Tasty Tuesday Recipes

Tasty Tuesday: Healthy Lunch Box Ideas

I know it is WAY too early to think about “healthy school lunches”, right?  BUT these are also some great ideas to use for trips to the beach or the park or even those outdoor activities this summer.

I never thought of Belinda as a fussy eater, she just knew what she wanted and it was one battle I did not want to fight.  So for lunch was usually carrots and dip or peanut butter and no jelly.  She wanted nothing to do with anything “green” but she did like “finger foods” for lunch so baby carrots were always good.

I’m sure some of you have a problem getting your kids to eat healthy.  Although I think it is a little easier these days.  Thanks to Thirty One for these yummy ideas!  We’ve searched far and wide to bring you the most delicious snacks you can easily swap out to boost your kids’ nutrition. (And they’re all perfect to pack in our colorful and hard-working insulated lunch bags!)

Swap out PB&J for a PB&B

We all remember pulling a pale, squashed PBJ out of our lunch bags as kids… with that dark purple splotch of jelly seeping through the soggy white bread. (Bleh.)  I loved it BUT Belinda didn’t do jelly.  Why not give your kids a healthy sammie worth celebrating? A peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole wheat or put it in a wrap.  It is packed with 17 g of protein, 7 g of fiber, complex carbs and healthy unsaturated fats. This combo can help kids feel full and energized throughout the afternoon.  Slicing up half a medium banana instead of spreading on two tablespoons of jam adds potassium and cuts out 10 g of sugar! You can even layer in sliced strawberries for a touch of sweetness and a big dose of vitamin C.

Swap out juice boxes for a reusable water bottle

Single-serving drink boxes are convenient and fun, but many also contain artificial color, flavoring and preservatives. Even 100% fruit juices can contain up to 20 g of sugar per pouch!  Instead, try infusing a pitcher of water with citrus slices, torn fresh herbs or muddled berries at home. Combine together herbs and fruits (like strawberry-basil or blueberry-mint) for a refreshing change of pace. Leave your pitcher to infuse overnight in the fridge and pour into a leak-proof water bottle.

Our roomy new Lunch Buddy Thermals feature an elastic-topped mesh side pocket that’s perfect for toting the kids’ water bottles to school and back each day. (And the fun prints are irresistible!)

Swap out applesauce for apple slices

Packing a large, sliced apple instead of a cup of applesauce can double your kids’ fiber intake (5.4 g vs 2.7 g), boost their vitamin C (10.3 mg vs 2.7 mg) and provide them with the beneficial antioxidants contained in the skin of the apple.  Kids love to eat raw apples plain as a healthful snack, or dip slices in a delicious nut or seed butter for added protein and a salty kick. If you want to keep the convenience factor, toss in a whole apple or nab a segmented slicer tool to make quick work of lunch prep.  If you do decide to sometimes opt for applesauce, look for healthier varieties made without added sugar or artificial preservatives. Or make your own unsweetened applesauce, and be sure to leave the skins on!

Swap out chips for nearly anything else

Do your kids crave something salty to go with their meals? (Us too!) Steer clear of the fat, sodium and calorie bombs that are potato chips, which have been scientifically linked to weight gain, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.   Instead, why not offer your kids one of these tasty (and nutritious) treats?

  • Roasted pumpkin seeds
  • Deli turkey-wrapped cucumber slices
  • Nuts (Be sure to check your school’s allergen policy first)
  • Edamame, boiled or shelled and roasted
  • Air-popped popcorn (It’s a whole grain!)
  • Cheese cubes
  • Whole wheat pretzels
  • Celery sticks with nut or seed butter and raisins, or with cream cheese and dried cranberries
  • Swap out pudding cups for Greek yogurt
  • Kids love spooning up creamy treats at lunchtime. But when you’re packing their lunch bags, think Greek: While the calorie count and amount of calcium are essentially the same, a serving of Greek yogurt can provide as much as 20 times the protein of an individual pudding cup.

Stick to plain Greek yogurt for the least sugar, and add sliced berries or a little honey for sweetness. If the kids want the flavored kind, choose one with sugar near the end of the ingredient list: The first three ingredients should be milk, live and active cultures and fruit.

