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Making Over the LUNCH BOX 2014

Okay ladies and gentlemen enough is enough!  Step away from the fruit cake and sugar cookies and let’s put a plan in place to get back on track to a lifestyle of health and wellness.  Before your children return back to school consider making a few changes to what they will have access to pack in their lunchbox each day.  Provide healthy options and encourage them with a sticker chart (or money if they are older) to try new things.  It is important to make sure they are bringing home the uneaten items so you can make sure food is not being wasted and they are eating a well rounded meal.  Here are some suggestions to try:

Make your own peanut butter!  It is easy, inexpensive and much better for them than most store brands.  Sorry Jif this choosy mom chooses to not to serve 3.5 grams of fat in every teaspoon of peanut butter my children eat.   Be sure to verify your child’s school allows peanut products because more and more are completely nut free due to severe allergies.

Deviled eggs are a favorite at most parties.  Why not throw out half the yolks and use Greek yogurt to make a lower fat option for your little devils.  You can make a half dozen and they will keep in the refrigerator for a few days for lunches or snack time.

Dip away!  Hummus is now available in so many different flavors there is bound to be one you can get your picky eaters to enjoy.  It also can be made at home but most store bought brands are a healthy choice if you want to avoid the hassle.  Whole grain crackers or crunchy veggies are perfect for scooping up hummus.

Instead of the boring old bologna sandwiches on white bread try whole grain pita stuffed with tuna, chicken or cucumber salad.  Wraps are also a great alternative to sandwiches just be careful on dressing selection as some of them are full of sugar.  We like olive oil with some salt and pepper at our house.

Santa brought new lunchboxes with handy divided multi colored sections to my children for Christmas.  We will be learning how to pack our lunches in the same way we make our plates at dinner time.  Using guidance from we know half of our meal needs to be fruits and vegetables.  As children learn to make good food choices our job as moms is simply to make sure the healthy options are available to them.  It also helps to have everything washed and prepared if necessary after each trip to the grocery store.

The perfect after school snack (and a meal replacement for this busy mom) is a protein shake with almond milk and as much leafy green veggies as you can fit in the blender.  You can also include frozen berries or fruit that is going bad.  For those who are not sweet eaters add avocado to make the shake creamy but not as sweet.  Not all protein powders are created equal.  Read the label look for whole food plant based protein.   We have a tasty one on my website that comes in Chocolate or Vanilla.

Okay Moms you can do this!  Make your list, check it twice, and head out to the grocery store to shop for everyone who has been naughty and nice.  Remember to stay on the perimeter that is where they keep the good stuff.     Blessings in 2014 from our house to yours!  ~Gennie