There it is! Encouraged by the sight of it, you pick up speed. Faster, faster. But NO!...what's this? Someone else is racing towards it from the other end of the aisle. It's that menacing woman from the PTA. Her son beats your daughter in the spelling bee every year. "NOOOOOOOO" you groan, running in slow motion. You're just a few paces away, when a toddler waddles across your path to pick up a sippy cup. PTA lady grabs the folder first. The only purple folder in town with brads but no pockets. "Nice outfit," she says, with one eyebrow raised. She tosses her flaming red hair over her shoulder, then walks away...clutching your folder under her arm.
Yes, it's back-to-school time. Time for school supplies, hair cuts, new Nike's, and yes...lunch boxes. To help us all get a healthy start on the school year, and to take some of the monotony out of packing (and eating) made-at-home lunches, we've put together some FRESH lunch box ideas for you below. Can we get a fist bump?
In this issue of Eat for Your Life:
-Super Cute Lunchbox Photos (Way to go MOM!)
-What's Wrong with Typical Lunchbox Fare?
-Print-And-Go Shopping Lists
-Share YOUR healthy lunchbox ideas!
(By the way, these lunch ideas can go to the office too!).
How to Rock Your Kid's Lunchbox
Banana & Nut Butter Sandwich
with Raw Honey
Orange Slices & Grapes
Vruit Apple/Carrot Juice
Tip: Make sure to store Veggie Booty tightly wrapped in the freezer.
Tuna Salad (made with non-fat Dannon Yogurt)*
Whole Grain Crackers
Snapz Apple Chips
Honest Kids Berry Berry Good Lemonade
*Or Greek yogurt.
Spinach/Black Bean/Cheese Roll Up
(with Salsa for Dipping)
Fresh Berry/Kiwi Mix
Soy or Almond Milk
Tip for Tortilla Roll-Up: Melt cheese on tortilla (20 seconds in microwave), quickly add beans and spinach, then roll it up while it's still warm.
Hard Boiled Eggs
Hummus and Veggies
Cuties Fruit Smoothie
Applesauce with Cinnamon
APPLE OF MY EYE
Apple & Cheddar Sandwich with Honey Mustard*
Plain Yogurt Mixed with Raw Honey/Topped with Fruit
Baby Carrots & Sugar Snap Peas (or Edamame)
City Girl Ranch Dip
(Click HERE for recipe)
*Try Apple and Brie for an adult take on this tasty sandwich.
Deli meat is America's number one go-to sandwich filler. It might be tasty, but is it worth it? Recent scientific research indicates that eating just ONE serving of processed meat per day can increase your risk of cancer by 21%.
We're going to pick on Doritos, because we're pretty sure they're radioactive. However, many of the heinous ingredients we've listed below can be found in other types of chips. (Where ingredients are concerned, the fewer the better. These are just a few of the THIRTY-TWO ingredients than can be found in Nacho Cheese Doritos).
Monosodium Glutamate, Hydrogenated Oil, Artificial Color (yellow 6, yellow 5, red 40), Corn Syrup Solids, Sodium Casinate, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Maltrodextrin.
Our rule of thumb? If we can't pronounce it, we probably shouldn't eat it.
You would think that something called a "Fruit Roll-Up" would contain mostly fruit. Guess not. Of the NINETEEN less-than-palatable ingredients found in a Fruit Roll-Up, only one of them is fruit. Also, they are chock full of food coloring, which has been linked to ADHD. Our take on this: why not just eat fruit? (BTW, fruit leather made our list of "Five Nastiest Foods in America." You can read all about it here).
Many kids drinks on the market (like Capri Sun) contain High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). A study conducted by UCLA found that HFCS can cause insulin resistance, which leads to learning disruption and memory loss. Be sure to check food labels before tossing those drinks in the cart.
Print-And-Go Shopping Lists
(Availability may vary by location)
Fresh Fruit: Strawberries, Blueberries, Kiwi, Grapes, Oranges, Apples, Cuties Smoothie Drinks
Fresh Veggies: Baby Carrots (or sticks), Sugar Snap Peas, Spinach, Red/Green Peppers, Cucumber, Broccoli
Grains: Oroweat 100% Whole Grain Bread, Mission Whole Wheat Tortillas,Triscuit Whole Grain Crackers
Canned: Black Beans (whole or refried), Tuna
Dairy: Shredded Cheddar, Cheddar Slices, Cage Free Eggs, Dannon Fat-Free Plain Yogurt
Condiments: Smart Balance Nut Butter, Salsa, Fischer's Raw Honey (or local Raw Honey), Sabra Hummus
Snack Items: Great Value (Walmart Brand) All Natural Applesauce, Tostitos Multigrain Scoops
Drinks: Soy or Almond Milk, Minute Maid 100% Juice, Cuties Smoothies (in produce section)
Condiments: Koops Mustard (for Honey Mustard)
Snack Items: Snapz Apple Chips, Pirate Veggie Booty
Drinks: Honest Kids Juice Pouches
WHOLE FOODS (OR ON-LINE):
Drinks: Vruit Juice (or, you can order it on Amazon in Bulk).
Sweet Relish: Cascadian Farm Organic Sweet Relish (on-line at Vitacost)
Share Your Ideas!
This is a community forum! We'd love to hear about your healthy lunchbox ideas. Please respond in the comment section below.
If you'd like to subscribe to our blog, please enter your email on the home page. The blog features recipes, health tips, stories, book reviews, and more.
See you next time!
Katie and Barb
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
Healthy Eating Habits in the Real World (Getting your kids to eat the good stuff)
Eat Well, Save Well (Money-saving tips from a homeschooling mother of four)
Nastiest Foods in America (Read at your own risk)