blog » August 29, 2017 by Nicole DeAvilla

Nutritious Back-to-School Meals for Your Family With Chef Gigi! by Nicole DeAvilla

6 years ago
Nutritious Back-to-School Meals for Your Family With Chef Gigi!

It’s back to school and back to routines. Are you ready to fuel yourself and your kids with nutritious food? This week we were thrilled to welcome our #30Seconds contributor, Chef Gigi Gaggero, as our Twitter chat guest. Chef Gigi is an award-winning chef with over 35 years of industry experience. As a former Dean at Le Cordon Bleu, Chef Gigi's mission is to help busy parents better manage family mealtime. Read on for her delicious tips!

Q: Why do we need to learn and think about what kind of food we feed ourselves and our children?

Processed food companies add stabilizers to prevent spoiling. Also flavor and textures that are almost hypnotic to our brains. Corporations spend lots of resources on making foods as “rewarding” as possible to the brain and leads to over-consumption. Over-consumption of unhealthy foods lead to all kinds of health issues. We can't allow our families to be vulnerable.

Q. How can we keep our family fueled this back-to-school season without artificial ingredients and without spending hours in the kitchen?

  • 30Seconds is our friend. Spend a few minutes there and look up recipes – there is a massive food index from the whole 30Seconds tribe.
  • Start a recipe club with other parents. Meet weekly a parents’ night out. Rotate kitchens, crack some wine, no-bake your socks off.
  • Quickly summarize recipes for solid ingredients – check sugars. See if you can make a substitution or omission. Don't fuel with sugar.
  • Check how long it takes to make it. Usually recipe writers offer a time frame from prep to cooking.

Q: What are some ways to get other parents involved to make everyone's mealtimes easier?

  • Start a recipe exchange club with other like-minded parents. If 10 people make different snack bags, they can be traded. When the club gets up and running, team up with a few other parents, bake entrees in additions to share. Trade half for half.
  • Start an online cookbook club. Everyone buys the same book. Prepare food at home and bring to meeting to barter. You’re cooking anyway. Why not add a few extra eggs to that quiche to barter with another parent for a loaf of your family’s favorite banana bread? Or, since you are baking or cooking ANYWAY, make two items. Keep one, trade one. Use disposable and/or recyclables, too.

Q: What are YOUR favorite recipes from your favorite blogs for grab and go to get out the door with the kids fast?

Q: Can you list some healthy add-ins for no-bake breakfast bars for us?

  • Rolled oats: I use certified gluten-free oats, and you should, too. Or use oat flour instead of white flour – buzz in food processor. Easy!
  • Pitted Medjool dates: Mixed with water to create a paste. Great for a real sweet substitute.
  • Try organic dried currants, cherries, cranberries and choose “refined” sugar-free. 
  • Use organic extra virgin coconut oil.
  • Nut butters, almonds, various seeds, flax or chia seeds: All great additions.
  • Add favorite spices like cinnamon, ground ginger or try pumpkin pie spice.

Q: Can you give us some final thoughts to help keep us additive free this back-to-school season?

Remember, “artificial flavor” is a proprietary blend. Manufacturers don’t have to disclose exactly what it means. Usually, it’s a combination of chemicals that contain the same molecular structure as the food it was meant to emulate.

Be sure to follow @ChefGigilike her on Facebook, visit and check out her 30Seconds page!

Nicole DeAvilla
We LOVE our Chef Gigi! I am really looking forward to your chat! xoxo
Chef Gigi
Here's a hint on tomorrows chat- "IT TAKES A VILLAGE"
Nicole DeAvilla
Yes! And I can't wait!
Toni B
You're doing a retake on an M Night Shyamalan movie??? hee hee
THYG [inactive]
Looking forward to tonight's chat!
Meredith Schneider
Super excited! I'm all for fast, nutritious AND delicious for my family of 6! 😜👌🍷🍝 Chef Gigi Gaggero your gonna ROCK this chat! 💪
Toni B
Chef Gigi Gaggero ROCKS! I'll bring my lunchbox! :)
Holly Budde
I'm hoping to be there!! if i miss it I will be the RT queen for it. really trying to get home for it
sherry bracy
ahhh Ive been so so busy the past couple months. right now im not at home! :(. I MISS You all!!
Chef Gigi
OMGAWD! IM CHOKED UP! SO MUCH LOVE! Thank you everyone! Best night EVER! #30seconds Hastaggin in my sleep! ohhh yeah ! #chefgigi

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