wheat grainsI speak a lot about minimising grains and as a result I have been asked numerous times “Well what sort of meals do you create for your boys?”

Let me be clear, the boys still have sandwiches once or twice a week and then, when we accidently sleep in (and are short on time in the morning), the boys will have a healthy gluten-free grain mix for breakfast that I’ve pre-combined and stored so that it’s ready to go.

My focus is not to cut out grains entirely for the kids but to consider how many grains they will consume in a day.

Before you freak out at the thought — please know it is easier then you think. Years ago I decided to go gluten-free because I didn’t feel like my body responded well to wheat and gluten, these days I feel at my best when I eat very little grains at all in my week.  Often our food choices are influenced by habit rather then considering which foods ‘tax’ our individual bodies and which foods make us feel as though we are ‘thriving’.

There is no doubt that grains make life easier but most of us are reliant on these grains everyday for breakfast—and often lunch and dinner too—eating cereal, toast or porridge followed by cakes, biscuits or muffins for morning tea, a sandwich for lunch and then pasta or rice dishes for dinner.

“But don’t grains offer nutrition?”

Well that depends on how you are eating your grains. Most of the foods containing grains are highly refined and lacking in essential nutrients. Here-in lies the problem: most of the processed foods made from grains are so lifeless and lacking in nutrition that your body does not register them as “real food.” Soon after you have eaten them your blood sugar levels drop, you become tired, your survival instincts kick in and you start foraging for more food with substance. If you then choose more refined foods instead of the wholesome nutrition that meets the needs of your dynamic body, the cycle will continue. You will eat and continue to eat, creating problems with both your wardrobe and your wellbeing.

“So poor choice grains are the problem?”

Yes, but typically we all eat too many grains in general. Grains are a quick and easy staple for many of us and they are, well, culturally ingrained. But they can also be responsible for those few extra kilos on our waists or backsides. Remember that when farmers want to fatten up their cows, they substitute grass for grains!

Another interesting point to consider is that there is often a time line of months or years between grains being harvested, storaged and then manufactured into products that frequently  designed to have an extremely long shelf life. By the time we eat some of these grainy foods, they have very little life-force remaining.

With this post I thought I’d share a week’s worth of breakfasts and lunches that we created last week in our house. Yes there’s the odd sandwich, cereal and grain but it’s a rough guide on how you can look at your week and consider your grain intake. Most days you’ll notice the boys only have grains once.

Now before you become anxious about meeting the Food Pyramid ratios it is important that we acknowledge that the Food Pyramid we have today has been around for 30-40 years and was created by the American Grain, Meat and Dairy Boards. It always surprises me that it was not in fact written by experts in nutrition but designed by employees of these Food Boards. Time has shown that the the Food Pyramid that is still quoted today by these same food industries does not have “your optimal health” as its primary objective. Too many of our children are obese, have diabetes and allergies and I believe we need to empower ourselves as parents with knowledge on what foods give to our childrens bodies and which foods simply ‘load up’ the calories and ‘load up’ the health challenges.

meal-planBreakfast & Lunch Meal Plan

Bare in mind I haven’t included evening meals (which of course I can do in the future), but know that our evening meals are a range of protein with salads or vegetables. We may have pasta once every 2-3 weeks and lasagne or risotto once a month. Believe me there is plenty of variety for evening meals without these dishes.

So below is one week of Breakfasts and Lunches. Please excuse my poor food styling and iPhone snaps, our Lunchbox Solutions photographer is horrified, BUT IT GIVES YOU THE IDEA 🙂

We will also post a general ingredients list for these recipes soon if you wish to try them — you’ll just need to amend for the size of your family. This list will allow you to plan your shopping if need be.
Each day next week we’ll post the recipes themselves with further pictures — be warned these recipes are not complex. Here’s the general meal plan…

MEAL PLAN


Monday

  • Omelette — Zucchini and Bacon (or Mushroom)
    There is no toast needed and preferably use organic bacon or ham if you can. We often use mushrooms instead of bacon – this is a good option for vegetarians.
  • Roast Chicken Salad Sandwich,  Extras = Veggie Sticks, a Plum and a tub of Natural Yoghurt combined with Honey, Nuts and Blueberries with a packet of Organic Sultanas.
    This type of sandwich means you can use higher quality protein than typical deli fillings. We used chicken from a roast the night before and combined this with salad — on yummy organic Kamut bread. Please see our next post on grains which explains how Kamut is an ancient grain that has retained it’s nutritional value. 

mon2 post1-post4a


Tuesday

  • Brown Rice Porridge with Banana, Cherries, Blueberries, Rice Milk and Coconut Sugar.
  • Tuna and Sardine Patties with Lettuce and Veggie Sticks. For Extras = Some Grapes, Cherries, Kiwi Fruit and a Spelt Fruit Bun
    I make these the night before for dinner and then use the remaining patties for lunches.

mon1 tue2


Wednesday

  • Gluten-free Grain Mix with Fruit, Nuts and Rice milk
    I mix this together and store in a large glass container.
  • Prawn and Zucchini Slice with Home-made Hummus, Carrot Sticks and Crackers. For Extras = Two Plums, an Apple and a Coconut Biscuit.
    I make this the night before to save time in the morning.  If you’re vegetarian or your kids don’t like prawn then leave these out and add any ingredients you like.

wed2 wed2a


Thursday

  • Poached Eggs with Baked Beans, Spinach, Bacon and 1 piece of Kamut toast.
  • Chicken, Avocado, Spinach and Cheese Toasted Sandwich, For  Extras = 1/3 of a cucumber, 1 dried banana, 1 nectarine, 2 pieces of apple joined by nut butter

thur3 thur1 thur2a


Friday

  • Fruit Salad with Crushed Nuts, Chia Seeds and Yoghurt with Mesquite Powder and Acai.
  • Gluten-free Pasta with Bolognaise Sauce. For Extras = Some orange, half a banana, some Kiwi-fruit, Fruit and Nut Bar and some Licorice.
    Again this sauce is a pre-planned extra from the evening meal the night before. In the morning I cook some gluten-free pasta, heat the sauce and put it all in a small thermos. At school the boys pour the pasta in to the lid of the thermos.

fri1 fri2 fri1a


From the desk of…

Jennifer Barham-Floreani
Bach. Chiropractic, Bach. App Clinical Science
Registered internationally, no longer practicing as a chiropractor in Australia.

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