Kids Breakfast and Lunch Ideas:Week 11

‘Make ahead healthy gingerbread pancakes and prepped daily school lunches will change your life!  Get your kids off to get a great start everyday with a balanced breakfast and fueling nutritious lunches!’

Been feeling all kinds of festive as the end of 2016 approaches!  Last year at this time, I was pretty much bed/couch bound due to my medical issues.  My family was still adjusting to my limitations and trying desperately to find a “new normal”.  However even doing that was extremely difficult when you literally have no idea how you will feel when you wake up each morning and what the rest of the day will bring.  As a result of the overwhelming pain and unpredictable symptoms, I was unable to decorate the house properly, had NO Christmas spirit, and was literally hanging on by a thread.  I was bah hum bugging all over the place.

NOT this year though friends…

Oh no.  I’ve actually had the BEST past 2 months EVER with the changes I’ve made in my nutrition and feeling all kinds of awesome.  So much so that week before Thanksgiving, I was bugging my husband for some home holiday spirit!  A fully decked out Christmas tree and over the top decorating was definitely taking place this year and we were in full holiday mode a day before Thanksgiving!!!  I was totally robbed last year, so this year I’m on a mission to make up for it all (AND then some)!  Holiday planning was in full effect, lists were made, and I vowed this would be the BEST Christmas ever!

One of the first lists I made was of course planning out some meals, namely the Makena’s breakfasts for the month.  First up for the month (yes I will be prepping even when she’s out for break), were these “Dark Chocolate Gingerbread Pancakes”….

Healthy Gingerbread Pancakes

I’ve already mentioned how much I love making pancakes for make ahead breakfasts, SO easy and takes no time at all!  Whip up the batter, pour a couple of batches onto a griddle, pair it with some eggs or sausage, and BAM.  Healthy, delicious, AND balanced breakfast for the entire week in under 15 minutes!

Healthy Gingerbread Pancakes

In the morning when its time for her to eat, we pop the pancakes in the toaster and eggs in the microwave.  You could easily put the whole container in the microwave, but we prefer the toasted pancakes because it brings back a better texture.  Either way, breakfast is served in under 2 minutes!

Healthy Gingerbread Pancakes

Containers get stored in the fridge and are waiting for us each weekday morning.  We typically have special, freshly cooked breakfasts on the weekends, but every other day… prepped is the ONLY way to go!

Healthy Gingerbread Pancakes

I love that I was able to think ahead this year and plan out the breakfast prep for the holidays.  Makena is SO happy and full of Christmas spirit… just like her mommy!  Holiday breakfasts are off to a great start and can’t wait to share the rest of the month with you!

For now, I will leave you with the “Dark Chocolate Gingerbread Pacake” recipe and the lunches Makena took last week.

Dark Chocolate Gingerbread Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup 'Dark Chocolate' Kodiak power cakes
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 4 tablespoons Swerve or sweetener of choice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Large whole egg
  • 1/4 cup Chocolate MuscleEgg egg whites (or replace with whole egg or plain egg whites)
  • 1 cup milk of choice

Directions

1
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl or stand mixer. Mix on high until batter is smooth.
2
Preheat griddle pan and coat with non stick spray.
3
Portion and cook pancakes on medium heat until bubbles form on top. Flip and cook on remaining side for 1-2 minutes. Top with syrup and cinnamon.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1
Servings Per Container 5

Amount Per Serving
Calories 149 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Trans Fat g
Cholesterol mg 0%
Sodium mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 7%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 8g
Protein 9g 18%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

MONDAY:

Leftover BBQ dinner (chicken, roasted potatoes, grilled veggies), apple slices, cheese, and gluten free crackers

Meal & Food Prep For Kids

TUESDAY:

Leftover teriyaki chicken, rice, zucchini, bell peppers, grapes, and pistachios

Meal & Food Prep For Kids

WEDNESDAY:

Leftover pizza, seaweed snacks chez its, and carrots

Meal & Food Prep For Kids

THURSDAY:

Salad with romaine, spinach, red cabbage, carrots, bacon crumbles, strawberries, cheese, gluten free crackers, and popcorn

Meal & Food Prep For Kids

FRIDAY:

Leftover taco chicken casserole, tortilla chips, celery, and strawberries

Meal & Food Prep For Kids

Dark Chocolate Gingerbread Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup 'Dark Chocolate' Kodiak power cakes
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 4 tablespoons Swerve or sweetener of choice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Large whole egg
  • 1/4 cup Chocolate MuscleEgg egg whites (or replace with whole egg or plain egg whites)
  • 1 cup milk of choice

Directions

1
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl or stand mixer. Mix on high until batter is smooth.
2
Preheat griddle pan and coat with non stick spray.
3
Portion and cook pancakes on medium heat until bubbles form on top. Flip and cook on remaining side for 1-2 minutes. Top with syrup and cinnamon.

