When packing lunches for yourself or for your kids, here are some DOs and DON'Ts - simple ideas to help you ditch the processed junk and improve the nutritional value of your lunches and snacks.
Packaged & Processed Foods
We know this, right?
Exasperated parents each and every year try to come up with healthy meals to pack for their children. I feel for them because I am one - and this isn't the most fun and easy task to try and pack things that kids like AND include some variety.
This image recently made the rounds on the internet, showing 30 days worth of lunches pre-packed for kids before they head back to school.
Every food-mimicking item (not a trace of real food) is full of chemicals, food dyes, GMOs, additives and preservatives. This diet is guaranteed to create nutritional deficiencies.
Chips, twinkies, cupcakes, and soda are daily components. Items like this are major contributing factors to attention problems, behavior issues, childhood obesity and adult onset diabetes.
I got to pack my own lunches as a kid and I chose a lot of these same items; I thought I had it made! But years of empty nutrition took a toll on my health and energy levels by the time I was a teenager.
Convenience doesn't to any of our bodies any favors in the end.
DO THIS INSTEAD
Homemade & Fresh is Best
- Soup or rice and black beans are delicious options, especially when the days start getting cooler.
- Wrap homemade burritos in foil, then insert into the thermos to keep warm until lunch.
- Veggie sushi (wrap in tortilla to make it more kid friendly) and veggie spring rolls
- Fruit and veggies such as apple slices, carrots, cucumbers, grapes, dried fruit,
- Nuts -almonds, pecans, walnuts, or seeds like sunflower seeds
- Nut/seed/dried fruit bars
- Fresh salads with greens, all fruit, or a combination of both
- Lettuce wraps with various fillings you would put in a salad, or keep warm ingredients like lentils, beans, or falafel in a thermos to assemble at lunchtime
- Fresh ingredients served in a pita pocket (greens, olives, cucumbers, tabouli)
- Whole food waffles, muffins, and granola bars
- One subscriber shared that she turns leftover sprouted oatmeal into granola bars!
- Nut or seed butter balls
- No bake oatmeal cookies
- Trail mix
- Organic juice or fruit infused water
Often times excessive thirst is mistaken for hunger, so hydration is a key component to reducing cravings throughout the day. Additionally, understand that junk food cravings are actually your body's cry for increased nutrition.
Junk Food Cravings are Really Lack of Nutrients
I LOVE these quick snack options from Anthony Williams, a.k.a. the "Medical Medium".
Anthony says that for maximizing energy and avoiding adrenal fatigue, each meal should ideally contain a balance of potassium, sodium, and natural sugar (from fruit). He recommends these combinations:
* Apple, celery, and dates
* Orange, avocado, and spinach
* Sweet potato, kale, and lemon juice
* Cucumber, avocado, and lime juice
* Banana, dates, and romaine lettuce
* Coconut water, dried apricots and celery
* Coconut water, banana, and spinach
* Pear, berries, and mache
* Mango, figs, and celery
* Oranges, cilantro, and butter lettuce
* Raspberries, tangerines, and green leaf lettuce
* Berries, raw honey, and cucumber
* Apple, dates, and collard greens
* Banana, grape, and red leaf lettuce
* Apple, cauliflower, and cucumber
* Watermelon with lime juice, and celery juice
To Your Health,