Back to school

Well it’s that time of year again when the days get shorter, the laundry basket is full of sand & we find ourselves faced with the task of ensuring name labels are sewn on & shoes are shined in preparation for the start of school. It's just as well that summer is having a last hurrah!

Feeding our little people who are oh-so-tired from big days can be a huge challenge, so we’ve put together some suggestions for nutritious snacks & easy meal solutions to help you set them up for a day’s adventuring, avoid pram-planking meltdowns, and give them all they need to thrive.

Smoothies are a great way of using up all the glut of fruit we have at this time of year, and substituting coconut water for dairy is a tasty alternative. Adding a spoonful of ground flaxseed, some chia seeds & a handful of quick porridge oats can really set the whole family up for the day ahead - complex carbohydrates, protein & omega 3’s combined with fibre & endless fruit variations ensure everyone has happy bellies & brain food to start the day.

Corn ears are truly delicious right now, and make fun "wheels” for your little’uns to gnaw the knobbly kernel tyres off. Slices of the corn ear dropped into boiling water in advance & served as they are cooling with some favourite dipping sauces such as hummus or tomato salsa are a great way to make snack time fun.

Corn fritters, using the left over kernels, are also great to do in larger batches & keep frozen ready to go when you need - letting your bub smear some smashed avocado on the top, and then decorating them wth red pepper faces, is a great way of getting bub involved & interested in food.

Tomato crops have reached epic proportions in Britain this year, so making a big batch of your own pasta sauce with loads of garlic & rapeseed oil, and then freezing in small containers means a quick & easy bowl of tasty omega-packed pasta is only minutes away. Fun variations include adding some grilled artichoke hearts (little fingers love picking these out & ripping them apart!), or some cooked pieces of salmon, chopped up sausages or chunks of fried aubergine, or some herbs & spices such as crushed fennel seeds, (let them do the crushing in a mortar & pestle), cracked black pepper (give them a go with the pepper mill), torn up basil or spinach leaves. And pasta doesn’t need to be wheat-based anymore - there’s a huge amount of variety out there now, and all of this variety is brilliant at opening up little palates & minds to new ideas.

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Another do-ahead idea is our savoury muffins recipe - there are endless variations on this theme involving grated veggies, cheese, tofu & different flours - some combinations give denser results than others, but all will be delicious & devoured in seconds! If you bake these in mini muffin pans, and store them in the freezer, they only take about the length of the school run to defrost. Complex carbs, veggies, protein and calcium requirements taken care of in a flash! Adding different seeds on the top keeps eyeballs & little fingers busy too.

If you’ve introduced nuts & seeds already, and had no adverse reactions, then another great lifesaver is slices of apple or celery sticks dipped into peanut or cashew butter - a fab source of protein & carbohydrates to keep those little bellies filled up.

Check out our raw energy balls recipe on the inside of our cardboard sleeves on packs - for brilliant 'good behaviour' rewards, you can’t beat these! And, yes, parents need rewards for good behaviour too!

Good luck everyone & here’s to a brilliant year ahead!


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RecipesEli NaskouComment