What’s In Your Lunch Box?
Trying to pack a healthy lunch day after day can be a challenge, and it’s often even more daunting to pack one to send to school with your children. Working around the finicky diets of some children or your own depleted creativity can be challenging. Keeping in mind a few basic guidelines can help get you on the road to a healthy lunch: provide PRODUCE, provide PROTEIN, and provide it from HEALTHY SOURCES. Also keep the keywords SIMPLICITY and QUALITY in mind and you’ll be off to great start. You can add other items to make the meal more attractive, but avoid sugar, sugary beverages, and artificial sweeteners.
It is important for both adults and children to eat enough protein throughout the day. Adults struggle with this, but children struggle even more so as some do not like to eat meat, or it is a challenge to pack. Ideally an individual should eat a portion of protein the size and thickness of that person’s palm at each meal. A lack of protein leads to mental and physical fatigue. Examples of protein include eggs, beans, nuts, and meat.
It is especially important that children are fed organic produce. The pesticides used on conventional produce primarily affect the nervous system, and a child’s nervous system is developing rapidly. If you cannot buy completely organic produce for your family, please consider buying organic for the portion you provide your children. Also see our blog post regarding what produce contains the highest levels of pesticides.
Suggestions for a healthy lunch:
- Nitrate-free beef jerky, organic carrot sticks, and an organic apple.
- Two hard boiled eggs, a container of organic frozen peas and corn (it will thaw by lunch time), and a homemade healthy muffin.
- Rice cracker and almond butter sandwiches, cut up organic celery with hummus, and organic strawberries.
- A few slices of Applegate Farms organic lunch meat rolled up, 1 stick of organic string cheese (if able to tolerate dairy), a few slices of mango, and cut up organic green pepper.
- An (organic) apple slice and almond butter sandwich, nitrate-free beef jerky, frozen organic peas, and frozen organic blueberries (many kids love to eat them frozen).
Remember the keys to children’s lunches are simplicity and quality.
For more help with packing lunches see: