Nutritional Style: Healthy Lunches for Kids
The lunch box aisles at Target and Whole Foods look like a bomb went off.
The Mom have been there, in a frantic effort to ready their kids for the new school year ahead. Hopefully they are thinking about healthy lunches to pack inside those new boxes.
Our First Lady’s new inititative, “Let’s Move!” has shined a light on the obesity epidemic in America. With up to 30% of all kids in America obese, and a 98% increase in obesity in kids age 9-11 since 1960, we have a big problem on our hands.
Let’s Move! And Michelle Obama call for some basic nutritional measures:
Reduce Fat, Sugar, and Salt, and increase Whole Grains, while DOUBLEING the amount of Produce- Fruits and Vegetables.
While simple, these guidelines are what it’s all about. Here are some healthy, easy choices to help this School Year.
Our choice for Lunchbox this year is from Lunchopolis.. www.lunchopolis.com/
1) Main Course
We want to add in grains and fiber and veggies where we can with a sandwich or soup.
- Sandwich- I really like Almond Butter for a healthy choice and Organic Jam. The bread I chose is Udi’s, udisglutenfree.com/ppc-gluten-free-udis, a delicious gluten free option. Another great choice is a wrap from Ezekial bread www.foodforlife.com/ with some Organic Turkey, lettuce and tomatoes.
- Soup- I love using a thermos and encourage my clients to pack healthy leftovers from the night before. Think Whole Grain Pasta with tomato sauce or a Veggie Stew. In a pinch? Pacific brand organic Tomato Soup www.pacificfoods.com/is yummy and comes in a small box container, not a can!
2) Whole Grains
Here are a couple of really cool ways to add more Whole Grains into your kids diet.
- FROOSE www.froose.com/This is a drink that is made with whole grain brown rice.. And it’s really tasty. My son loved this! (am guessing pronounced like “JUICE”) I love it too, it’s organic.
- Z BAR–www.clifbar.com/food/products_clif_bar/ by Clif Kid is yummy, with rolled oats and dates.
- Organic Food Bar KIDS– www.organicfoodbar.com/ made by a Raw food company OOOTMEAL, and OOHMEGA are the flavors.
- Envirokidz, Crispy Rice Bar..www.naturespath.com/do-good/envirokidz-initiatives Made with organic rice.
- The stand-by…Popcorn. Make your own popcorn or Whole Foods has a 365 organic brand.
Adding in vegetables can be as easy as baby tomatoes or carrots with a little container of ranch dip.. But sometimes we don’t have fresh veggies, and sometimes my busy Moms need to grab something out of the fridge.. So here’s an easy “grab” .
- Sponge Bob Edamame packages- www.seapointfarms.com/products.aspthese are individual packages and there’s our favorite character.. Kids love it. Edamame is high in fiber and protein, so gives kids sustainable energy.
An apple may be ideal, but too many apples have come home at the end of the day.
This is what I do, and I have done this every day for almost 3 years. I cut the apple into bit size pieces and I sprinkle with cinnamon. When lunch comes around the kids don’t see the apple browning because of the cinnamon, and it tastes like little bites of apple pie. Seriously.
If you don’t have apples on hand or you are in a rush, here are several healthy fruit choices that do NOT have added sugar, they are 100% organic fruit!
- Clif Kid organic twister fruit www.clifbar.com/
- Organic Fruit Strip, 365 Brand from Whole Foods, www.wholefoodsmarket.com/
- Funky Monkey –www.funkymonkeysnacks.com/crunchy fruit, freeze dried, raw, gluten free, vegan
- Gallop a Loozas-dried fruits www.explorersbounty.com/ These are all fun ways to get your fruits and skip the High fructose corn syrup processed fruit rolls .
- Lara Bars- www.larabar.com/L fruits and nuts, fave flavor Pnut butter and jelly.
Make sure your kid’s water bottle is BPA free. Take a look a the bottom of your plastic bottles, and avoid numbers 2, 4, 5 as they can leach toxins into your drink or your food.
AND its always best to not heat in plastic.
My favorite drink for kids is coconut water. Its ultra hydrating, and gaining popularity among sports teams.. It’s been the secret of the Brazilian soccer team for years. Someone just told me the Orlando Magic have switched to coconut water.. Straight up!! I love this for parents too. This is a great addition to a smoothie, and low in calories by the way..
- Vita Coco coconut water www.vitacoco.com/
All kids need a lollipop now and then. Here’s a great organic version, Really delicious.
- YUMMY EARTH brand. www.yummyearth.com/ With ingredients like organic carrots, apple, and pumpkin, what could be bad?