Tag Archives: cheap

Real food, hold the sprinkles.

I was inspired to write a quick post after reading this post about Pop-Tarts and their “Made for Fun!” tagline, written by Giselle, The Granola Mama.

I have very little patience these days for anyone who uses lack of time or money as an excuse for feeding their children processed, artificial, unhealthy, sparkly, candy-coated food (like, for example, … Pop-Tarts.) :mad:

…or food that comes with a toy, or food that has zero nutrient value, or…well, you get it.

If your life is anything like mine right now, you might have about 5 whole minutes each day to throw together something remotely edible. Be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, those processed foods can look reeeeeeally tempting at times. And, honestly, there are a few that are not half bad. But – when they start marketing them to your children with FUN as the major selling point, WE HAVE A PROBLEM.

The solution?

  • Grow what you can.
  • Get to know your local farmers and farmers’ markets.
  • Buy in bulk to save $$ and packaging.
  • Use your leftovers.
  • Start with whole, natural ingredients, then experiment!
  • Don’t assume your kids won’t be interested. Let them help, let them choose, let them get excited – chances are, they’ll eat it!

Here are just a few of the meals I haven’t shared on the blog lately because, well, they’re just not that blog-worthy or remarkable in any way.  But they’re fast, cheap, relatively healthy, and my kid eats all of them.

And not one of them contains sprinkles.

It doesn’t always make for a pretty photo, but it certainly can be done.

Zukes, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and Fontina cheese.

Mushrooms, onions, spinach and tomatoes, quickly sauteed...

...and served over whole wheat couscous.

Flatbreads with a jar of tomatoes, basil and a cut-up string cheese. I know, not my finest moment. But still not a Pop-Tart!


Garden beets, leftover dal, part of an avocado and a whole wheat pita. On a paper plate! (We already packed most of the kitchenware.)

Chickpeas, asparagus, tomatoes and oranges in a vinaigrette. I think I tossed some pasta into this, too.

A snack platter of berries, fresh mozz and colorful tomatoes.

A tiny grass-fed beef slider with pineapple mixed in.

Organic strawberry and almond milk yogurt pop, with a straw in the holder to catch drips. Now THAT's made for fun!

OK. Rant over.


Do you avoid heavily processed foods? How? What’s your best go-to recipe when you need an affordable, healthy dinner, like,  5 minutes ago?


Filed under Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food