Here are all of the previous prep weeks right at your finger tips:

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

WEEK 4

WEEK 5

WEEK 6

WEEK 7

WEEK 8

WEEK 9

WEEK 10

And find me on Instagram for daily food inspiration, ideas, and tips:

Instagram

MEAL PREP SUPPLIES:

3- Compartment

Food Prep Containers

2- Compartment

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Single Compartment

Food Prep Containers

Meal & Food Prep For Kids

Smart Dinners When You Don’t Have Time

As a busy mother and wife who also happens to suffer from chronic illness, my time and energy are extremely valuable to me.  With the current state of my health and having run out of options for treatment with my insurance, I had to get even more proactive about my health than I already was. As I’ve mentioned in my last few posts, this year I’ve basically done ‘almost’ everything in my power to improve my pain & symptoms using completely all-natural pathways.  I tried a huge variety of herbal supplements, cryotherapy, acupuncture, meditation, and at least a handful of other things.  The one thing I hadn’t consciously changed was my nutrition and the time was NOW!I was already an extremely healthy eater, LOVE my vegetables, and eat very balanced meals but also knew I could take my nutrition one step further.  As my research began on protocols that may help with both my spinal condition and my mystery autoimmune disease, I decided to dive in head first to HUGE dietary changes.  I began making every single meal from scratch, eliminated many foods that could possibly trigger an inflammatory response, and slowly transitioned into a new way of eating and lifestyle.Sounds great huh?  Simple and easy… nope, not so fast!

I’ve also mentioned I’m mother and a wife to a real-life hero with a forever changing work schedule.  My daughter has volleyball practice three nights per week in addition to school every day, weekly play dates, and music lessons.  My son has football five times a week, and is only in the process of getting a license, which means mommy and daddy are still chauffeurs!   So, as much as I LOVE to prepare all of my own food at home, some days it’s just not in my cards.  I don’t like necessarily relying on quick & easy purchased (frozen) meals, but I recently found a line of products that provide that same healthful nutrition and cooking style that mimics what I normally do at home for myself and my family.

SmartMade by Smart Ones

Introducing SMARTMADE ™ by SmartOnes (R)

My grocery store only carried a few of these new meals, but after finding these products I looked on the

SMARTMADE ™ website and found myself drooling over the selections!  And I know what you must be thinking: “Corina, frozen meals are NOT good! They are packed full of preservatives, chemicals, and crap ingredients!”  Oh no no, my friends.  I haven’t steered you wrong and I certainly haven’t started now!

Healthy Frozen MealsHealthy Frozen Meals

SMARTMADE ™ meals are made with all REAL ingredients and include more nutrient dense food swaps you may find in other prepared meals (i.e. quinoa for white rice, white bean puree sauce for Alfredo sauce, whole-wheat pasta for regular pasta, etc.), and everything is prepared using the SAME methods I would use at home such as grilling & roasting!  Not only that, what I love most about these meals is they can be tweaked to accommodate ANY way of eating/lifestyle someone may have.  This is huge for me especially because of the dietary changes I’ve been implementing these past 6-7 weeks!  I can satisfy my own new restrictions AND still provide my family with quick, easy, stress free, and very delicious options for meals (especially while on the go).

Life is all about balance and when you live with the medical conditions I’ve learned the art of picking and choosing my “battles” in day-to-day life.  Some days I can easily (and happily) get up to cook every meal from scratch, prep food to take to my daughter’s practice, and get my husband’s lunch for work ready for his 10+ hour work shift.  Other days though?  I’m either in a flare up where I can barely stand up and/or our schedule for the day is far too hectic and stressful… stress for me hits MUCH different than other people.  It’s one of the biggest triggers for a flare up.  So on these days I know I need to loosen the reigns on the expectations I set for myself and now knowing there is an option for just these moments… so thankful!

