Stinky starts grade one in the fall, and this presents a new issue: boxed lunches. At her present daycare they provide a hot lunch daily. The kids sit with the teachers and they have lunch together.
When she starts grade one this will all change. She is going to have to take her lunch and eat with the other kids in the cafeteria. Stinky is not a boxed lunch type person. She is not keen on sandwiches so I was online looking for some healthy recipes and fun ideas for her mom to help with the lunch transition and I was very surprised at what I found.
Once again, the things that I thought were good for you arenâ€™t. Take a look for yourself.
1. Juice drinks
We all know soda is as nutritious as sugar water, but drinks “made with real juice” aren’t much better. Just 1 ounce of raspberry or peach punch, iced tea, and other sweetened fruit drinks can contain over a teaspoon of high-fructose corn syrup — and it’s about as healthy as trans fat. Among other things, the syrup seems to throw off the body’s weight-regulating mechanisms. If you wouldn’t feed your children pure sugar, think twice about dropping these drinks into their lunch bags. Better choices Water, low-fat milk, V8, one of the fruit-veggie juice blends (Vruit, Juice Plus), or a small container of 100% fruit juice. Real fruit juice is better than juice drinks but it’s still high in sugar and calories, so watch quantities.
2. Cold cuts
Even though meat sandwiches are the most common lunchbox entrÃ©e for elementary school kids, they shouldn’t be everyday fare. Bologna and other processed meats — yes, even turkey Lunchables — are brimming with saturated fat (9 g, nearly half the recommended daily value), sodium (1140 mg, about half the daily max), and preservatives.
3. Whole-milk, fruit-topped yogurt
Although yogurt’s filled with vitamins D, B12, protein, and calcium, whole-milk yogurt has lots of fat too, much of it saturated. What’s more, yogurt that’s topped (or bottomed) with a jam-like fruit mix can pack almost as much sugar as a candy bar! Far smarter Choose low-fat yogurts and pack a container of berries or fresh fruit chunks for your child to dunk or stir in.
4. Fruity roll-ups
Two problems here, unfortch. First, many brands have only a smidgen of fruit and maybe some fiber. A puree of apples or pears from concentrate comprises about one third of a roll-up; the other two thirds are additives and sugar. Second, these stretchy fruit strips are so sugary and sticky that they cling to teeth long after they’re gone, creating the perfect environment for cavities — especially if your child doesn’t brush after lunch (do you know one who does?). Better bet If your child loves these, buy all-natural brands and reserve them for after-school treats, followed by a brushing.
5. The obvious — or maybe not: potato chips
No matter how much we wish it weren’t true, these snacks (cheese puffs, too) are as bad as it gets. Consisting mostly of fat and sodium, they’re actually worse than empty calories. But that’s not the surprise. This is: Potato chips are the #1 lunchbox snack among little kids — they’re given to 55 percent of K-5 students.Savvy substitute Try a new crispy-thin snack we just taste-tested called Garden Harvest Toasted Chips. From Nabisco, they have a satisfying chip-like crunch, are made from whole grains, and have the equivalent of a half serving of veggies or fruit. So why would kids go near them? Because they don’t taste, you know, healthy.