Guest Blogger: Shane Griffin. No affiliate links are contained within this post
Do you let your kids buy school lunches? Controlling your kids food choices is tedious as there are many deceiving food labels and school lunches offer very little nutrition compared to the ways you can pack a lunch from home. Many healthier options just are not as cost-effective as other brands that may not be a better choice. This post will give you tips that could save you money at time as well as sneak a little bit of healthy in lunches we want to keep fun and attractive enough for our kids to eat. There is nothing worse then emptying out the days lunchbox to see they hardly ate a bite all day!
Top 5 School Lunch Nutritional Hacks
1. Utilize Powdered foods: Powdered whole foods have recently made their way into the market, and they are an excellent tool for parents whose kids are picky eaters. Say your kid craves Mac n’ Cheese every week – the boxed versions have little nutrition on their own. By adding Activz’s powdered carrots and pumpkin into your own creation, you’re giving your kid a tasty treat while greatly boosting the nutritional value of an otherwise unhealthy meal. Check out this delicious recipe here.
2. Embrace the superfruit fad: “Superfruit” is an overused term these days, but it came to light for a good reason: Some fruits just pack a bigger nutritional punch than others. One of my favorite newcomers is camu camu, a fruit straight out the Amazon Rainforest with 30X the Vitamin C of an orange and 10X the antioxidant capacity of acai. Immune-boosting Vitamin C is especially important with kids headed back into the classroom, as research shows that 164 million school days are missed yearly due to infectious diseases. So parents, try sneaking vitamin C into this tasty salad with some Amaçari – a 100% whole food camu camu supplement – to support their good health.
3. Go lean or go home: Not all meats are created equal, but they are a great source of protein that every growing body craves. A great way to boost the nutritional value of any school lunch is to substitute leaner meats into the mix. Try using ground turkey instead of beef in your meatloaf or meatballs, or if you’re making tacos try substituting pork ribs for the ground beef you’re accustomed to. If your kid loves chicken, skip the fried version for a nice organic boneless, skinless alternative. Remember, proper seasoning is important to keep the flavor consistent!
4. Bake in the goodness: Most kids are fans of baked treats, but they don’t have to know how the cookie is made – they just care how it tastes! If you’re cooking muffins or cookies, try using organic applesauce as the base. Then, toss in some ground flaxseed or wheat germ into the batter to boost the nutritional content. If you’re feeling extra bold, adding in pureed squash, zucchini or banana to really give it a healthy lift. Substituting healthy alternatives like these will teach your kids that tasty doesn’t have to mean unhealthy!
5. Blend in a nutritional boost: Smoothies can be your best friend, and give you a chance to really provide whole food nutrients in the tastiest way possible. As a base, use organic milk or a dairy alternative like rice or almond milk. Load up the smoothie with spinach, berries, and a banana for sweetness. Remember, Omega-3’s are a vital part of your kid’s brain development, so add in some of Karlene Karst’s Sea-liocous Omega-3’s to create the ultimate powerhouse smoothie!
Shane Griffin, the CEO of Whole Life Balance – an international nutritional coaching company – has worked with many parents who have faced this same struggle. Shane’s solution? Try sneaking nutrients into your kids’ food with these 5 school lunch nutritional hacks!
(Shane has no financial affiliation with any brands mentioned below – they are just healthy recommended options)