Sunday, August 2, 2009

Back to School and a Lunch Box Plea

I can hardly believe that summer break is ending next week. This has to be the first summer in the history of all my parenting summers that I have actually not been ready to send them out the door. We had such a fabulous summer together and I just don't want it to end. Regardless, it is time once again for backpacks and lunch boxes, early alarm clocks and homework. I need to gear up and get the school supplies ready. Carts and carts of school supplies!

Here is my plea as you also get ready to pack lunches for the ninos..... Please....please....please....go naked in the lunch boxes. No food dyes, no high fructose, nothing artificial, nothing fake. I have done far too much research to not let it go. I sit in the lunch room with my little ones aghast at what goes in these little ones mouths. How can they sit still in class? How can they focus? Do you know that a gogurt has about as much sugar as a Coke? Did you know that the food dyes in fruit roll ups and other dyed foods can contain coal tar? Did you know that a high percent of food that contains high fructose corn syrup contains mercury as a byproduct? Or, did you know that all of those things make the brain nuts...cloudy....unfocused...interuppted? WE all love our children. We all want the best for them. Feeding them right should be way up there on the list. It really matters. Really.

What goes in my children's lunches? We are not always perfect but we try. They usually get a sandwich - wheat bread, non nitrate meats, spinach. A fruit or veggie of some sorts. Good quality chips with no junk on top. Sometimes homemade yogurt and granola, homemade cookies or treats. I hate the fact that they get snacks in class, snacks that other moms send that are supposed to be healthy for you. In one week alone my 1st grader last year had a ding dong, cookies, laffy taffy and fruit roll ups. It makes me sick to think that this is allowed. I so wish that would change but all I can do is make sure that what I feed them is good. That they get the nutrients they need from me to be successful, healthy and whole.

Good luck, moms! You survived the summer. Do something nice for yourselves.


Paula said...

This exact subject has been on my mind for about 2 weeks. How do you keep them interested in "sack lunches" my girls get so tired of sandwiches? Any ideas?

Ashlee said...

Amen! Thanks for the pep talk. I completely agree with you.

My kids once in awhile get tired of the same old sandwich. I would love other people's "healthy" ideas.

We've done a bag of homemade popcorn, pasta salads in thermos, homemade lunchables (ww crackers, cheese, meat all cut up like those boxed things).

Does anyone else have more ideas for me?

Shari Goodman said...

We also try to rotate out the sandwich now and then. My kids like to wrap a piece of ham around a cheese stick or cheese, ham and crackers. Sometimes mini muffins with fruit cups and yogurt or yogurt and granola. Celery filled with cream cheese is great with turkey on top. Chips and salsa and veggies and dill dip. "Apple cupcakes"; core an apple and cut in half, horizontal way. It will look like a cupcake. Put strawberry cream cheese or peanut butter as the frosting and then dip in granola, cinnamon and coconut. This is delicious!

I agree; share ideas please!

Linda said...

I love to use a cookie cutter and cut the center of a sandwich - even do it for my high school daughter on the days she "forgets" to make her own. . . one day her friend called and asked her to bring a sandwich for her, too. :)

Annabeth said...

I agree! I hate the fact that they get junk from other people, too. Especially at church....grrrr..

Anyway, here is my new and revised list of LUNCH ideas for my kids. They have a toaster-oven at school they can use, but most of the time I send cold lunches (they have a fridge).
Hope this isn't too long....and remember, peanut butter can be paired with a lot of these things for protein.

Most of our stuff is homemade, so when you see 'corndog,' don't think 'unhealthy.'

PB & honey
Tuna pockets
cheese, lettuce, meat


bell pepper
sliced tomato
lettuce leaves
frozen peas

hard-boiled egg
pasta salad
chicken salad

cheese stick/cubes (make own!)
cottage cheese
tapioca pudding
rice pudding

tortilla chips –salsa or bean dip
pretzels –plain or with pb
round crackers (sprouts has a great kind)
graham cracker
granola bar
muffin—zucchini, banana, blueberry, oatmeal applesauce
banana bread
leftover pancakes
whole-wheat tortillas

Funny Friday
bagel/cream cheese
tortilla with cheese or pb or tuna fish
cold pizza
pita bread with filling (usually tuna)
homemade lunchable
lettuce wrap –cheese & meat --pinwheels
chicken nuggets with ketchup
ham and cheese rolls (like cinnamon rolls, they are cooked)
cold corndogs and ketchup

oh, a note about Friday. I agreed with my 9 yr-old daughter that doesn't PREFER PB&honey that if she will accept those 2 times a week, then on Thursday she can pick anything from the Funny Friday list and I'll have that ready for Friday's lunch. Win/win. PB&h are easy for me, and Funny Friday is fun for them.

The Glenns said...

I thought about you as our kids started school last week. It's a tough transition for most families. Very good post though. Keep it coming.

ShelleyG said...

Thanks for the ideas-that is the hardest for me--coming up with new stuff!

Kendra@PurposelyCapturingHappyMoments said...

Love your list. Boy did I need this post today!

I too am so upset about the nasty candy my kids get at church. I had a note put on my kids name tags saying no sugar/candy. I picked up my DD tonight and she was in tears. The teachers had given the other kids lollipops and not given her anything.

Keep these ideas coming. Loving all the lunch/snack ideas.

Terri Burges Hirning said...

And don't forget to avoid all those PVC (and microban) filled lunch sacks that are so popular. You don't want to fill your lunch sack with healthy, nutritious food only to have toxins leeched into it from their sack!! Sprouts has a bamboo sack and stainless steel containers (I blogged on it recently) along with smaller BPA free plastic water bottles. LOVE all the lunch ideas!!!

johnson six said...

Right there with you!! I was on the verge of going to the principle by the end of last year, in my eight yr. olds class they had a snack everyday mid morning, that usually consisted of all of the same things you mentioned. I am sure it kept many kids from eating what little healthy stuff they may have had in their lunches. I am hoping there are no snacks this year, because I as well go to great lengths to put healthy food and snacks in my kids lunches. Treats and fun lunches (junk food) can be a rare fun occasion like field trips, it makes treats a TREAT, not an everyday occurrence. My kids take sandwiches a lot of the time, but they also take hummus and pitas or rice crackers, salmon or mahi wraps for their main dish, some fun easy sides, raw veggies with lime and a little salt (cucumbers, peppers, cabbage, jicima etc...) my kids love that, and there are many heathier crackers and cookies, if you just look, raw nuts and of course fruits are a must.

mjb said...

Any ideas for gluten-free lunch box fare? Sandwiches are not an option for my daughter with celiac.

Shari Goodman said...

I don't do alot of sandwiches for any of my kids anymore. We do hard boiled eggs, ham/cheese and crackers. Chicken salad with lettuce, chips and salsa and fruit, celery with cream cheese and ham, yogurt, granola and fruit, etc. I am trying to make the lunches different so they don't get bored. I think we get stuck with the idea that you need a sandwich in the lunch box. Their are so many more options.