Healthy Lunch Box

HEALTHY LUNCH BOX

HEALTHY LUNCH BOX

The Importance of a Healthy Lunch Box for Children

As a parent, it’s your responsibility to feed your children healthy and satisfying meals that provide the energy needed to get them through their busy school day. Eventually, your child will be making their own food choices, and it's your obligation to teach them what the best food choices are at an early age. Navigating through the isles of food targeted towards children can be tricky and a bit overwhelming. More often than not, products that are specifically marketed towards children are loaded with ingredients that can actually harm their health.

Packaged “ready” meals like Lunchables, Kid Cuisine or Smuckers are some risky examples of products targeted to parents who have a hard time finding time to make food for their child’s school day. The health benefits they get from eating a home-prepared meal tremendously outweigh the little time you’d be saving in buying a packed meal. A large concern for “ready” meals is the way the pre-made meals are cooked and packaged. The processes involved before a food product hits the shelves can be just as important as the sugar, salt, and fat content. Commercially packaged foods are often made in large quantities on very high heat. Cooking food at an extreme temperature not only causes a loss of vital nutrients, but it produces carcinogenic chemicals that can be detrimental to your child's health. 

Packaged foods also contain an abundance of additives and chemicals used to preserve the product for a longer shelf life. Additives that are put directly in foods are listed on the ingredient label, but often with their chemical names. For example, salt could be listed as sodium chloride, sugar as sucrose, and vitamin E as alpha-tocopherol. Some chemical-based additives used to emulsify, coat, or dye products, are not required to be listed on the ingredient label. Children are more susceptible to these chemicals found in processed foods and can cause serious adverse health effects, such as learning disabilities and impaired cognitive function. For more information on what chemical additives can do to you and your child's health, go here

Choosing whole foods packed with beneficial nutrients are going to boost your child’s energy levels to get them through their busy day at school. Loading their lunchboxes up with plenty of veggies, fruits, and clean proteins make a large difference in performance levels at school as well. Stay tuned, Testsharing will be testing some popular snacks commonly found in lunch boxes. Switching up and finding new lunch box variations will keep your child interested, healthy and satisfied. Here are some fun ideas to include in your child's lunchboxes!

Main Meal - Tuna salad, lettuce, avocado, tomato, and cucumber in a wrap

Finger Food - Pita bread slices, carrots, and celery sticks with hummus and a clementine

Main Meal - Rice paper rolls or lettuce wraps with tofu or shrimp, carrots, avocado, cabbage and soy sauce

Finger Food - Edamame and a cucumber salad with sesame seeds and red wine vinegar

Main Meal - Quinoa salad with spinach, apples, dried cranberries and walnuts

Finger Food - Grapes and fresh guacamole with corn chips 

Main Meal - Overnight oats with chia seeds, peanut butter, cinnamon and banana 

Finger Food - Hardboiled egg and some healthy crackers

Main Meal - Pasta salad with olives, tomato, onion, bell pepper and a little mozzarella cheese

Finger Food - Trail mix with a variety of nuts, seeds and dried fruit and chia seed pudding