And look: if I put a heated SmartMade™ meal on a plate in front of you to eat, I guarantee you would NEVER think these were once FROZEN!  The ingredients are so pure and simple & everything looks colorful! Take a look at my current favorite SMARTMADE ™ meal:

Healthy Frozen Meals

Rosemary Grilled Beef & Vegetables

Healthy Frozen Meals

Healthy Frozen Meals

Healthy Frozen MealsHealthy Frozen MealsHealthy Frozen Meals

Look at those grill marks, the roasted perfection on the Brussels sprouts & sweet potatoes, and the bright colors.  Folks, this is NOT your typical frozen meal!  This is eating WITHOUT the stress and pressure of feeling like everything you eat must absolutely be made in your own kitchen.  Instead you can now take advantage of someone else making you a homemade meal!  And not just for yourself mind you. Oh no.  This is balanced nutrition for the WHOLE family!  My daughter has fallen in LOVE with SMARTMADE ™ Mexican Style Chicken Bowl… absolutely drool worthy.  Again, same amazing grill marks on the protein, colorful roasted vegetables, and as with all of the SMARTMADE ™ meals… absolutely NO artificial flavors or preservatives.  You can absolutely give these to your family and feel GOOD about it!  Busy evening schedule at your house?  No problem.  Hectic weekend schedule where you are close to just grabbing fast food for dinner?  Nope.  Just stock up on the SMARTMADE ™ meals and your family can be fed a tasty meal within a couple of minutes (and on the go if need be)!

Healthy Frozen MealsHealthy Frozen Meals

SOLD my friends.  SOLD SOLD SOLD!

** This post is sponsored by SheKnows Media and SMARTMADE ™, balanced and delicious frozen meals inspired by your smart cooking methods. **

Hello Gourmesso

Is there anything better than a REALLY good cup of coffee first thing in the AM?  How about a cup of REALLY good coffee and some ESPRESSO chip cookies???  More on that in a second…

Unlike most people who seem to run on coffee, I actually rarely ever have any caffeine anymore (maybe once a month, if that).  For the majority of this year I actually stopped coffee all together, decaf included.  I originally wanted to reset my body and adrenals from any & all stimulants and ended up feeling so good (after about a week of withdrawals) that I just kept it up going with all decaf simply because I LOVE the taste of coffee… especially a really really good STRONG cup (or two)!

Unfortunately for me, my coffee machine pooped out from all of the extra use it started getting.  Because the decaf coffee I was using produced such a weak brew, I would need to set it on ‘espresso’ and use at least 2-3 pods to get a decent cup of coffee.  Single cup machines are great and convenient, but I’ve gone through at least 2-3 machines over the past 5 years because they just haven’t lasted.  This past time when my machine konked out, I was thoroughly done with the poor craftsman ship and was in the market for a different machine altogether.  Since I loved the idea of still having a coffee machine with “cups”/pods, the Nespresso was what we opted for this time and I’m so so happy we did!  Meet our new “Inissia” (AND Aeroccino PLUS)!

Mocha Chip Cookies

Mocha Chip Cookies

I can’t even express how awesome it is to have a milk frother.  I’m now dairy free so regular milk is out, but started doing a “bulletproof” type decaf coffee every morning.  2 cups of decaf, MCT oil, stevia, and full fat coconut milk into the blender for 30-40 seconds.  It gets so FROTHY…. mmmm mmmm good, I will NEVER have it any other way again!  Blend your coffee up with whatever you normally add to it and be blown away.  Totally different coffee experience adding a blender into the mix 🙂  But with this new “Inissia” machine and frother, my blending days are over!
Mocha Chip Cookies

The machine is great on its own though as well.  SUPER lightweight, portable, and compact.  It’s adorable and it heats up in lightening speed at 25 seconds (unlike that other pod machine which takes a couple of minutes)!

Mocha Chip CookiesMocha Chip Cookies

Two buttons to select my preferred size.  Give me my coffee & I’m done with you.  Automatic shut off in 9 minutes!

Mocha Chip Cookies

With the new machine in hand, it was time track down my new “pods”!  The ones that came with the machine were decent enough I suppose, but was a bit underwhelmed.  I nearly began to repackage up the  newly used “Inissia“, but then stumbled upon a company called Gourmesso.  They offer a HUGE variety of Nespresso capsules ranging from every strength of coffee to teas to accessories to gourmet artisanal foods.  It’s a one stop shop for all things DELICIOUS coffee!  Like I said, I was fairly underwhelmed with the flavor and strength of the Nespresso brand capsules but before I reverted back to buying another machine (or throwing in the towel with coffee all together) I decided to give Gourmesso capsules a try!  What sucked me in within the first 30 seconds of browsing their site was the HUGE variety I had all only one click away.

