Pay Attention to Labels
Take a look at the list of ingredients of popular prepackaged lunches. Can you even pronounce half the words? A good rule of thumb is that if you can’t pronounce it, you probably should not eat it!
Use Real Food
Why not take 5 minutes and make a homemade sandwich with real meat (preferably organic), real cheese (not processed and packed with chemicals), and maybe even some fresh veggies on it. Use natural, whole grain bread. Keep an eye out for brands that have no high fructose corn syrup as well. Some brands label this on the front of the package, easy to find.
There are many choices for sides. You can throw in some natural yogurt, dried fruit, carrot sticks, grapes, apple slices, or natural apple sauce. You can make it fun and make “Ants on a Log." Just take celery sticks, spread some peanut butter on them, and top with raisins. If your kids enjoy chips, then try some healthy versions. My kids love “Pop” chips and “Veggie” chips. There are many types of veggie chips, sweet potato chips, and natural corn chips. You can even find them in bulk at "big box" stores!
There are also many brands of tasty, natural peanut butter. Pack a container of peanut butter to dip fresh fruit in. If your child does not like sandwiches, throw in a natural cheese stick, fruit, yogurt, peanut butter, and crackers. Send them with leftovers from your home cooked meal from the night before.
There are also many options for healthy drinks. You can make it easy and fill a water bottle for them. I like the “Honest Kids” drinks. They have grape, fruit punch, and lemonade. They are natural, with no high fructose corn syrup.
They Are Worth It!
Know what your kids are eating! Don’t give in to convenience. Take the time to care for your kids. They are worth it! Plus, they will have more energy and perform better at school when they eat natural, healthy foods. Avoid the crazy sugar crashes that make them feel bad and moody. If it helps, make it the night before to avoid the morning rush.