These healthy jelly lollies are a great treat to put in the kids’ lunchboxes. They’re a sweet treat, but they’re also really good for them!
If you make them with a high quality gelatin like Vital Proteins or Great Lakes, they’re also a really good source of amino acids and your kidlets won’t even realise they’re healthy! The protein found in a good quality gelatin is easy for little ones to digest and especially useful for kids who don’t enjoy eating meat or eggs. Read on to find out how these healthy jelly lollies can help improve your kids’ overall health.
What makes these healthy jelly lollies so good for your kids?
You’d be forgiven if Aeroplane Jelly is what springs to mind when you hear ‘gelatin’ but that’s not the kind of gelatin we’re talking about here.
(I could write all day about why I will literally never recommend you buy Aeroplane Jelly, but Alexx Stuart has done a pretty damn good job here.)
You might think gelatin is gelatin, and if you’re looking at it purely from a functional point of view, sure – gelatin is gelatin. But if you’re eating gelatin anyway for its function, why not choose a quality source to ensure its nutrition as well?
Gelatin vs. grass-fed gelatin
By-products of factory farming are the source of most commercial gelatin products. Ethically, we know factory farming isn’t good, but what’s the big deal from a human health point of view?
Well, factory farmed animals are more often than not:
- fed feed that isn’t natural for their species
- given growth hormones like recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH)
- given anti-biotics to keep disease at bay
- extremely stressed
It doesn’t take a genius to realise these animals aren’t in great shape, so consuming the meat from an animal that wasn’t healthy to begin with isn’t going to be healthy. But also consider that things like hormones, anti-biotic residues, heavy metals, pesticides, and other nasties are often stored in in the bones and connective tissues. Given that gelatin is made by boiling these bones and tissues causing them to break down and release the collagen, I certainly wouldn’t be consuming gelatin made from feedlot animals.
A quality gelatin, on the other hand, is one made from pasture-raised, grass-fed animals that haven’t been given growth hormones like rBGH, aren’t raised in conditions that require them to have anti-biotic therapy and excessive vaccinations, and are generally happy and healthy.
The health benefits of grass-fed gelatin
Amino acids make up a massive portion of our bodies’ cells. Gelatin is also made up of amino acids. In fact, it’s made up of many of the very same amino acids found in our own digestive tracts. Consuming a quality gelatin (or collagen) can:
- help repair intestinal damage for a happy tummy
- improve the strength of hair and nails
- help your child meet their protein requirements
- keep joints and healthy and pain-free
- improve sleep quality
- build stronger bones
Sounds pretty good, huh?
Not all toddlers and kids enjoy soups or plain old bone broth, but getting gelatin into them is easy with a recipe like my healthy jelly lollies. They’re easy to make, super healthy, and a nice treat to pop into lunchboxes. I love that the kids feel like they’re getting something really special with these, too. Over the years, they’ve sometimes felt like they were missing out when other kids are eating things like snake lollies or Starburst, and this helps avoid that for them.
Scroll down for the recipe…
Healthy jelly lollies recipe
- 160ml fresh fruit juice/veggie juice/kombucha – or a mixture of whatever you have on hand
- 2tbs gelatin powder (I recommend Vital Proteins)
- 1 tsp stevia powder
- Put everything in a small saucepan and let the gelatin bloom. This simply means let it sit and rehydrate.
- After 10 minues, put the saucepan on a low heat until the gelatin and stevia are completely dissolved.
- Pour into jelly or chocolate moulds and put in the freezer for at least 30 minutes, until they’re firm enough to take out of the moulds without breaking.
- Once they’re all out of the moulds, put them in a container, jar or zip lock bag and store them in the freezer. This recipe makes quite a few and this way they don’t go bad before you’ve had a chance to use them all.
No need to thaw them once you’re ready to use them either. Pop them straight in the lunchbox frozen and they’ll be ready to eat by morning tea time.
If you’ve enjoyed this post, join our Facebook community of lunchbox-packing parents just like you for more great ideas!