My Healthy School Lunch Survival Plan Featuring Malaysian Palm Oil

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We have partnered our friends at Malaysian Palm Oil, the sustainable palm oil produced by the country of Malaysia to bring you this back to school post. As always, all thoughts are our own.

My healthy school lunch survival plan (featuring Malaysian Palm Oil)

When school is in session, I often feel like I’m in perpetual motion. If I don’t stay organised, it would be easy for things to get missed. Like that horrible feeling of waking up and realising there’s no food in the house and I still have to make lunches! Enter my healthy school survival plan featuring some of our favourite Malaysian Palm oil based goodies!

back to school with Malaysian palm oilI’m aware of how many convenience foods are around, but we choose not to use a lot of them. Between sports, therapies for Arlo, work, and school we are on the run a lot. It’s definitely easier to grab something convenient, but I try my best to have healthier snack and meal options that will nourish their growing bodies and busy brains! I’d rather spend a little time preparing healthier snacks so I can spend less time battling with negative behaviours. At least, I can attest that Arlo and Edison don’t do well when they are eating foods with artificial colours and additives. In my experience, my kids have a better attention span when they are eating healthy food that isn’t full of artificial ingredients. Healthy bodies lead to healthy minds and focussed attention. 

My easy, 3-step healthy school lunch plan 

  1. I prepare the entire week’s lunches on Sunday. Everything is packed and ready to go before the school week starts. If packing entire lunches ahead of time doesn’t work for you, consider setting aside time on Sunday to make batches of everything you’ll need. When Edison and Arlo were still eating bread, I’d make sandwiches and freeze them. They thaw beautifully and it makes life so much easier.  
    bentgo kids bento box
    Arlo’s lunches for the week. He has some diet restrictions but we do our best to give whole foods where possible.

     

  2. I use bento boxes instead of lunch bags or boxes. You can also use bead boxes available from craft stores or Walmart. (For safety, always hand wash plastics.) They help me to ensure the boys are getting a good balance of healthy foods, whilst also still giving small treats. They’re also handy for after-school snacks when you’re driving kids to their activities. I might put cucumbers and tomatoes in one compartment, dried fruit or an oat bar in another, and cooked chicken or cheese in the largest compartment. I rarely send candy, so I put in a gummy vitamin which tastes like a treat. Other options may be granola and yogurt for Edison and potato chips for Arlo. Also, look for ways to include brain foods, such as berries and Nutella. Nutella as brain food? Well, it’s packed full of healthy fats from Malaysian Palm oil – everyone wins!                                               
    Edison loves homemade popcorn made with Malaysian Palm Oil in his lunches.

     

  3. I let my kids customize their snacks. I just got this recipe (below) for this versatile keto cookie recipe. I parcel one batch into two bowls. Arlo adds his favorite white chocolate chips and dried blueberries to one bowl, and Edison adds milk chocolate chips and nuts or raisins to the other. What I love about this recipe is that it’s made with brain-friendly palm oil which adds a creamy, buttery texture.  

 

In the UK, there’s talk about palm oil being bad for your health and the environment. That’s very misleading. Soy, canola, and corn oils are all much harder on the environment. In Malaysia, where all palm oil must be certified as sustainably produced by the end of 2019, the oil palm growers and manufacturers are actually some of the biggest protectors of the rainforests and wildlife. 

Malasian Palm oil fruit and oil
Malaysian Palm Oil is a beautiful rich orange colour.

Palm oil is loaded with antioxidants and has been shown to be good for the heart, brain, and eyes. You can find Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil on Amazon and at many specialty supermarkets. Over the next few months, I’m very excited to be sharing more kid-friendly palm oil recipes with you. 

palm forest for malaysian palm oil
A beautiful Malaysian Palm plantation used for the production of sustainable Malaysian Palm Oil.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Grain-Free & Dairy-Free}

keto cookies with malaysian palm oil

Courtesy of Chef Gerard Viverito

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Malaysian red palm oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 coconut sugar or monk fruit sugar substitute 
  • 2 scoops Sunfiber (optional but great for kids’ healthy digestion) 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1 1/4 cups cacao nibs or sugar free chocolate chips of choice
  • 2/3 cup toasted walnuts (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl whisk palm oil, coconut oil, sugar, and Sunfiber together. Add the vanilla and eggs, mixing until incorporated.
  2. Mix in the baking soda and salt. Add the almond flour, 1 cup at a time, stirring well with a wooden spoon after each addition. Fold in the cacao nibs and walnuts. Refrigerate the dough prior to baking for 30 minutes to prevent the cookies from spreading too much.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Form the dough into 2 tablespoon sized rounds and place on the lined baking sheet about 3 inches apart. Gently flatten with the palm of your hand. Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until golden brown around edges. 
  5. Cool and enjoy! These cookies are best enjoyed the day they are baked but can be refrigerated for up to a week.

Do you cook with Malaysian Palm Oil? What are some of your favourite recipes?

What are some of your back to school survival tips? We’d love to hear them. We’re in this together Mamas! 

         

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I am Viv, stay at home mom (mummy) to Edison who is 7 and Arlo who is 5. I am married to my best friend and university sweetheart Steve. In October 2014 we moved 5321 miles from our beautiful Victorian home in Sheffield, England to Anaheim Hills and are loving the wild adventure this move has turned our life into. I am so very grateful that this move has given me the opportunity to quit my kinder teacher role to stay home with my crazy whirlwinds and enjoy the adventures of modern motherhood. I love farmers markets with my little foodies, antique shops, restoring antique finds, reading, baking, eating out and trying not to spend everything we have in Target! Oh and chips. I LOVE chips (crisps for any Brits reading this). All the chips.