Nutrient Dense Meals by Barbara Schellenberg

Navigating the school lunch: How to train picky eaters to eat the nourishing meals their bodies and minds need to grow and learn. Having a good supply of nutrients to sustain your child’s mind and body through the demanding school day will give them more tools for success. In the colder months a hot Thermos of pasta or chili makes a great meal.

You will need a decent quality 375–400 ml Thermos with a wide mouth to access easily with a fork. It’s important to always properly heat the Thermos to make sure the lunches stay hot. To do this, boil water and fill the Thermos with it, and leave it there till you are ready to put the food in. The pasta: some types of pasta work better than others. I have had good success with thicker spaghetti, macaroni, and spirals.

Besides nourishing your child’s brain and body, nutrient dense meals help keep their immune systems robust, lowering the chances of sick days or falling behind in school.

Happy Cooking!

Brought to you by Barbara Schellenberg.

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Nutrient Dense Spaghetti (1 Serving)

80 g spaghetti
1 cup chicken or beef broth
1 Tbsp collagen
2 Tbsp butter, chicken fat, or other fat
½ cup marinara or bolognese sauce
¼ cup white cheddar cheese, grated

  • To a small pot add the broth, collagen, butter, and tomato sauce.
  • Bring to a boil and add the uncooked spaghetti (I break the spaghetti in half to better fit a small pot).
  • Stirring often, cook the noodles in the broth mixture until tender.
  • It is the perfect amount of liquid to cook the noodles, and then, not needing straining, the sauce thickens around them.
  • Fill the heated Thermos in layers, alternating with the cheddar cheese.
Easy Nutrient Dense Chili (1 Serving)

½ cup marinara sauce
1 cup broth
1 Tbsp collagen
1 cup cooked beans
50 g landjaeger or other dried sausage or salami, chopped
1 Tbsp butter or other fat

  • Combine tomato sauce, broth, collagen, sausage, and butter/fat in a small pot and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer until reduced to about 1/3 of the original volume.
  • Add the cooked beans and heat through.
  • Pour into the heated Thermos.

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