Gourmesso

TWENTY SIX choices for coffee and EIGHT choices for teas!  It was difficult to narrow down what I wanted to try, so I opted for a “little of this and a little of that” to cover all my bases!  Caffeinated for my husband (and for baking), decaf and teas for me.  To be honest with you, once the package arrived and I looked over the flavors I got… I knew a caffeine jolt would be in my near future!  Easy ordering, lightening fast shipping, and a fresh espresso (or tea) is within a 25 second grasp.

Mocha Chip Cookies

Here were the coffees I chose:

  • House Blend Decaf Lungo
  • Soffio Mandoria
  • Columbia Arabica Mezzo
  • Soffio Caramello

Another thing I love about Gourmesso is the details the company gives about each of their products.  So much detail and information about the type of coffee, where it’s sourced, and what type of flavor/s it has.  True coffee connoisseurs can and will appreciate this!

Gourmesso

Mocha Chip CookiesMocha Chip Cookies

And then my Gourmesso tea capsule selections which I was probably more excited to receive since I’ve been making a LOT of tea lattes the past month or so.  It was SO hard to narrow down which teas I wanted, but this is what I got:

  • Green Infusion
  • Rooibos Vanilla Infusion
  • Herbal Mint Infusion

Mocha Chip CookiesMocha Chip Cookies

Taste testing time!!!  Of course I had to go with a decaf option because this would be a true test of the quality of coffee I had just received…

Mocha Chip CookiesMocha Chip Cookies

gourmesso

And it was EVERY bit as delicious as I hoped.  Far better flavor than my old machine pods, stronger, no bitterness whatsoever, and extremely smooth on its own for a decaf!  It even has notes and hints of CARAMEL in it.  Mmmmmm, caramel.

My other major selling point to my new “Gourmesso” capsules was COST!  They are SO much cheaper than regular Nespresso products.  Everything is at least 20%-30% CHEAPER.  Boxes of 10 capsules for UNDER $5.  I have never found those old “cups” cheaper than $7-$10 anywhere, at anytime.

HUGE HUGE HUGE savings and one of the best cups of coffee I’ve ever had!  Win Win Winning!

Next step to really push me into Gourmesso love was using my coffee in some baking.  I’ve always been big fan of all things mocha so I find I add coffee to a lot of baked goods including cake, cupcakes, loaf breads, and even oatmeal!  So yeah, back to the first sentence of this post… is there anything better than a really good cup of coffee?

ESPRESSO CHIP COOKIES of course!

I used the strongest brew I could to ensure a deep, rich coffee flavor in these.  Coffee and chocolate (in cookie form)… so amazingly perfect!  The flavors complement one another like nothing else.

Mocha Chip Cookies

Mocha Chip CookiesMocha Chip Cookies

Count me in, over and over and over!  I’ve made these espresso chip cookies before using my old coffee cups and while those were obviously delicious also (chocolate + coffee + cookies= YUM… always), that strong strong espresso flavor was always a little bit lacking.  Not anymore though.  I just solved that minor issue with my new Gourmesso capsules!

Mocha Chip CookiesMocha Chip Cookies
Mocha Chip Cookies

In love.  So in love with my new machine, my new coffee capsules, and these espresso chip cookies!  Please give them a try and let me know how you like them.  Coffee and cookies, mornings just got 10X better!!!

Gourmesso

Mocha Chip Cookies

Serves 18
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 12 minutes
Total time 32 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Kodiak 'Bear Country' cookie mix
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 cup freshly brewed 'Gourmesso' coffee
  • 1/4 cup 'Chocolate' MuscleEgg egg whites

Directions

1
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and egg whites until light and fluffy.
2
Slowly add in the Kodiak baking mix 1/3 at a time. Place in fridge for 20-30 minutes while you clean up. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
3
Portion and scoop cookie dough onto prepare cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes until edges are LIGHTLY browned and centers are just set (this is for a soft baked cookie).

Note

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (makes 18 cookies): calories- 199, fat- 12 grams, carbs- 22 grams/2 grams fiber, protein- 2 grams PER cookie

gourmesso

Sherry Sinner - November 27, 2016 - 5:07 am

I’m interested in learning about a nutritional keto way of life