by NativeRemedies on October 19th, 2010 at 7:00 am
Making lunches fun, healthy and different on a daily basis can be a nuisance, so it’s no wonder that parents usually give their children money for school lunches. The problem is, as a parent, you really don’t know what is in that school lunch, and it’s even worse if your child has food allergies- all bets are off.
Some schools are still failing to provide healthier lunches, which is leading to childhood obesity. In the past 3 years, the number of overweight kids between ages 6-17 has doubled. These are very upsetting numbers for parents, but the bottom line is, if your child doesn’t feel satiated, he or she will find a way to remedy their tummy. One of the ways kids stop their hunger is to eat out of the vending machines, which carry sodium-packed potato chips and sugar-filled candies. This is also true for kids who are sent to school with lunch money.
Although parents may be giving their children money knowing they will buy food out of the vending machine, they may feel they just don’t have time to make healthy lunches due to hectic morning routines, which includes convincing sleepy heads to get out of bed, making breakfast, taking showers, getting dressed, finding accessories, driving children to school or making sure they get on the bus.
The number one remedy to this dilemma is to make your kids’ lunches the night before. If you haven’t been doing this, now is the time to start. Also, take your child out of the brown bag and into a thermal lunch bag; though it may cost a little more money in the beginning, you will save money in the long run by being able to pack foods that don’t spoil so quickly.
Sandwiches are the most popular food choice for kid’s because they are so easy to eat; instead of using bulky bread, try using pita. To save some dough, use the leftover chicken breast from last night’s dinner, low-fat mayo and walnuts for a healthier chicken salad. If your child likes PB&J’s, try using almond butter or all natural peanut butter instead. Most jellies have high sugar content; try using either an organic honey or apple butter for the right amount of sweetness sans the calories.
Don’t forget to pack food kids can snack on. Some schools allow students to snack in class or they get a small recess in between classes to have a quick bite. Snacks should be simple but filling- fruits and veggies are always a good idea, but they can get boring after a while. Make fruit salads, include low-fat dips for vegetables, and add dried fruits like cranberries or banana chips in lunch bags. If you want to send your kids homemade cookies, make them with applesauce instead of oil.
Remember, when it comes to healthy lunches for kids, variety is key, and that means you have to think outside the box!
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