Greek lunchbox meatballs – gluten free, low carb and paleo-friendly

I hear there’s this Greek saying:

“Μ’ένα σμπάρο, δυο τρυγώνια.”

It translates to something like:

“One shot, two birds.”

Which, to me, meant:

“I have this mince that’s going to turn bad soon, and this mint is looking a bit dodgy. I really need some protein for tomorrow’s lunchboxes, too. I know! Make the Greek meatballs you made often early in your marriage.”

And that’s how these Greek meatballs became Greek lunchbox meatballs.

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10 ideas for protein in your school lunchboxes

Protein is an important food group for growing bodies. It helps with building muscle and repairing tissue, which is important for children when you think about how many falls they have throughout their childhood!

Protein is also:

  • a great source of amino acids
  • usually full of iron and b vitamins
  • helps the body produce hemoglobin
  • and supports the immune system when needed

The recommended dietary intake of protein for children between the ages of 4 and 8 is approximately 20g per day, yet many don’t get close to that.

Sometimes finding options that will keep well at school or that will suit a fussy eater – or both! – takes some trial and error, but it’s a useful food group in lunchboxes.

Children have a limited amount of food over a school day. It makes sense to ensure that a good amount of the food in their lunchboxes is going to keep them full and not cause a blood sugar spike. Fat is my go-to for this type of food, but protein is a close second, and a food group people tend to be more comfortable with.

I’ve put together this list of yummy protein-packed recipes perfect for your next kids lunchbox. Some of them might surprise you!

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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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KFC-style paleo chicken nuggets

From what I can gather, everyone seems to love KFC. I did too when I was a kid. So long ago that KFC used to deliver. But I can’t stand the stuff these days. Still, people love it. Maybe it’s that the Colonel has a certain allure with his top-secret herbs and spices? Well… Sorry, Colonel, I’m about to blow the lid on that. I’ve managed to finally perfect a KFC-style batter that is so delish, my husband need never crave KFC again. And it’s paleo-friendly! Introducing my KFC-style paleo chicken nuggets!

Gluten free chicken nuggets your kids will love
These nuggets are grain-free, gluten-free and highly addictive!
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