March 25, 2017

Healthy Litter-Free Lunches by Deb Lowther

The Ultimate School Lunch Checklist for Healthy Litter-less Lunches

Sit with the kids and write out a list of items they like – favorite fruits, acceptable sandwiches, hot lunches they would like and a few snacks you both agree are healthy. Then see if you can’t get a new routine in place to create weeks’ worth of healthy litter-free school lunches! Note: these ideas also work for adults!

Swap Out Packaging

✔️ No juice boxes  - have juice at breakfast and take refillable water bottle to school
✔️No yogurt tubes – use small container, fill with plain or vanilla yogurt & frozen berries
✔️Reduce packaged granola bars – try batch baking and freeze – so easy to pop in small container.  Try these cookies or these amazing Chocolate Power Balls (kids favorite!)

Healthy Lunch Includes:

Include at least one of each of these in their lunch and you will have a healthy lunch for your kids growing bodies.
✔️Whole grains – whole wheat or grain bread, oatmeal cookies or muffins, whole grain dry cereal
✔️Protein – nitrate free chicken, turkey or ham slices, cheddar cheese, hummus, roasted chick peas, cottage cheese, milk, hard-boiled egg, tuna
✔️Calcium – plain or vanilla yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese cubes, broccoli, milk
✔️Fruit or Veg– sliced fruit -apples, pears, nectarines, grapes, melon or veggies for dipping like carrots, broccoli, red pepper.

Simplify – 5 Container System

Teach kids a Container System and have them each be responsible to fill a few containers.
✔️Container 1 – sandwich or hot lunch must include protein and whole grains
✔️Container 2 – fruit or veg – sliced real fruit or vegetables
✔️Container 3 – yogurt with berries or pudding, cottage cheese, hummus
✔️Container 4 – whole grain snack – homemade or purchased – read labels carefully
✔️Container 5  - extra snack – dry cereal, pretzels, crackers

Drink Up
Whole grains, protein, calcium and fresh fruit and vegetables make up a healthy lunch but don’t forget the drinks.
✔️Avoid carbonated beverages
✔️Avoid fruit punches
✔️Send refillable water bottles, a small reusable drink box with 100% juice or milk

Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails. She contributes Family Health articles to many websites and magazines and ensures her own family has fun while eating healthy & staying active.  Find more inspiring tips on her website and follow her on both Twitter @Deb_Lowther

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