Healthy Fast Foods and Hacks Make Back-to-School Meals Super Easy!
We don’t need more studies to convince us of the benefits of eating family meals together. Obviously preparing a family dinner from scratch, full of plant-powered, organic ingredients on a daily basis would be magnificent, but based on how we run our lives, or sometimes how our lives run us, we all sometimes need healthy fast food hacks and helpers to get a wholesome, appealing dinner on the table quickly for our own family and any guests that might suddenly join in!
No time to make from scratch?
I hope some of the products featured help you put some great meals on the table when you don’t have time to assemble your favourite recipe. There are also some great items to make packing, storing, and cleaning up a real snap! Here’s to new beginnings and creative, healthy, happy school-year meals full of laughter, love, sharing, and real food.
This wholesome, allergy-friendly veggie burger made with certified organic, whole food ingredients can be enjoyed in a bun, wrapped in lettuce or collard leaves, crumbled onto pasta, or cut into bite-sized pieces to dip. Challenge your family to top with at least 4 items/condiments to keep trying new things! sunshineburger.com
Swap french fries or empty calorie tots for nutrient-dense millet-based tots. These crispy bites are gluten-free, vegan, non-gmo, and soy-free – just heat and serve! rollingreens.com
Organic Vegetarian Chili
Keep these individual portions in your freezer for a filling plant-based meal that you can have ready in minutes. Each serving gives you twelve grams of protein and seven grams of fibre! cuisineadventuresfoods.com
Veggie Lovers Pizza
Frozen pizza isn’t typically the healthiest choice, but this new family favourite fast food is loaded with veggie toppings, vegan, and made with a chia seed crust! sweetearthfoods.com
A frittata made from pumpkin seeds, veggies, and spices? Yes! Delicious and made without eggs, dairy, gluten, soy, nuts, sugars, or artificial ingredients. foodiesvegan.com
Amazing Grain Free Tortillas
Maybe not scientifically proven, but everything is more fun to eat in a wrap, right? These grain-free tortillas are paleo, gluten-free, and preservative-free. Fajita night? Stir-fry for dinner and then leftovers in a wrap for next day’s lunch? That’s a wrap! sietefoods.com
Organic Cooked Beets
Marinated and then cooked until tender, these roasted beets are ready to eat right out of the (resealable) package. Bonus: no stained fingers! lovebeets.com
When you’re running late and don’t have time to soak and cook chickpeas, this is the next best thing. Make hummus toasts with “choose-your-own” toppings, spread on a falafel sandwich, or use simply as a classic dip for veggies. When buying hummus, ensure organic chickpeas are used – we don’t want to be serving glyphosate to our family! hopefoods.com
True innovation comes in this box to help you make a quick, nutrient-rich, plant-based meal. Made from organic sunflower seeds and spices (that’s it!), it’s ready to use in any ground-meat dish, such as shepherd’s pie or chilli. sunflowerfamilyusa.com
Beans and Rice Eat-a-Bowl
Instant rice and beans in delicious chef-made flavour combinations make for a protein-packed instant meal. Keep one or two of these shelf-stable meals in your desk or take for lunch - just add hot water to enjoy in minutes. chefsoraya.com
If you’re concerned about over-fishing, ingesting high levels of mercury and toxins (you should be!), or allergies, you’ll love the taste and texture of this new fish-free food line made with legumes—launching late 2018/early 2019! Enjoy as is, in a salad, or get inspired on Good Catch’s website. goodcatchfoods.com
Dave’s Killer Bread
If your kids like sandwiches, make sure they’re power-packed with organic, whole-grain nutrition rather than empty calories. These bagels (and their breads) will give your breakfast (or lunch or dinner) that extra boost with super grains, and twelve grams of protein per serving! daveskillerbread.com
Bob’s Red Mill
Organic Oatmeal Cups
Ever find that you feed your kids, but forget – or don’t have time for – yourself? Stash a single-serve oatmeal cup (only one gram of sugar in this one!) in your car or bag and add hot water, stir, and breakfast is ready. A great take-along for airplane travel too! bobsredmill.com
Organic, vegan, gluten-free soups ready to drink even without heating! Enjoy on-the-go right out of the container. Also, these are much better than energy drinks for a quick, nutritious boost! drinkfawen.com
This is a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, and yogurt maker all in one! It’s made from unglazed Zisha clay (so no plastic, chemicals, aluminum or lead touches your food!) and it preserves your food’s nutrients, enzymes, and vitamins too. vitaclaychef.com
Veg and Fruit Storage Bags
When you have kids, it’s not always easy to make daily trips to the market. Keep your fruits and veggies fresher longer by storing them in the crisper of your fridge in these eco-friendly, machine-washable, breathable storage bags. theswagusa.com
Where many lunch bags have toxic linings and are hard to keep clean and stink-free, Fluf lunch bags are made with certified organic cotton and a tested food-safe, water-resistant lining (free of BPA, phthalates and lead) that’s machine washable (and dries instantly). I love the zipper closure to keep everything inside, where it belongs! fluf.ca
These tempered glass containers with colourful, silicone-sealed, clip-lock lids (no leaking!) are great for storing leftovers in the fridge, freezer, or in your pantry. Perfect for meal-prep and portion control! weangreen.com