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Friday, September 16, 2011

Healthy lunchboxes

As a mom, one of my top goals is to make sure my kids eat a healthy diet, full of plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. I try to avoid artificial flavors and colors and most processed foods. I say "most", because at times, I do send processed snacks that my daughter picks out. I don't want her to feel left out at the lunch table when all of the other kids are opening their pre-packaged Oreos, Cheetos and the like. I buy the Annie's brand Cheddar Bunnies, Chocolate Bunnies and Graham Bunnies. They come in small, kid size portions and are made with whole grains. They don't use artificial colors or flavors and the sugar content isn't horrible. It is also important to watch the sodium content in processed foods.



For my daughter, meat is not an option. Most days, she has a peanut butter sandwich. We use whole grain bread and sandwich thins. Since she doesn't like jam, some days I slice fresh strawberries or bananas into the peanut butter. I am happy to sneak in more fresh fruit! I try to mix it up and give her hummus and flat bread as well. She always gets a vegetable and fruit (organic when possible as pesticides have been linked to ADHD) with her sandwich as well as some nuts and/or a "treat". For her, the treat is one of her Annie's bunny packets, a chocolate rice cake, trail mix or a few chocolate cat cookies from Trader Joe's (yum!). The vegetable is usually carrots, but sometimes she requests frozen peas. The fruit options are a little more plentiful-apples, grapes, mandarin oranges, strawberries and peaches. My daughter is a little picky, so my options are a bit limited. I let her help pack her lunch each night which is a real key in getting your kids to eat what is in their lunch box. I am happy to say that she never comes home with wasted food in her empty lunch box!

Here are some healthy options that your child might like:

Nut butters with jelly/fruit on whole grain bread
Hummus with flat bread
Nitrate free turkey breast with cheese
Whole wheat bagel with cream cheese
Pasta salad made with Barilla Plus multigrain pasta (a favorite around here!)



Carrot sticks
Sugar snap peas
Cucumber slices
Broccoli or cauliflower with ranch dressing
Sliced sweet bell peppers
Grape tomatoes


Apples
Pears
Peaches
Mandarin oranges
Orange Slices
Grapes
Bananas
Raisins
Mangoes




Annie's Bunnies
Chocolate rice cakes
Trail mix
Trader Joe's Cat Cookies

Whatever you choose to put in your child's lunch box, please be sure it is a whole food, the less processed the better. We really are what we eat, so give your kids the best!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great ideas! I think we'll try pasta in Liam's lunch next week.

    ReplyDelete