Solving The Lunchbox Dilemma

About a week ago, I asked my Facebook friends if they had a lunchbox dilemma. One mom said, “Yes. My lunchbox dilemma is how to get SOMEONE ELSE to make these darn things rather than me.”

School mornings can be hectic getting everyone out the door. Making lunches adds to the confusion. For sure, there is “someone else” making your kids’ lunches… the government.  They’re not doing such a good job, despite the promotion of the Food Pyramid. The government Food Pyramid was designed to help families make wise food choices and remain healthy. Yet, government schools are contributing to obesity with their lunch programs.

In a USDS study, researchers found that kids who are a part of the National School Lunch program are more likely to become overweight, that kids who don’t eat school lunches at all. “The fact that federally funded school lunches contribute to the childhood obesity epidemic is disconcerting, although not altogether surprising,” said economist Daniel L. Millimet at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Caley says, “Let’s eat”.

For the study, published in The Journal of Human Resources, the researchers analyzed data on more than 13,500 elementary school students. Students were interviewed in kindergarten, first and third grades, and then again in later grades. The National Student Lunch Program supplies meals to about 30 million children in 100,000 public and nonprofit private schools, according to USDA.

I know it takes time to plan and the make kids’ lunches, but it’s well worth the effort. Overall, school lunches are not healthy. Even if your child’s school offers something resembling a nutritious lunch, like a salad bar, most kids will pass it up in favor of popular nutrient-lacking junk foods.

Pack a Healthy Lunch…It’s Easy
The only way to be certain your child will receive a healthy lunch is to send one to school with him/her. First, give yourself a pat on the back for making nutrition a top priority. Then, make sure you have the right equipment. Purchase small reusable ice packs and insulated lunch bags or boxes. Reusable containers come in handy as well. (Bento make the cutest lunch boxes.) There are a million great lunchboxes available. Be sure the lunch bags are cleaned each day.

A Few Tricks for a Busy School Morning:
• Of course, having real healthy food items on hand is essential.
• Make school lunches the night before and refrigerate.
• “Planned-overs” from dinner make a quick lunch when you add a piece of fruit, veggie sticks & a bottle of water.
• Salads make for an interesting lunch. Try one of the salads in the Recipe Section to the right of this blog.
• Have your kids make the lunches.
• Make lunches in an assembly line, with each person responsible for adding one or two items.

CLICK HERE for Scrumptious School Snacks.

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