Nutritious Back-to-School Meals for Your Family With Chef Gigi! by Nicole DeAvilla
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.
A2. use all natural ingredients, always check labels, keep the junk food away out of sight= out of mind! eager to learn more tips #30seconds
— Amber Cheras (@shadow62310) August 31, 2017
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.
— 30Seconds (@30seconds) August 31, 2017
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.
— 🐯⚾️🐠Toni B 🎨 🎬 (@rychepet) August 31, 2017
Q: What are YOUR favorite recipes from your favorite blogs for grab and go to get out the door with the kids fast?
- One of my favorites is on-the-go breakfast bites. Good fuel, easy to make, good for the car ride, too.
- If no nut allergies, no-bake peanut butter energy bites are great!
— Chefgigi (@chefgigi) August 31, 2017
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.
— Meredith Schneider (@Merber38) August 31, 2017
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.
MY PLEASURE! its what #30seconds tribe does! Ur now my sister!
— Chefgigi (@chefgigi) August 31, 2017