Monday, August 20, 2007

Back to Packing Lunches

Have a tough time packing healthy lunches in a hurry and getting the kids to eat them? Perhaps remembering what actually goes in a Lunchable (mainly sodium, fat and sugar) will inspire you to try some of these healthy tips.

Make Fruit Fun! Apples are easy and if you use a nontoxic dry-erase marker to draw a face on, maybe your little ones will be more likely to eat 'em. The marks are safe to eat and flavorless. Think variety too! If you little one hates bananas but digs apples, switch it up with Granny Smiths one day, Golden Delicious another and McIntosh the day after that.

Fruits not the only thing that is easy to pack and isn't packaged. Hard boiled eggs, almonds (they have calcium!), baby carrots, raisins, c
raisins- any dried fruit really, edamame, are all easy to pack, tasty and healthy. Keep some small (think 1 cup size) Tupperware around for quick as a snap packing.

'Divinely D'lish' Granola Bars. These bars come in lots of great flavors and are packed with essential fatty acids and dietary fiber. Served in a recyclable wrapper you will happily find them without refined sugar, trans fat, or wheat and low in sodium.

Kettle Valley 100% Real Fruit Snacks are made only from 100% real fruit and contain one whole apple in every bar. They are flavored from natural purees and juices and certified kosher. They contain no preservatives or added sugar, artificial colors or flavors and are available in 7 flavors.

O.N.E Coconut Water. 100% natural and with five essential electrolytes, more potassium than a banana, no added sugars, no fat, no cholesterol and no preservatives. Packaged in a juice box, but really this drink was the water inside a young green coconut just the other day. Doesn't that sound refreshing?

A little treat never hurt anyone. Small portions of graham crackers, baked chips or bite-size candy bars are perfectly fine. It keeps them happy and is still better than squeeze cheese on salty mystery meat.

If you are tempted to buy something prepackaged, check out Slate writer Dan Kois' review before purchasing. He tasted and had a nutritionist review a bunch of store bought varieties.

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