Written By Julie Paiva, CHHC
Back-to-school season often means busy, hectic schedules, but it doesn’t have to mean forfeiting healthy eating. If you’re new to eating the Dr. Brown way, it can seem overwhelming to revamp your kitchen, recipes, and meals. Never mind the added stress of packing snacks and lunches for your little ones to bring to school.
Food has become the center stage in my life. I think about food all day long, what my next meal or snack will be and having everything ready for each meal time. If I know I’ll be out of the house or around friends who don’t eat the same way that I do, I need to be prepared. I can’t tell you how many times having a snack in my car or stashed in my purse or pocket has helped me out in a pinch, particularly, when at events with limited or no options for my gluten, soy, corn, sugar and dairy-free lifestyle. Preparation is key!
Keep your kitchen stocked for healthy meals and snacks.
When you’re eating with a food intolerance, it can be tricky to navigate food labels and ingredient lists. One tip is to do the research and make a list of foods that are safe for you all the time. Luckily, so many foods are naturally gluten, soy and dairy- free, so you’ll have a great place to start! Meats, fruits, vegetables, eggs and nut butters are all nutrient-dense and Dr. Brown approved.
Plan the menu and plan for leftovers.
Menu planning allows you to set an intention for what you’re going to eat that week. This will help you stay accountable to sticking with your gluten, soy, corn, sugar and dairy-free lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be complicated: Choose a few recipes from Marpé, buy the ingredients, and make the meals throughout the week, or better yet, sign up for the meal planning service which will do much of the preparation for you. And do yourself a favor and plan for leftovers, so you can eat well on busy weeknights without having to get into the kitchen every night. Leftovers make the perfect lunches!
One of the best tips for anyone looking to stick to a gluten, soy and dairy-free lifestyle is to be prepared. Make a big batch of your favorite veggies, hard boil a dozen pasture-raised eggs, and enjoy as a snack, in salads, or as a side dish. Prep ingredients over the weekend, so you’re not scrambling to get a healthy meal on the table during the week. Make it once and enjoy it multiple times!
Break out your slow cooker or pressure cooker.
During the busiest weeks, break out your slow cooker or pressure cooker to make a big batch of soup or stew. Cook a whole chicken, eat the breast one night, and cut up the meat from the drumsticks and wings to put into a stir-fry the next. There are so many great gluten, soy and dairy-free recipes to choose from on Marpé. The best part is you can prepare the dish in the morning or the night before, and it will be ready in time for dinner.
Simple Snacking Ideas
- Fresh fruit (Choose low glycemic fruits like berries and apples)
- Plain goat’s or sheep’s yogurt topped with fresh fruit
- Fruit or veggies with nut butter
- Avocado with salsa on top
- Homemade kale, zucchini or sweet potato chips
- Hard boiled eggs
- Sliced tomato with fresh basil and a little balsamic vinegar
- Smoothie (Sneak a little spinach or kale into these)
I hope this list has been valuable for you to find ideas for different snacks to make at home, pack for the kiddos to bring to school, or to take with you on-the-go. Remember that the easiest thing to do is to make extras of your nightly meals, so that you have ready-to-go lunches. When you are at a loss for some new inspiration, always look to Marpé. There are new meal and snack ideas all of the time!
Need more back-to-school lunch ideas? Check out these articles from previous posts!