Keep their yogurt – and the rest of their healthy food swap-outs – cool until lunchtime in a classic Thermal Tote personalized with your child’s name and favorite embroidered Icon-It design. Your kids will be eating healthy and noshing in style!

 

What is your kids’ favorite lunch?  Share it with us…. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday Recipes

Tasty Tuesday: Sweet Potato Muffins

I LOVE this recipe for a multitude of reasons but most of all because it is 100% gluten-free!

I haven’t made it but I have tried them….. it is tasty, and packed full of health benefits from the sweet potato like antioxidants and anti-inflammatories!.  You can substitute pumpkin in this recipe, if you want….BUT why?

The flesh of sweet potatoes contains high levels of beta-carotene, an antioxidant which works to fight dangerous free radicals in your body. These free radicals can affect the DNA makeup of your cells, which can lead to mutations in the cells. This cell mutation is what leads inevitably to cancers of various kinds.  I LOVE the skin of a sweet potato especially when they are baked!

Sweet potato works against both chronic and acute inflammation, healing you of both.

Ingredients

1 small organic sweet potato, roasted (1 cup, packed)
3 organic free-range eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup of organic canned coconut milk
2 tablespoons of organic olive oil
½ cup of pure organic maple syrup
1 cup of organic brown rice flour
¼ cup of organic coconut flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon of ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Directions

  • Pre-heat your oven to 400 ℉ and lightly oil a 12-hole muffin tray.
  • When the oven reaches the right temperature, poke holes in your sweet potato and place it on the middle rack of the oven to cook for about 60 minutes, or until it is very soft. Once it’s cooked, remove it from the oven and let it cool.
  • Once the sweet potato is cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh from the skin and place the pulp in a mixing bowl. You can discard the skin, or eat it as a quick snack.
  • The skin is actually packed with a lot of the same vitamins as the rest of the sweet potato.
  • Add the olive oil, almond milk, and maple syrup to the sweet potato and mix until it creates a smooth mixture. In a separate bowl, mix your dry ingredients together until well combined. Pour the dry ingredients into the rest of the sweet potato and combine until everything is uniform.
  • Pour the batter into the muffin pan, filling the spaces until ¾ of the way full. Place them on the middle rack and cook for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife in inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

Want to take these tasty treats with you in the morning or when you are out and about?  Try Thirty One’s Cool Clip Thermal Pouch.  This clip on thermal is ideal for carrying snacks. It easily attaches to a backpack, bag or tote. Also works well to hold medicine, sunscreen, makeup or small electronics. Approx. 8”H x 11.25”L x 3”D

Breakfast or snack on the go… a bottle of water and your muffin.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Gives Program

Back to School?!?

back to school thermal no date

We are on the tail end of this month’s “giving back” program – FIGHT HUNGER Campaign.  We did chemo comfort bags and zipper pouches for our soldiers. We raised money for Smiles for Trevor and Relay for Life and we have helped families. When I began my journey with Thirty One, I wanted to make a difference in the lives women and families and you are helping me do it!  Because of YOU, my AMAZING customers, hostesses, family and friends – we are making a difference.

Okay, so I am sure you can guess where this is leading…. YOU GOT IT – we need more sponsors.  Word got out and I have had more requests than I currently have sponsors for so I am putting out a plea for YOUR help.  BREAKING NEWS:  We are teaming up with Haven/Beat the Streets in Ocean County to bring a smile to the kids who are living in motels/ shelters.  I am so excited about this joint effort.

So, here is what is happening:

I am providing THERMAL LUNCH TOTES to children who are currently homeless – living in motels.  I will be using my commission to fill the thermals with some healthy snacks along with tips on inexpensive ideas for healthy lunches. I mean let’s be honest, the FREE lunch program doesn’t always have foods that kids eat.  No hate mail PLEASE because I know that there are some places that have great meals but let’s be honest, not all of them do.

So, for $20, you can sponsor a thermal tote filled with healthy snacks for a child in need. If finances are tight and you can’t donate, maybe you know a business that may want to help, GREAT! Let me know or forward this information to them. I will supply a list of business sponsors in every thermal tote along with blogging about them – FREE advertising for helping out a great cause. Where else could they get FREE advertising for $20?

Won’t you help to make a difference today? You can fill out the form below or contact me directly. I will be happy to invoice you. Let’s bring a smile to the face of as many children as we can this school year. The deadline is July 9th!

