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.
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?)
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!