As parents we face a variety of concerns regarding the welfare of our children. Are they watching too much TV? Are they doing well in school? Are their friends a good influence? Among our top concerns are their nutrition, which seems to me causes the most angst during their toddler years. My pediatrician must think me needy for the amount of times I seek reassurance that my child will eventually eat on a regular schedule, and no one can not simply insert a feeding tube. All joking aside, I think most of us will do just about anything to get our toddlers to eat a healthy balanced meal. One of my favorite methods in my go-to bag of tricks are bento box recipes.
Now Jeana is pretty much a bento box recipe master, whereas I have just started to dabble after realizing how much kids LOVE to eat them. So for my first attempt I kept it simple, a cute little mouse with nutrient packed sides and a delicious Chia Berry Smoothie. Believe it or not, using some key ingredients, I was able to power pack in 13 grams of fiber and 11 grams of protein into a single serving of this tasty lunch – but more about that later.
Easy Bento Box Mouse
- 2 Slices Udi’s Ancient Grain Omega Flax & Fiber Bread
- 1 tbs Peanut Butter
- 1 tbs Raspberry Preserves
- 1 Single Serving of Udi’s Ancient Grain Crips
(We like Sea Salt or Aged Cheddar)
- 3 Sliced Strawberries
(Save one for the nose)
- 8 Blueberries
(2 for the eyes)
- 4 Carrot Slices
- 1 Cheese Slice
Creating this fun little mouse takes just a few minutes. First, cut your two slices of bread into a circle. I found a biscuit cutter to be the perfect size but you can also use a knife and a bowl in a pinch. Set aside your crust scraps for later use. Slather your peanut butter and preserves on the bread to create a PB and J. Then add your blueberry eyes, strawberry nose and carrot whiskers. Using a butter knife trim the corners of your left over crust and top with two corners of your cheese slice.
Chia Berry Smoothie Recipe
One of the ways I was able to pack so many grams of fiber and protien into this meal is by adding a single tablespoon of Chia to a smoothie. I’ve never met a kid the doesn’t love a good berry smoothie and the great thing about Chia is that it packs in two grams of protein and six grams of fiber into one tiny tablespoon, without altering the taste of your smoothie! Plus, there is no need to do anything to the seeds, just pour it in with your other ingredients and serve.
- 1 6oz Container of Berry Yogurt
- 1 Cup Blueberries
- 1 Cup Strawberries
- Splash of Orange Juice
- 1 tbsp Chia Seeds
Pour the above ingredients in order, into a blender and blend about 30 seconds until it’s a drinkable consistancy. Serve with the Bento Box Mouse.
So how did I pack in all of that protein and fiber? Six grams of fiber and two grams of protein came from using fresh fruit in the smoothie and the bento box. The remaining seven grams of fiber and nine grams of protein came from using products by UDI, made with Ancient Grains.
[infobox]Although ancient grains are those like quinoa, millet, chia, oats, flax and amaranth. While might sound new to us because of the recent media buzz, they’ve actually been around for centuries. These grains are packed full or essential nutrients like protien and fiber. In addition to other nutrients like calcium, Vitamin C, Iron, and alpha-linolenic acid. [/infobox]
Udi Ancient Grain Omega Flax & Fiber Bread contained six grams of fiber and six grams of protein. Another one gram of fiber and one gram of protein came from Udi Ancient Grain Crisps and the rest were found in just the single serving of Chia Seeds. As you can see, it’s pretty easy to sneak these ancient grains into your everyday diets.
Udi also offers some more great tips:
- Add to your vegetable dish for extra nutritional value
- Throw a tablespoon of Chia seeds into your smoothie or top your yogurt or cereal
- Make them into a pudding: Soak chia seeds in your favorite milk with a touch of cinnamon, vanilla, and a drop of honey
- Sprinkle chia into the nooks and crannies of a whole grain English muffin and then spread almond butter and jam on top! The nut butter seals in the chia seeds (so that they don’t fall out) and you reap the benefit of the added fiber, protein and nutrients of chia.
This post is written on behalf of Udi Ancient Grain through Motherhood by me. All opinions are 100% mine.