REVIEW: Little Mashies reusable pouches + 3 easy recipes

I first heard about Little Mashies about a year ago and they sounded like a dream come true. My kids were always wanting to buy pouch yoghurts when we did groceries because they were fun and easy and other kids had them. Sadly, yoghurt pouches sold in stores are chock full of sugar and/or absolute crap.

Just how much sugar and crap was highlighted recently in this great reference post over at Mumma Plus Three.

Vaalia My First Yoghurt? Should be healthy given it’s marketed as a great option when weaning your babe, right? Not so much. Almost 10% sugar and full of starches and additives. Slightly better than the Coles pouch (11.2% sugar) and the Paul’s pouch (11.7%). What about when you go for a healthy option, like Macro Organic vanilla yoghurt? 12.8% sugar! Admittedly, the ingredients list is a tad better on the Macro Organic, but you make up for that with the added sugar.

It’s really no surprise to me that on the few occasions my kids have eaten these pouches, they’ve ended up pretty hard to handle, followed by a whole lot of grumpiness in the afternoon.

After six months of being slightly disappointed my Little Mashies purchase kept being bumped down the priority list, hubby surprised me with a 10 pack he bought from biome and we’ve been using them ever since. So, what do I think of them?

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Christmas snowballs

They’re sweet, they’re chewy, they’re minty and they’re chocolatey. Best of all – they’re easy to make, contain no refined sugar, and they’re kid approved and lunchbox friendly. They’re my Christmas Snowballs!

These Christmas bliss balls are so delicious they were gone in less than 24 hours the first time I made them. Both the kids and hubby were grabbing them straight from the freezer and eating them without waiting for them to thaw!

Like most of my recipes, these freeze really well. You can put them straight into lunchboxes frozen, eat them straight from the freezer, or put a few in the fridge to soften as you want them.

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Our month of Halloween lunchboxes! [2017]

Last month we had so much fun with our lunchboxes! October 31 is Halloween and while it can be a divisive subject in my country of Oz, it’s my favourite celebration. Yep, I’d say it probably tops Christmas for me.

Did you know the celebration didn’t originate in America at all? In fact, it was brought to the USA by European immigrants much later on. Halloween’s origins date back to Ireland approx. 2000 years ago. The tradition of dressing up for modern day Halloween is similar to what the Celts did all those years ago – only they did it to disguise themselves from evil spirits wandering about looking for a living body to possess!

Packing creepy lunchboxes seems like a whole lotta fun in comparison, doesn’t it?

When October rolled around, I decided I’d try and send a Halloween themed lunchbox every single day of the month. Needless to say, some days were better than others and we had a few regular lunchboxes with some eye picks or plastic rats thrown in to keep with the theme, but it was still so enjoyable to get creative and the kids really enjoyed their fun food!

Here are some of our lunchboxes for Halloween 2017. If you’d like to see the rest, feel free to pop on over to Instagram and scroll through.

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Healthier sticky date muffins

These muffins are SO DAMN GOOD. I’ve never had a complaint from my two kidlets about them, and they’re just as delicious for grown-ups!

So many paleo and gluten-free baking recipes use almond meal which rules them out for lunchboxes with most schools, but these ones use coconut flour. It’s my favourite gluten-free flour to bake with and I’ll tell you why.

Coconut flour is about as good as it gets. It’s high in fibre, protein and healthy fats, while being low carbohydrate, low calorie, low GI, and free from gluten, wheat, soy, legumes and nuts. Great for those with gut issues and diabetes, and great for little kidlets who need some extra nutrition in their lunchbox without the insulin spike you get from wheat flour. Sounds pretty good, right?

Its only downfall is that it’s super thirsty, which means you can’t substitute it 1:1 in recipes. If you’re wanting to give it a shot, look for recipes that specifically call for coconut flour… like this one!

 

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Grain-free banana muffins

The kids will love these healthier banana muffins made with no grains, gluten, dairy (if you choose), and no refined white sugar. YUM! The sweetness in these muffins comes from honey and banana – still sugars, so don’t go crazy with them now!
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Crap-free curried sausages

Growing up, curried sausages were a regular on our menu. Along with devilled sausages and apricot chicken – three meals that taste like my childhood.

Most of our meals consisted of sausages. They were cheap and easy and we all enjoyed them. Once I started trying to lose weight in my teens, I started to avoid sausages because they were high in fat. Once that no longer bothered me, I avoided them because they were meat. Once that no longer bothered me, I avoided them because they are mostly full of crap fillers, preservatives, sugars, and god knows what else.

Ah, but hallelujah! The age of a healthier sausage has come. The demand for real food has brought about the rise of the traditional sausage. Sausages as they once were, in natural casings with minimal ingredients, have started popping up all over the place. When I found out a local butcher was offering sausages made from 100% beef, Herbamare and Vital Greens and nothing else, I jumped at the chance to recreate a healthier version of my mum’s curried sausages.

This might be the least glamorous recipe I’ll ever post. But if you’re looking for a meal the kids will love that’s:

  • easy, without the need for a meal base
  • that’s spicy and sweet, without any added sugar or sweeteners
  • that’s saucy and gravy-like, without the need for any starches to thicken it… 

…well, my curried sausages might just be what you’re looking for!

This makes a great weeknight meal, but it’s also perfect in the lunchbox in a thermos for a warm meal during the colder months.

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Green eggs and ham

These green eggs and ham rolls make a great lunchbox alternative to sandwiches. With eggs, cheese and baby spinach, they are full of protein, good fats, and vegetables, with no nasties added for colouring. You can wrap these in cling wrap for later use, pack them into the lunchbox immediately, or wrap in a paper towel and then cling wrap to freeze. These last up to 8 weeks in the freezer.

Green eggs and ham

 

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Simple rules for a healthier lunchbox

What’s the trick to packing a healthy lunchbox when you’re too busy to make everything from scratch?

In an ideal world, we’d avoid packaged foods in the lunchbox. But we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in a world where many parents have to work, and the ones that don’t often lack the support they need from family and friends. There simply isn’t enough time for most parents to make everything from scratch. Believe me, I get it.

I want to share with you the four rules I follow to keep my kids’ lunchboxes fairly healthy, especially when I’m too busy to make all of the food going into them.

Follow these four simple rules for healthier lunchboxes.

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Healthy jelly lollies

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.

Healthy jelly lollies with no added sugar
Healthy jelly lollies with no added sugar
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