Thinking outside the “lunch” box is sometimes a challenge. So here are some fresh ideas that may delight your kid or even your inner child. When packing a lunch, I always keep in mind a balance of proteins, fats and healthy carbs. Getting enough protein can help regulate blood sugar and sustain focused energy for longer periods.
With the ever so popular choice to become a vegetarian, it is important not to carb or sugar the body out. This can cause a host of health issues with insulin levels, weight gain, and serious deficiencies. Over the years, some of the worst blood tests we have seen are from vegetarians, with severe deficiencies and a host of other ailments. However, choosing this way of eating can be done healthfully with the right balance.
If you have chosen to be a vegetarian, I commend you on the valor of such a decision. Tom and I ate a vegetarian diet at one point however, for our bodies, it did not suit us. Personally, I just didn’t have the endurance or energy.
We also have patients that test positive for food sensitivities to different beans, grains and nuts. Eating certain foods that are generally healthy for most can wreak havoc on another. So clearing up those food sensitivities first, can make a world of difference in one’s vitality. For our family, purchasing organic fruits and vegetables, and eating grass fed meat, dairy and poultry serve us best. With that said, we will sometimes enjoy a raw, vegan meal together.
Back to lunches….so thinking outside the box, could be eating breakfast for lunch. Like plain yogurt, which has under 10 grams of sugar compared to the flavored with up to 40g. Just add granola (click here for my healthified granola) and/or fresh berries for natural sweetness.
Many have also, enjoyed my breakfast muffin that is packed with flavor and nutrition for lunch (click here for muffin).
Or perhaps, a lunchbox smorgasbord of cut up cheese, hummus or my vegetable dip (click here for this creamy dairy free dip) with celery sticks, baked gluten free chips or crackers.
I have meet some picky eaters and, as a parent, I understand how easy it is to fall prey to setting our kids up to not want to try new foods or even consider healthy, whole foods. It’s no surprise children won’t consider eating an actual potato instead of its French fried evil twin, or a piece of real chicken instead of a beaten, battered, dead fried (I mean deep fried) drum stick.
With kid’s menus at a fraction of the price, I too have considered the option. Well, at least to glance at the menu, just to be disappointed. Many of the food choices are fried, colored, sweetened and processed. Which usually means they’re devoid of nutritional value and can actually rob the body of vital nutrients, or even cause behavioral changes.
I remember when Adriana was 4 and we went to Disney World. I knew the healthy food choices would be limited so I packed lunch for all of us. A lady sitting next to us was surprised to see a child eating sliced cucumbers and red peppers with her sandwich. She said “ aren’t you lucky you don’t have a picky eater.” I thought, it is by no ” luck” that Adriana eats real, healthy foods. It was by not conditioning her taste buds and ideals about food having to be sweet, fried, fast and processed.
I know we live in a fast and furious world, but a little balance and awareness could make a gigantic difference whether or not our children get heart disease, diabetes, or cancer. So many of today’s silent killers come from our environment and diet. The research is undeniable.
You may have seen some news about Kraft Foods changing their ingredients to suit the UK laws of not using artificial food dyes like yellow #5 and yellow #6 in their macaroni and cheese. Yet even with this knowledge of how toxic those artificial dyes are, in America we still have the toxic Mac & Cheese! The Food Babe has a great blog and does a lot of research about the food industry. She was the one to shed the light on this important matter. You can go to her site and sign the petition to get Kraft to remove these dangerous dyes in the U.S. I should start one to take the gluten out!
Together we all can make a difference- so cliché but so true.
I hope this post helps you with some new flavors and healthy choices for lunches. As always, thank you for letting me share with you, a Spoonful of Health!
Have a safe and happy return to school,
P.S. The good Doc has a great article he wrote for the Channel 25 WPB for Healthy Kids’ Lunches (Click here to read it). We feel very blessed to work with childrens’ health issues at our Natural Medicine Clinic. If you have any questions or specific health concerns please feel free to contact us. We would be happy to help.
Items I used in this post: