REAL FOOD FOR REAL KIDS IN THE REAL WORLD
Do you know a child in need of healing? If so, you might know a parent whose perpetually muttered mantra is “Calgon, take me away.” It’s a very busy world. Modern life has become packed with extra-curriculars in the guise of obligations that it can seem like cooking meals from scratch is a far-off fantasy.
So when we prioritize our family’s health carving out time to make nourishing foods for our loved ones, it’s a big deal. It requires precious resources of time, energy, money, patience and love. And for many parents, it’s also a risk. Will your family eat the food of our wise ancestors? Will your child open her lunchbox at school and be dubbed the weirdo?
Some learned about a nutrient-rich, ancestral cuisine early enough to train their children’s palates to love pâté and sauerkraut. Others must re-train their child’s palate. Your children may be prone to strong opinions about food or may want to eat food that looks like their friends’ food.
Kids are resilient and I’m not saying “weird” is by definition bad. But sometimes, it’s nice not to have to explain your lunch and even to have a lunch that the other kids might want. Sometimes, it’s nice to fit in…just a little.
FOOD CAN BE KID-COOL
Food can be delicious, nutrient-rich and kid-cool at the same time! And it can look like the food all the other kids are noshing! The prep doesn’t have to be complicated or time-intensive.
Transforming traditional food wisdom into yummy kiddo meals is not only a huge boon for kids but for parents too. Check out my real-world tips for making good food for your family:
1. Make Your Plan. Planning is the cornerstone of low-stress meal preparation. I encourage you to start by planning a few major meals in your week—like your children’s lunches or weekday dinners. Don’t know where to start? Invest in a meal planning service. I love the affordable and realistic service at RealPlans.com. You can find a plan that works for your family.
2. Batch Cooking. Never make a dish for one meal when you can make it for five. This is life-changing! Once you fully incorporate batch cooking into your life, you will not need to cook every day. As part of your planning, designate a day, half of a day or even 2 hours to batch cook. Ease into it. If you do this once a week or even twice a month, you will create more free time to spend with family!
What might a half day of batch cooking look like?
• Shop for the ingredients on an earlier day so that you won’t start cooking with less energy.
• Pop a pork roast in the slow cooker for dinner tonight and pulled pork tacos later in the week. Got two crock pots and a place to store the meat? Make two!
• Start a large batch of soup to be portioned out and frozen. Don’t be afraid of a twelve to twenty quart stock pot. If you can store the frozen soup, it will be a welcome dinner later.
• Make a batch of jello for school lunches.
• Make pickles.
3. Community. Do you long for adult conversation but don’t have the time? Schedule a day to batch cook with like-minded friends! People used to have naturally occurring community built around food. That can exist in our modern world too, if we create it. There are other parents in your community who are struggling with the constraints of modern life and health just as you are. Find them and invite them to batch cook. Imagine batch cooking with another who makes something different and you share the bounty. What if there are three or four batch cookers together? You can even cook separately at home but share the fruits of your labor.
4. Make friends with your inner child. You may not have a lot of love for huge processed food companies and their red dye 40 but, one thing they are right about is making food fun! Nutrient dense food can be just as fun, colorful and kid-centric as the plastic food on supermarket shelves. Give yourself permission to serve up quality chicken nuggets and BBQ dipping sauce, gummy bears and soda. Check out our website for fun kid-centric recipes and make good food fun again: realfooddevotee.com
I am honored to share an easy way to get more bone broth into picky kiddos here and now. Get started with two great kid-centric recipes. Make your own delicious and nutritious chicken nuggets. You can prep many ahead and freeze them to use for quick nutrient dense lunches later. We’ll pair it with MMMMMMM BBQ dipping sauce.
I want to support you! Sharing is a way we grow. On my site, I regularly post real food recipes to support busy parents. Visit the site, if you’d like to know how to make effervescent fermented sodas, the best pickles, incredibly delicious yogurt or bone broth that kids love. It’s become a specialty of mine to dress incredibly healing foods which have a less-than-hip reputation in a delicious, kid-friendly and—dare I say—cool package. Get real. Be well.
HOMEMADE CHICKEN NUGGETS
• 2 lbs chicken breast*
• 2-3 eggs**
• 1 cup blanched almond flour
• 2 tablespoons arrowroot
• 2 tablespoons Pecorino Romano
• 2 tablespoons chopped dehydrated onions
• 1 ½ teaspoon unrefined sea salt
• 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
• 1 teaspoon nutmeg
• ¼ teaspoon cayenne
• Chop chicken into two inch nuggets.
• Using a whisk or fork, mix blanched almond flour and all spices in one bowl.
• Beat eggs in another bowl.
• Submerge each chicken nugget in egg wash and then dredge in almond flour/spice mixture.
• Carefully lay each nugget on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Do not crowd.
• Bake in oven preheated to 400° 25 minutes or until golden brown.
*You may use dark meat but I find breast meat gives you the classic chicken nuggets to perfection.
**This is a good place to use extra egg whites.
BBQ DIPPING SAUCE
I admit it. I loved it when my parents would let us have chicken nuggets from the golden arches! MMMMMMM BBQ dipping sauce! Connecting to my inner child helped me to come up with this sneaky way to get kids to eat more bone broth. I make a big batch and freeze small portions. We use it as a spread on sandwiches, grassfed hotdogs, hamburgers and with homemade chicken nuggets. You can prep many ahead and freeze them for quick nutrient-dense lunches later.
• 1-finely diced white onion
• 4 cups beef bone broth
• 2 cups molasses
• 2 tablespoons celery salt
• 3/4 cup spicy mustard
• 1 1/2 heads of garlic, shredded
• 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
• 1/2 teaspoons allspice
• 3 cups tomato paste
• 3 teaspoons horseradish
• Heat onions and garlic in 4 cups bone broth on medium stove heat.
• Turn stove heat down to low.
• Add all other ingredients, and combine completely by stirring.
• Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
• At this point, test the thickness of your sauce. When you’re happy with the consistency, remove it from the heat.
• If you want a thicker sauce continue to cook down with occasional stirring.
• If you want a thinner sauce, add 1/4 cup bone broth or water at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
YIELD: 3 quarts
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Summer 2015