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Healthy Lunches

I have talked about the importance of healthy lunches. I told you about some of the harmful things in the marketed “healthy” items for kids, and some alternatives. This week, I wanted to share some more practical tips on how to prepare healthy lunches.

  • Sneak in fresh vegetables and fruits. While your child may leave a whole apple untouched, she may love cut up grapes in her chicken salad. (Click here for a great Chicken Salad recipe with grapes.) Cut up apple or a whole banana with Peanut Butter to dip it in.  Anna loves “trees” (Broccoli heads) and branches (carrots) with her ranch dip. (Be sure to get a natural ranch with no additives. Fat is better than the high fructose corn syrup found in the light versions – Look in the produce sections for your dressings, they are typically better on ingredients… But read the labels! )
  • Get creative: Use cookie cutters to carve sandwiches into fun shapes. Use a cool sports bottle for their water, or splurge $2 a week for the little aquapod fun shaped water bottles.  I stock up on the individual Horizon milks at Kroger at the beginning of the school year. They run them on sale for a long time and I can get coupons. I average about 50 cents for one and then I have organic milk to send them and it will stay in my PANTRY for  a long time. They love it, and it is in a cool box and straw. 😉
  • Prep lunches with leftovers from dinner the night before. (We discussed this one last week) It is fast, easy, and it is cost effective.
  • Don’t be afraid of things that seem “snacky”. For instance,  home made Peanut butter crackers can be healthy. The benefits of all natural Peanut butter is fabulous. Protein, and fiber, and all the benefits of nuts. Cheese cubes, carrots and grape tomatoes with ranch dressing. All great snacks, and lunch items! (Back to Nature is a great brand of “Ritz” type crackers – has nothing bad in it. And I love the nut butters that have almond and/or cashew butter mixed with Peanut butter – MORE  nutrients.
  • Indulge in desserts, but don’t go overboard. Total overkill on “health” food can cause an uprising. So every once in awhile treat them a little.
  • Choose to introduce new things, and reinforce the things they do not love, at home rather than school.  

Comments (2)

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  1. Susan says:

    I always try to prepare lunches the night before for my son because it makes it so much easier in the morning. He also takes a water bottle with Yoli in it to drink. I don’t send Gatorade because it has to much sugar.

  2. Angel says:

    Agreed. Gatorade is NOT a “healthy” option in anyway. 😉

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