With the recent news, by the World Health Organization, that cured and processed meat causes cancer, parents will want to take a closer look into their child’s eating habits. The most common meals high in processed and cured meat are breakfast and lunch. Fun lunch at school? Hot Dogs are on the menu. Need a quick lunch? How about that ham and cheese sandwich. Sunday Breakfast? Bacon and Eggs. Quick breakfast bite? Sausage on a English muffin. So, how much is ok? Processed meat was classified as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1), based on sufficient evidence in humans that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer. The WHO states that a 50 gram portion of processed meat eaten every day, raises the risk of colon cancer by 18 percent, that about two to three slices of bacon. What is processed meat? Processed meat refers to meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavour or improve preservation.Examples of processed meat include hot dogs (frankfurters), ham, sausages, corned beef, and biltong or beef jerky as well as canned meat and meat-based preparations and sauces.
What now? What can you pack for lunch, have for breakfast or a quick snack? Here are some great ideas!
1. Black Bean and Corn Quesdillas: Layer grated mozzarella, black beans, corn and thin red pepper slices on half a whole grain tortilla and pan-fry both sides until heated. Serve hot or chilled. Dip in salsa and/or sour cream
2. Cold French toast fingers: Make a big batch of whole grain French toast on the weekend and refrigerate or freeze in strips. Serve with cream cheese, jam or maple syrup for dipping.
3. Protein bento box: In divided containers place a hard boiled egg, cheese cubes, dried fruit (raisins, apricots, craisins) and whole grain crackers with hummus or cream cheese
4. Fruit Kebab Skewers: Thread chunks of fruit (canteloupe, stawberry, grapes, etc) and mini bocconcini cheese balls, toothpicks or bamboo skewers.
5. Asian bento box: In divided containers place edamame beans/strips of teriyaki salmon/chicken breast/cocktail shrimp, cold riceand raw snap peas with carrots.
6. Homemade Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli – When you boil the pasta add in some broccoli. Use real cheese when making the sauce. Warm up and place in a thermos.
7. Tortilla wraps: tortilla wraps tend to be less messy and more fun to eat. Try wrapping them with scrambled eggs and cheese, cream cheese with various fruits, or stirfry from dinner the night before.
8. Breakfast for Lunch: On the weekend make a big batch of whole-wheat pancakes and refrigerate or freeze. Cut up some whole wheat pancakes into fingers, and give scrambled eggs on the side.
9. Snackers Bento Box. Trail mix (made with cereal (Shreddies, Multigrain Cheerios, Corn Bran, Mini Wheat), Pretzes, and raisins) , Raw veggies & dip (carrots, broccoli, grape/cherry tomatoes, snap/snow peas, cauliflower, cucumber, peppers), cheese cubes, meatballs, mini muffins and popcorn.
10. Homemade muffins: Muffins are great to add high nutrient ingredients. Use whole wheat flour, ground flax, rolled oats, mashed bananas, berries, dried fruit, grated carrot or zucchini. Make big batches and freeze.
11. Pasta with veggie rich sauce: Puree veggies into a jar of tomato sauce…try peppers, zucchini, spinach, kale and onion) to tomato sauce with Italian seasoning. For protein add lentils, ground meat/poultry or top with cheese.
12. Pinwheel sandwiches: Mix together cream cheese, grated cheese, fresh herbs/spices, finely diced red peppers and grated carrots. Spread over a tortilla and roll. Slice into small pinwheels and serve with a toothpick.
13. Thermos full of Warm Hugs: Warm up and put in leftover soup, chili, baked beans, pasta dishes, stir-fry’s or even oatmeal for a warm hug on a cold day.
14. Homemade energy bars: Look for recipes with wholesome ingredients such as rolled oats, whole grain flours, bran cereal, dried fruit, ground flax, hemp hearts and chia seeds.
15. Hummus pizza: Take regular pita bread or mini pita pockets and spread with hummus. Top or stuff with grated cheese, spinach, red pepper and cucumber.
16. Granola yogurt parfait: Make your own yogurt sundae. Place a container plain yogurt. Have small containers of berries, fresh fruit and granola, and maple syrup and make your creation. Tweet us at @DIL_Walk at let us know what you favorite one are or if you have other suggestions.