Jozi Real Food Kids – Lunch Box Series – Part 1
The lunchbox series is brought to you as a collaboration between The Jozi Real Food Revolution and Hire Education – a Jozi Real Food Kids Revolution Partner – standing for your connection to nutrient dense real food from the country’s best sustainable farms, artisans and producers as well as your right to education about the food you are eating.
I’m Debbie Logan, a passionate food activist fighting for change in our food system, owner of The Organic Natural and Whole Food Emporium and founder of The Jozi Real Food Revolution, an initiative aimed at creating a space of collaboration between all those connected to changing the culture of eating in Jozi.
Hire Education is one of our collaborations and our first Jozi Real Food Kids Partner because they are committed to empowering through education. Robyn Cameron, a passionate food activist herself and founder of Hire Education contributes to The Jozi Real Food Kids Revolution as an education partner, committed to bringing you information about your food that will help empower you to feed your children the cleanest, most nutrient dense meals available.
In this series, I will be taking you on a journey that helps you to get conveyor belt, off assembly lines corporate food out of your children’s lunch-boxes and lunch-box ideas that contain unadulterated, real food ingredients from great farms and food artisans. Unlike the former, lunch-box options built on this premise, will not have chemicals, additives, preservatives, sugar or colorants. I assure you they will have way more taste, flavour and reward factor too, than what has come to sadly typify the traditional school lunch-box.
The first lunch-box idea focuses on switching chemical laden conventional factory produced bread containing up to 11 ingredients including flour softeners and additives linked to behavioural disruptions in children, to real, traditional sourdough bread that only contains 3 ingredients – a good stone-ground flour, wild yeast, and water.
Please read a previous article where I discussed ‘Real Bread’ and include information about why store brought bread is not a good idea.
Then try this out as a lunch-box idea on your real food lunchbox journey.
This lunch-box will be nutrient dense – chemical, additive, preservative, pesticide and sugar free – it will load a child’s system with nutrition to get through their day and will be tasty to boot.
As the series progresses, I will be gradually getting you to make real food meals for their lunch-boxes based on left-overs and help you to lessen your dependance on store-brought bread that offers very little in the way of nutrition and adds additives and preservatives that have the potential to upset their attention span, ability to concentrate and stress their immune systems.
- Sourdough sandwich with cheese, tomato, lettuce and balsamic vinegar
- Raw veg crudites with cheese
- Organic seasonal fruit
Sourdough Bread Loaf – note that sourdough is baked by an artisan, it is not coming out of a factory. The sourdough method has wild yeast from the air proofing the dough over 4 days before it is baked so the gluten is pre-digested. Most sourdough artisans also are committed to using the best flour, which is stoneground, unbleached flour with no additives like Eureka. Before you purchase your sourdough loaf, ask the store which flour is being used and only support those using a good stoneground flour. If its bleached conventional flour, it will contain additives, little nutrition and will be bleached. Nowadays you can get light sourdough loaves that help your children transition – they will need to chew sourdough as it does not contain flour softening agents to produce that unnatural softness they are used to. Please note that one of the most widely used of these softeners is the same chemical used to give yoga mats their pliancy. You can get sourdough country loaves (mix of wholewheat, white and rye), 100% rye (not great for children initially as exceptionally dense), french baguettes, white round loaves and ciabatta.
Add real butter from a farm that is rearing their dairy herd outdoors on a diet predominantly of grass, not grain. This will mean that the dairy has higher levels of omega 3’s, vitamin d and k and CLA than conventionally raised dairy.
Choose a good farm cheese from a grass-fed herd, add some soft lettuce, and some thinly sliced tomato. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar if your child is accustomed to sweet & a drizzle of olive oil with some cracked salt. The combination of sweet from the balsamic and the oil and salt softens the bread and adds sweetness with the tomatoes.
In a separate little box, add some chopped up easy finger size shaped raw vegetables. I’ve found children do well with sweet peppers, cucumber and cocktail tomatoes. You can add to that some blocks too of a good cheese, again be fussy about the farm and ask questions – you preferably want a grass-raised, real pastured herd and dairy with no colorants or additives, you want it made by a farmer or artisan not a corporation. You most certainly do not want dairy from a herd that has antibiotics or growth promoters included in any feed.
If your child likes balsamic, again a good idea to splash over some, I can make most children eat raw veg sticks happily when balsamic is added rather than making them suddenly just go for raw veg. If not and they are happy to eat the raw veg, super!
Pack those little wooden forks that you can buy from Woolworths into their lunch-box so that they can use it to eat the wedges. They like the novelty of a little fork too.
Add a piece of seasonal organic fruit.
If you are transitioning little children off conventional food, don’t get disappointed by any setbacks or initial resistance. Changing their palette to accept more texture and different tastes and weaning them off the sugar and artificial textures they have been accustomed to, takes time but I assure you it is a rewarding journey, keep at it. As your child’s immune system responds positively and their behaviour becomes more stable, less erratic and their blood sugar levels stabilise, you will start to really appreciate the effect of real food on their systems. Get them involved in their lunch-box by teaching them to cut the pieces or to splash the balsamic themselves or butter the bread, they LOVE getting involved and you can talk to them as they go, ‘these red peppers are so good for you and full of vitamin c’. This bread is made in a wood fire oven can you believe, it’s so chewy and lovely, etc, etc. You will be helping them establish a connection to food and to it as a source both of nutrition and joy.
If you need any further help or ideas, please come and see me in-store at The Organic Natural and Whole Food Emporium, upper level new rooftop entrance, Bryanston Shopping Centre.
Let me know how it goes.
Talking Bread – Debbie Logan – Organic Blog – http://organicblog.co.za/talking-bread/
A past newsletter with information about the yoga mat additive in bread – http://organicblog.co.za/store-update-believe-selling-yoga-mat-free-bread/