Have ThirtyOne-derful day!

Gives Program, Hope Wissel

Give a Thermal Tote to a Child in Need

back to school flyer

Today I want to CELEBRATE you!  Many of you have been a part of my “giving back” program this year.  We have done chemo comfort bags and zipper pouches for our soldiers.  We have raised money for Smiles for Trevor and Relay for Life and we have helped families.  When I began my journey with Thirty One, I wanted to make a difference in the lives women and families and you are helping me do it!

To date, the programs have been a success with the help of my AMAZING customers, hostesses, family and friends. Individuals who believe in the cause, or just want to help. Okay, can you guess where this is leading…. YOU GOT IT – a new month, a new project.

You have heard of the “Back to School” campaigns that provide kids with backpacks and school supplies, right? These programs help each child start off the school year on the right foot.

This year, I will be providing THERMAL LUNCH TOTES to children. I will be using my commission to fill the thermals with some healthy snacks along with tips on inexpensive ideas for a healthy lunch or snack.  I mean let’s be honest, the FREE lunch program doesn’t always have kid friendly foods. No hate mail PLEASE because I know that there are some places that have great meals but let’s be honest, not all of them do.

So, for $20, you can sponsor a thermal tote filled with healthy snacks for a child in need. If you want to help BUT you don’t have $20, donate what you can – $1, $2, $5, or $10. Finances are tight BUT you know a business that may want to help, GREAT! Let me know or forward this information to them. I will supply a list of business sponsors in every thermal tote along with blogging about them – FREE advertising for helping out a great cause. Where else could they get FREE advertising for $20 or $40?

Won’t you help to make a difference today?  You can fill out the form below or contact me directly. I will be happy to invoice you. Let’s bring a smile to the face of as many children as we can this school year.  The deadline is July 9th!

Have ThirtyOne-derful day!

Gives Program

HUNGER Campaign

School-Lunch-Girls

 

Did you know that over 20% of the kids in NJ are living in food-insecure homes?

I remember when hunger and the lack of food first became a harsh reality for me.  In 1990 I was a new Case Manager at the South Jersey AIDS Alliance.  A family came in to get a bag of groceries and Maria shared her story with me.  A single mom with AIDS, she was raising her 2 grandchildren.  They lived on a fixed income since she could no longer work.  She had enough to pay the bills but struggled at the end of the month to feed her small family.  I looked at the USDA food and thought “would I feed this to my daughter?”.  The bag was filled with canned meats, veggies, rice, beans, cereal, canned fruit and powdered milk. This is what Maria would use for meals over the next week or so at home.

I vowed to stock our office pantry with things that were not only nutritious but would also allow the kids to not feel different at school.  Some used the Free Lunch programs at school but back then it wasn’t very popular.  My heart broke for the kids who wanted to take lunch like the other kids.  My heart hurt for the kids who stood out because of the FREE lunch program stigma.  My daughter shared her snacks with the kids she met in the office.

Fast forward to today – food pantries are stocked with more then just government commodities and the FREE lunch program is now accepted my more people. The old negative stigma has become a harsh reality for many.

Now, you have heard of the “Back to School” campaigns that provide kids with backpacks and school supplies, right?  These programs each child start off the school year on the right foot.

This year, I will be providing THERMAL LUNCH TOTES to children.  I am filling the thermals with a different kind of school supply – some healthy snacks along with a tip sheet on some inexpensive ideas to provide a healthy lunch for your kids.  I mean let’s be honest, the FREE lunches sometimes do not have kid friendly foods.  No hate mail PLEASE because I know that there are some places that have great meals but let’s be honest, not all of them do.

So, for $20, you can sponsor a thermal tote filled with healthy snacks for a child in need.  If you want to help BUT you don’t have $20, donate what you can – $1, $2, $5, or $10.  Finances are tight BUT you know a business that may want to help, GREAT!  Let me know or forward this information to them.  I will supply a list of business sponsors in every thermal tote along with blogging about them – FREE advertising for helping out a great cause.  Where else could they get FREE advertising for $20 or $40?

back to school flyer

Won’t you help?  Fill out the form below with your information or contact me directly.  Let’s bring a smile to the face of as many children as we can this school year.

Have ThirtyOne-derful day!