1. Jen asked for creative, almost grain-free lunch ideas for her kids. My son has been on the grain-free Specific Carbohydrate Diet for 5 years now, and here is my favorite “sandwich replacement” to serve him for lunch:
Peanut Butter Brownies
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a square baking dish.
Mix 1 cup peanut butter, 1 egg, 1/2 cup honey, and 1/2 tsp baking soda together and spread in the dish. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
Jen mentioned “no beans.” Technically peanuts are legumes, so if that’s a problem you could substitute any nut butter. I often add a 1/2 cup canned pumpkin to bump up the nutritional value, and no one notices, well, actually one does but he doesn’t mind too much. 🙂 This recipe is so easy my 7 year old can make it. The kids eat it with all-fruit jam spread on top.
2. When you’ve got a little more time on your hands, or if your kids like baking and can follow a recipe, here’s a slightly more involved recipe for muffins (which my son eats for lunch):
Preheat oven to 375. Have a child fill 2 cupcake tins with liners.
Mix 2 1/2 cups almond flour (buy in bulk at Whole Foods or on Amazon), 1/4 cup yogurt or applesauce or oil, 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/8 tsp salt, and 3 eggs. Fill cupcake tins and bake for 15-20 minutes. Add whatever flavor variations you can think of. Serve with butter, jam, or nut butter.
Both of these recipes can be found in Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health through Diet.
Jen mentioned that her family eats rice. Rice flour is much cheaper than almond flour, so maybe you could substitute that. However, in my year and a half experience of preparing a “gluten-free” diet for our son before he went grain-free, rice flour = blech.
3. Another, more expensive, option is grain-free baked goods from the SCD Bakery. Cost-wise it’s equivalent to buying everyone a Starbucks pastry for each meal, but sometimes it’s worth it. Jill is a great chef, and I’m glad to recommend her to anyone looking for delicious grain-free treats.
4. I know Jen said she has breakfast covered, but here is a super-easy favorite for breakfast. And we eat these for lunch sometimes too.
Mix 1 banana and 2 eggs in the blender. Cook on a skillet as pancakes.
5. Okay, I’m on a roll now. My son had these awesome grain-free waffles for breakfast. He makes a huge batch for himself every weekend. If you’re reading the recipe, he stopped separating the eggs and refrigerating the batter long ago, with no change in the outcome.
6. I don’t know if these count as processed, Jen, but our favorite snacks are fruit leathers and these plantain chips.
And how could I forget Lara bars? I know some people hate them, but we love ’em.
7. To sum up, here’s what you, or better yet, your oldest children, can put in those super-cute bento boxes: 1 peanut butter brownie, an apple, a cheese stick, and a kid-friendly veggie like sugar snap peas or shredded carrots. Add a juice or milk box or a mini water bottle and you’re set!