesame seeds and gluten free tamari soy sauce), or roasted brussel sprouts, okra, etc. I’ll post some more recipes/ideas later.
Anyway, one of my kids favorite app is squash chips. They are so easy to make! Set oven to bake 450. Slice squash about a quarter inch thick. Spray cookie sheet with olive or coconut oil and place squash flat on tray. Spray with oil again and then sprinkle some celtic sea salt, garlic powder, parmesan cheese, pepper, whatever you like. Let them cook 15 or so minutes on one side (when the bottom side is light brown, that is when you flip them.), then flip and cook same amount of time. Keep an eye on them because it will depend on the thickness of how you cut it as to how fast it cooks. Once they look like they are starting to be nice and light brown, turn the oven off and let them continue to cook. After 5 minutes I usually pull out a few that are done and then put them back in for about 10 more minutes.