Healthy Lunches for an Awesome School Year
By Donna Stark
It's easy to be tempted by the three Cs (color, convenience, and child-approved) when packing school lunches, but you know that these aren't the best factors to base your choices on when it comes to providing your child with as much nutrition as possible, don't you? And although you want to be sure that your child eats what you pack, you just can't stomach the thought of unhealthy food fueling (or not fueling) your child's body during the day. So what can you do? Is there a way to get loads of nutrition into those three Cs so that everyone is happy? There sure is!
Modifying the Three Cs
Providing your child with a nutritious packed lunch often feels like you are playing the role of "bad parent," doesn't it? The screaming, kicking, and tears that occur when your child catches you putting those carrot sticks and raisins into their lunch are enough to make any good parent give up, but it doesn't have to be that way! Here are some suggestions that will get everyone involved and will help ensure that the three Cs are packed with nutrition! Take a look.
- Color - Kids love color which is why every box on the grocery store shelf is bold and bright, and unfortunately, those colors are also unnaturally transferred to the food. You've heard of eating the rainbow, but it's time to do it naturally, so head on over to the produce section. There you will be able to find those deep reds and purples, bright oranges and yellows, and dark greens and blues. Your kids will love the new choices and you will feel much better knowing they are eating healthier!
- Convenience - Avoid what you typically consider to be convenient and come up with your own healthy options instead. Items like single-serving bags of chips, granola bars, and fruit snacks can easily be replaced with homemade trail mix, low-sugar treats, and sliced produce. Get everything prepped and bagged at the beginning of the week so all you have to do is grab and go!
- Child-approved - There is no better way of getting your child's approval than to include them with the menu plans and shopping decisions. Before you even start with this though, you may need to have a discussion about what good nutrition means and where it can be found. Then let them choose the fruit and vegetables, the type of salad or sandwich, and a couple of healthy snacks. Stress the importance of water and avoid sugary drinks too!
With just a little imagination and some empowering decision-making skills handed over to your child, it shouldn't be too hard to come up with a healthy lunch plan during the school year! There is a lot to look forward to this year and it all starts with better nutrition, better mornings, and much better health for your child! You can't go wrong with that!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Culver City, Calif.