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School Lunches that your Kids will eat! How to make a healthy and fun lunch for your Kids!
As we all know, obesity rates are on the rise. Particularly in school age children. We all have heard about the long term health issues for obese children. As we all know that there are many reasons for this problem. Too much TV and computer time, not enough exercise, and the processed foods that kids eat. These are all things that we as parents can control inside the home but what about at school?
Thousands of children each and everyday buy and consume school lunches. Many parents, welcome this convenience and often times feel that their kids are getting a well balanced lunch. This however in many cases is not true. The food is all pre-made, full of sugar, carbohydrates, canned, and processed. As we all know this isn't healthy for anyone young or old. It is a proven fact that children, particularly children with ADHD, Autism and ADD processed, and high sugar content effect them negatively. Diet is key! School lunches that consist of a frozen pretzel, 2 cups of Trix yogurt, tater-tots and chocolate milk is only going to open Pandora's Box. Just for general information the above menu is actually one that is being served at my daughter's elementary school.
So what can we do as parents? Get your kids excited about taking their lunches to school. In fact, my kids love to take their lunches to school! One big factor in getting your kid excited about bringing their lunch from home is getting them involved. Have them pick out their lunch boxes, thermoses, have them help you pick out the food for their lunches and have them help you pack them.
In my lunch packing adventures I have found that you need some "tools". The tools being the lunch boxes and thermoses that you use. You want your kids to pick out lunch boxes that are good in size(big enough to fit a thermos inside), insulated well, have a place for a reusable ice pack. My kids each have two thermoses one for drinks and one for hot or cold food. I also use small resealable plastic containers.
Once you have the tools you need to fill them. This is easier said than done sometimes in the beginning. Let's face it what kid doesn't want pretzel and yogurt for lunch. One way I have found to combat this issue is to make my own version of the school lunch.
For example, on pretzel yogurt day I will send my daughter to school with a small container of plain Greek Yogurt with a couple of teaspoons of honey, or apple butter stirred in, whole wheat flat bread roll ups(how to make below) with peanut butter and honey, fruit or veggie of her choice, and a thermos of vanilla or soy milk.
Some other great lunch box fillers are salads of all types. Deviled Egg Salad with whole wheat flat bread pieces, Tuna Salad, and what my kids call "Wacky Wild Salads"(how to make below). All of these can be made up the night before and placed in the fridge for easy packing. My kids also like me to send leftovers from dinner the night before. I just pull it out of the fridge heat it up place it in their hot /cold thermos, a fruit or veggie or their choice and milk and off they go!
As you can see the ideas for packing a healthy exciting lunch are limitless! You as a parent know what your kids will and won't eat so experiment and see what happens. I am sure that you will find that over time you will save money, your kids will focus better and be overall more healthy for the change.
How to make Whole Wheat Flat Bread Roll Ups:
One piece of Whole Wheat Flat-Out (brand of your choice) Flat Bread.
Cut bread into several pieces. I normally cut mine into quarters.
Spread with peanut butter, almond butter, cream cheese or what ever strikes your kids fancy.
Dirzzle with honey and roll up.
Wacky Wild Salads:
Spinach, or Romaine leaves
Peeled Baby carrots
Chick Peas, drained and rinsed
Dark Red Kidney beans, drained and rinsed
beets, drained and rinsed
hard boiled egg slices
shredded cheese of your choice
1 slice of turkey or ham
salad dressing of choice
Have your kids place all ingredients in a resealable plastic container and watch them grow.