Packing a healthy lunch helps a child sustain energy throughout the day. Unfortunately that has become less and less the norm when over processed, 100 ingredient, prepackaged items fill our grocery store shelves. Lunchables ring a bell...Ohhhhh the dreaded lunchable. Just hearing that word or seeing a parent buying them... MAKES ME CRINGE! They are probably the worst deception on the market today. Take a look for yourself...
This is the ingredient list for the "Oven Roasted Turkey" and "Cheddar" cheese lunchable. I put quotes around those words because they aren't really what they say they are! Full of high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, soy, artificial colors... the list goes on and on! Parents reach for these items because it takes no time to prepare and its cheap.
Here are a few of my tips for making lunch a success:
1. Get portion controlled containers, preferably BPA free, made from high quality plastic, or glass.
2. Get a freezable lunchbox that will stay cold up to 8 hours and that holds your containers in an upright manner. Here is a link to the one I love, it folds up and takes little to no room in your freezer. Packit Personal Cooler
3. Pack a lunch with color and variety! Kids like colorful food just like we do so of course lots of veggies and a small amount of fruit are great options. Also, try not to pack the same thing over and over. Mix it up a little and you will be surprised how much more they eat!
4. My next rule may sound harsh to some, but it works and I'll tell you why. If my daughter comes home with items left in her lunch box (which is very very rare now!), she must finish them before eating anything else! Once I started enforcing this rule, she starting finishing more and more of her lunch at school. Think about it... how often do we throw away food off our kids plates? If you give them an appropriate portioned controlled amount, they should finish it all. Completing a meal will help the urge to snack constantly throughout the day.
The only way to ensure our children get the nutrients they need and crave, is to pack it ourselves! So here are a few examples of what I pack my daughter.
Lunch 1: Local (pesticide free) sweet plum, organic cucumber and bell pepper, homemade chicken salad and pumpkin pie spiced roasted organic carrots and butternut squash (both recipes to come). I gave her a fork and she could either eat the chicken salad by itself our eat along with the veggies. She also eats her carrot mix cold.
Lunch 2: Local (pesticide free) cinnamon, sea salt and coconut oil roasted purple sweet potato, Grass fed English cheddar cheese, organic granny smith apple, Egg Salad and organic cucumber and bell pepper (recipes to come).
Lunch 3: Local (pesticide free) sweet plum and my version of a Cobb salad. Baby organic lettuces with Applegate Farms Roasted Turkey and Ham, organic carrot, cucumber, no sugar added cranberries, crumbled goat cheese and hard boiled egg from a local farm.
All of these lunches took very little time to put together. When trying to eat healthy, preparation is key! If you prepare ahead of time healthy, delicious, homemade lunches are obtainable.
From My PaleoTastic Kitchen to yours... have a great day!