Are You Packing These Hidden Dangers in Your Child’s Lunchbox?

Wondering about hidden dangers in your child's lunch as you prepare to send them back to school? Check out the things you should leave out of the lunchbox!

If you have kids, you have brought them to grocery store at one time or another (and if you haven’t, well, lucky you and we will never be friends).  You are trying to purchase things you know they will eat, so at least they eat.  But are you aware of the hidden dangers you are packing for your child while they are at school?  Let me enlighten you.

Related: Back To School Lunchbox Safety Tips + Adorable Lunchbox Notes Printable!

Hidden Dangers In Your Child’s Lunch

Lunchables: These pre-made boxed lunches were not available when I was a kid, but they were for my brother and he ate them all the time.  As an adult I have a hard time giving them to my child.  Simply looking at the package, it typically comes with juice (not 100%), a piece of candy (like they need that), crackers and some meat (turkey, ham or bologna).  They don’t advertise the loads of sodium that come with your kid’s lunch (and any prepacked ‘meals’).

Granola bars: You might be thinking I am crazy for thinking these are one of the hidden dangers in your child’s lunch, but specifically Kudos chocolate chip is full of sugar, 28.4 grams to be exact.  That is more than the daily allotment for added sugar for an adult!  And you thought granola bars were good for you!  They are, don’t discount all of them that are out there, just search for healthier ones.

Betty Crocker Fruit by the Foot: If you don’t know already, this is loaded with sugar.  You can find an easy DIY recipe online or on Pinterest.  They will no doubt taste better too, made with real fruit!

Goldfish: GASP!  Yes, your beloved goldfish have 250mg of sodium per serving which is about 55 pieces.  Think about that, you give your child some fishies with lunch, and maybe with an afternoon snack after school, because let’s face it, that is just about the only ‘cracker’ a child will eat.  You can change it up and offer Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies as an alternative to fishies.

Healthy alternatives to the hidden dangers in your child’s lunch:

We all want to be healthier, especially our kids, so let’s start with their lunches and snacks at home.  Packing their back to school lunch, will assure you they are getting less sodium and sugar and more of the good things.

Consider packing light popcorn, instead of ‘movie style’ popcorn that is loaded with butter and sodium (because let’s be real, that is not real butter).  Hummus is a great dip for veggies or with a pita pocket, it is filling too.  Consider making your own trail mix at home!  You can even add a few M&M’s if you would like, just not the entire bag.  Don’t go nuts!  (see what I did there?)

Related: Vegetable Muffin Recipes For Kids: Perfect for kids lunchbox

I am not saying it is going to be easy to sneak in these healthier snacks for your kids, but start at home.  If you do not have it at home, they can not eat it (same goes for you!)  Make a conscious effort to make some changes so your kids can be as healthy as they can be.

What sort of changes have you made to your child’s lunch to try and cut out added sugar and sodium and other bad things?  Share your stories with us below in the comments section!

19 thoughts on “Are You Packing These Hidden Dangers in Your Child’s Lunchbox?”

  1. On occasion we purchase something like Lunchables but in general I make the lunches myself. The rule is that they can have something like chips but they also have to agree to something like cucumbers. My girls know that anything is okay in moderation so they don’t complain. It is win/win. Thanks for pointing out these hidden issues… I often refer to the granola bars as candy bars in disguise!

  2. I have always used Annie’s bunny crackers in my son’s lunchboxes. I don’t buy those fruit roll ups too. I still pack granola bars, but I use the Clif Bars for kids. I really think that we all can do those prepared lunches ourselves. If we have all the ingredients at home, then why not?

  3. i have been guily to adding some of these tomy kids lunches. Will be sure to substitute the healthier options this year!

  4. Elizabeth Matthiesen

    When I was a child there were no such things as listed above, nor in Germany when my own children were young. It’s really amazing how many bad things are in these and as the occasional treat not too bad but as daily lunch no way.

  5. My grandkids used to always want me to get lunchables. I showed them treats we can make at home and they are quite happy with that.

  6. Having a picky eater, if my kid eats at all, I’m happy. I might occasionally do the lunchabes, but not the kind with the juice in them, heck I still water down my kids juice with half water. If a juicebox ever graces their hands from a play group or something they are on cloud nine and I’ve learned that lots of the yogurts marketed toward kids are totally packed with sugar in them. We try to do fresh fruit and veggies with their favorite dips for packed lunches.

  7. My son will just be starting all day Kindergarten this fall, so I will have to think about what to pack in his lunch to avoid unhealthy things, but things he will still eat. It will be a challenge.

  8. I will admit that I am guilty of some of these but I am working on making lunches healthier and eliminating convenience foods.

  9. I stopped buying Lunchables and Fruit by the foot a few years back. They never really looked that healthy, but for a while I was a little naive to that, and the convenience was so tempting. Plus my boy always wanted that stuff because his friends had it. But we’ve gotten over it lol

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