100 Days of Real Food Challenge Week 7: Real food journey inspires new recipes

Homemade trail mix, including local raisins, raw almonds and gluten-free chocolate chips.

I can't believe we are winding down Week 7. I haven't had quite as much time for blogging as I would have hoped but our family has stayed pretty consistent with our commitment to the 100 Days of Real Food Challenge. The biggest personal challenge was to move my kids away from eating packaged snacks (even organic ones) throughout the day and to make more snacks from scratch or just incorporating raw veggies and fruits into their routine.

I'll admit there have been times where I've felt like cursing this challenge. It's so much easier to grab a box of crackers, a bar or Annie's Gummy Bunnies to-go. This type of real food snacking requires planning ahead, lots of chopping and a mama sticking to her guns even when she feels tired. I do believe my girls our in major growth spurts right now, which means they are hungry every hour; I need to be prepared!

Slowly but surely my kids are getting retrained to eat real foods as their mainstays. Some of our fave new snacks include homemade trail mix, carrots/zucchini sticks with homemade ranch, popcorn and hard-boiled eggs.

Community brunch, including fruit kebobs, buckwheat waffles with berry sauce and walnuts, pumpkin baked oatmeal, raisins and homemade mocha-honey coffee drinks.

Now that I have a first grader who needs to be at school by 8:05 a.m., I don't have time for my casual get-up-and-make-what-you're-in-the-mood-for breakfasts. I have to prep breakfasts the night before and even on the weekends to keep up with the new routine. This means boiling eggs, mixing muffin batter and freezing chopped fruit for the morning smoothies.

When we can afford the time, we love big brunches on the weekends. We've enjoyed some fun community meals, pooling ideas and resources like this brunch pictured above. A few families got together and we created these Buckwheat Waffles and brought the rest of the meal potluck-style. It's surprising what we can come up with when we have friends on the journey with us!

Our own version of a real food lunch includes a gluten-free almond waffle sandwich with peanut butter and a fruit salad made of seasonal fruits like grapes and pluots.

This is my first year packing a lunch for one of my kiddos. My Meilani brings her lunch to school every day. I've tried to enlist her help with the choosing and the prep so she feels excited about what she pulls out of her box. She has a "kid-safe" knife from Chefs Academy that she uses to help chop her own fruit for salad. We also stole an idea from the 100 Days of Real Food blog and now make waffle or pancake sandwiches. Meilani is a big fan! Since our family has shown a sensitivity to wheat, this is a great way to create a "gluten-free" sandwich for my girl.

The whole family can get in on assembling tacos using in-season veggies as the main and little meat for garnish. These Butternut Squash & Chipotle Chicken Tacos were a keeper.

Our dinners have also turned to focus on more veggies in season. Fall is just around the corner and we recently created these Butternut Squash & Chicken Tacos. We sauteed the chicken and chopped butternut squash in coconut oil with a little chipotle powder. Then we cut up butter lettuce and added our new favorite Cilantro-Lime Dressing. The kids had fun building their own tacos on Trader Joe's corn tortillas.

Over the weekend our friends made us Kale & Bean Tacos - a new vegetarian, protein-packed version of tacos that we all enjoyed. Last night my hubby made tacos while I was out for a long run. We called them "Everything Tacos" and used all the veggies we had in the fridge, including avocados (ok, technically a fruit), sauteed eggplant, onions and yellow heirloom tomatoes. One boneless chicken breast for all of our tacos when it wasn't the main focus. Those were some yummy, colorful tacos too!

Looking for some ideas on meal plans? Here are some of our October Meal Plans with links to our fave recipes to spark some inspiration. Bon appetit!

 October 1-7 Health-full Menu Plan

October 8-14 Health-full Menu Plan

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