Category Archives: Eating Naturally

Veggie Stir Fry With Brown Rice – A Nutritious, No Fuss, Natural Family Meal!

Quick and healthy don’t always go together – but more and more natural mammas and pappas are making it happen!

When it’s 5:00 and I still can’t figure out what’s for dinner, I used to reach for the frozen fish sticks or chicken nuggets – not anymore!  We’ve got a stash of go to quick, easy recipes the whole family enjoys.  One of our favorites, and probably one of the most healthy, is veggie stir fry with brown rice.

Stir fry is such a great natural family meal because it’s so versatile.  Got a garden bursting with _____ veggie – make a stir fry with it.  Joined a CSA – you can make a different stir fry each week with whatever they give you.  Cleaning out your fridge and have some lone veggies?  Use them up in a stir fry!

Of course like all other meals you could actually plan a specific type of stir fry, and you can add meat too.  Or give it a bit of oomph while keeping it vegetarian by adding some seasoned tofu or tempeh.

Best of all, if you have a large family like we do, stir fry is excellent because everyone can have what they want usually with minimal fuss.  Add some soy sauce, hot sauce, or other seasonings you like and you’ve got a meal any natural family will love; and that’s easy to prepare, even in a pinch!

The one thing is it does take about 20 – 30 min to cook the brown rice.  One of the ways around this issue though is to make a bunch of brown rice one night then store the extra in the refrigerator.  That way it’s ready and waiting for whatever veggies you want to ad, as well as for other meals too like bean and rice burritos, or as an awesome side dish.

veggie stir fry and riceYou can also make stir fry quicker and easier by cutting up the veggies in advance (a great idea for making salads easier too).  You might also consider keeping a bag of organic frozen mixed veggies on hand; which will cut your prep time down considerably.

Best of all though, everyone will enjoy this yummy family meal, and, you can even puree some for the baby if needed!  Plus, this meal is super affordable, a great way to use up left overs, it’s nutritious, and, we’ll just say it again, it’s EASY!

Fix up a stir fry tonight and see what we mean!  Most likely, it’ll become a staple on your weekly natural family menu too.

PS – we’re feeling lazy – and are wicked busy right now too (like always!!) – so we didn’t include a recipe.  While it’s pretty basic, if you feel like a recipe for stir fry will help let us know and we’ll add one right away!

Fruit – A Natural Choice for Dinner?

I had a flashback of being at a friend’s house, long before I had children of my own, and helping prepare a meal for their child. I picked up some kind of fruit and began to add it to the plate and the mom in charge said, “Oh no, if I give her that, she won’t eat the rest of her dinner”. At the time, I remember looking down at the plate which consisted of fairly healthy items and, probably out of the desire to not rock the boat and for my own lack of opinion on kid’s eating habits, I went along with the plan.

Now that I have children of my own, I have had to revisit this situation on more than one occasion with my life partner in love. There appears to be some kind of stigma in the world against serving raw unpackaged fruit for or with a child’s dinner. Some unspoken tradition passed down for generations that says a child must first eat his more processed, less raw products before reaping the benefits of some whole foods. It’s very confusing for me.

fruit for dinnerI look at the plate, which we generally try to fill with quality food, but most of which has been prepared in some fashion and has diminished nutritional value compared to its whole food counterparts, and I feel good about having some fresh raw, unpackaged fruit included. My life partner in love looks at the same plate and expresses concerns that the fruit will get eaten and not the other food and it is here that our discussion takes a turn towards debate. I chime in with the nutritional value of the fruit being far superior than anything else on the plate. Fruit provides fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and is an excellent tool for detoxification. The reply is often that they need more calories than that fruit will provide. Touché.

My thoughts are that children are very instinctual when it comes to eating. Even if they are full from the fruit on their plate, their bodies will tell them to eat more because it has not yet gotten the fuel it needs. Actually that needs corrected because I did come to an epiphany recently that there are kids who eat because they love food and there are kids that eat simply to live. My one daughter eats because she LOVES food and will continue to eat because it tastes so good. My other, not so much love involved but understands she needs food to survive and stops eating when she feels full. In either case though, they are free to make the decision about when they are full and how much and which items they want to eat from their plates; fruit included.

Does a line need to be drawn and should the fruit be saved for desert? I have actually found that when you dice fresh fruit and add it to the plate with all the other helpings and make fruit regularly available at all meals, there isn’t a rush to eat it all at once. Sure it’s the first thing they go for, but it generally is not the only thing they eat. We do the same with fresh raw vegetables, but for some reason they are not questioned as much as fruits even though the benefits of both raw foods are fairly equal.

Ultimately when deciding if fruit is the right choice for your dinner plate, you should consider the eating habits of your own children. There are plenty of people who suffer from digestion issues and fruit can trigger these effects. This may be true for your child. Obviously, children with diabetes have different fruit for dinner considerations as well. However, if your child has no real issues with combining fruit with other foods, then let the fruit fly raw and free on the dinner plate, lunch plate and anytime in between.

Planning Meals In Advance Helps You Eat Naturally For Less And Other Benefits Too

what's for dinner? sign for eating naturallyLets face it.  Food is expensive; often even more so when you’re trying to eat naturally.  Price is even a large reason many people give for not being able to buy the organic fruits, veggies and other foods they’d like to purchase otherwise.  This means we’ve got to make the most of each and every item we buy.

For me, one of the ways I try to do that is meal planning.  When I’m on my game, I plan the whole month at the beginning.  It doesn’t always happen because sometimes, I just can’t get it together….but when I do it helps save money on the food budget in several different ways.

  • Ingredients aren’t wasted or mistakenly unused
  • Less trips to the store
  • Buying only what we need – no distractions!
  • Able to get dry goods in bulk
  • Making better use of leftovers and extra ingredients
  • I know what’s for dinner each night so feel less likely to come up blank or unprepared, cave,  and just have Hubs bring home take out : )

All you need to do is sit down with a blank calendar (there are many possibilities here from paper to online programs), along with some cookbooks and other sources for meal ideas and come up with a plan for the month.  Its a nice way to be sure to incorporate some of everyone’s favorites, and, you can even consider side dishes and other options for being sure there’s something for everyone at every meal time.

From there all that’s left is to create grocery lists so that you can pick up all the ingredients you’ll need each week.  Then you can easily schedule ingredient prep accordingly too and make cooking even easier!

With this trusty calender full of meals and snacks you’ll get more variety in what the family eats, meals are easier and healthier and, don’t forget that lower grocery bill each week; which can make it more affordable to eat naturally.

Do you ever plan your meals?  How do you go about deciding what to eat and creating your meal plan and grocery lists each week?  Any other tips to help us all eat naturally for less?  Share it all here by leaving a comment and getting the discussion rolling!