Monday, August 9, 2010
Angie asked what I send the kids for lunch. I have already made known my STRONG opinions about school lunches. Those opinions were only validated when I went in on Friday and ate lunch with my girls in the school cafeteria. I couldn't believe what some of those kids were eating--microwave bean burritos, chips, chocolate milk. I think the actual meal offered was sloppy joes (and you know they probably aren't using lean ground beef or whole wheat buns) but at our schools the kids can pick a lot of different options. None of which appeared remotely healthy.
UGH! We live in a country where 60% of children are obese and childhood obesity has been declared by the surgeon general as a national epidemic and yet our school lunch programs feed our kids things like microwave bean burritos. Really?!
Okay, I will step off my soap box now. Those are my feelings and that is why my kids bring their lunches from home.
I always pack a "main course", a fruit, a snack, a drink and a dessert. The main course is usually a sandwich--ham and cheese, pb & j, tuna (using reduced fat cheese, light mayo, natural peanut butter, sugar free jam--you get the picture.) I use this Sara Lee Whole Wheat Soft and Smooth bread--it is 100% whole wheat, but it has the texture of white bread. This seems like a good compromise to me--my kids don't love the texture of 12 grain bread, but I don't like the non-existent nutritional value of white bread. Sometimes I will make "lunchables." Of course I would never buy those ridiculously over-priced things--I just give them crackers, cheese squares and squares of lunch meat.
I like to do fresh fruit when I can, but there are so many other options as well. Fruit cups, applesauce cups, dried fruit pouches, "Simply Fruit" fruit roll-ups, fruit leather, dried fruit, dehydrated fruit, etc. etc.
Snacks--I use things like granola bars, crackers (whole grain), fruit bars, breakfast bars, Z bars, baked chips or Sun chips.
Juice. I used to do Capri Sun Roaring Waters, but now I have switched to juices that are 100% juice. I think those Roaring Waters were only 10% juice. I've also used the Fruitables (which have vegetable juiced added) but those were NOT a big hit.
Dessert--my mom always packed a little dessert in my lunch growing up, so I have followed suit. I guess it is okay to have a little fat in your diet once in a while. :) I try to stick with things that are homemade (with added puree and reduced sugar) or just relatively low in fat--a lot of things are in those 100 calorie servings these days. Right now the dessert of choice at our house are Grammie's chocolate chip cookies!