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Emma Wolfe Healthy Belly, Happy Child Comments Off on Healthy Lunchbox: Chicken Quesadilla and Salad

Healthy Lunchbox: Chicken Quesadilla and Salad

chicken questadilla

We love slightly updating traditional foods to make them healthier, especially for kids. I think it’s safe to say that we all love the comforting and delicious taste of a quesadilla. The problem is, store bought, white tortillas are loaded with processed ingredients and can lead to blood sugar spikes and weight gain.

Take a look at the ingredients list for a national brand of tortillas:

Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Vegetable Shortening (Interesterified Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil and/or Palm Oil), contains 2% or less of: Salt, Sugar, Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Aluminum Sulfate, Corn Starch, Monocalcium Phosphate and/or Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Calcium Sulfate), Distilled Monoglycerides, Enzymes, Wheat Starch, Calcium Carbonate, Antioxidants (Tocopherols, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid), Cellulose Gum, Guar Gum, Dough Conditioners (Fumaric Acid, Sodium Metabisulfite and/or Mono- and Diglycerides), Calcium Propionate and Sorbic Acid (to preserve freshness).

Does a simple and delicious tortilla need all of those chemicals? I don’t think so! Instead, opt for a whole wheat or a whole grain option. The complex carbohydrates in whole wheat or whole grain tortillas will not lead to blood sugar spikes and eating whole grains is much more beneficial to our health.

✿ Whole grain or whole wheat is much better for you nutritionally than white bread, or in our case, tortillas. Bread is made out of flour that comes from grain kernels. A grain kernel has 3 parts: brand, endosperm, and germ (called this because it’s the part of the kernel that germinates into a new plant). Whole grain and whole wheat bread contain all parts of the grain kernel. White bread is made from flour with refined grains that have had the fiber-dense bran and the nutrient-rich germ processed out, leaving only the starchy endosperm. Removing the bran and germ also removes key nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, protein, and fiber.

Quesadilla 1

Today’s sneaky healthy lunchbox includes whole grain tortillas with a side of simple salad, fruits, and veggies.

Quesadilla Ingredients:

  • Whole grain or whole wheat tortilla
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Grilled or broiled chicken


Directions:

Take a tortilla and place the cheese and chicken over one half. Fold over the ingredients and cook on a pan over the stovetop or bake a few minutes in a toaster oven.

Salad Ingredients:

  • Arugula (or any other spring or field greens)
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Baby or Persian cucumbers


Directions:

Chop your ingredients into pieces that are suitable for your little ones and mix. There is no need for salad dressing, but if you would like to add a little more moisture, you can sprinkle a little bit of olive oil on top.

Sides: cucumbers, carrots (we prefer to use regular sized carrots instead of baby carrots because they are less expensive and sweeter), apple slices.

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