It’s back to school season and everywhere kids are likely dreading it. They don’t want to leave carefree summers behind for homework and a scheduled daily routine. Meanwhile, parents are secretly rejoicing that they have a bit more time to themselves after carpool duty. But, perhaps parents and children are dreading one of the same things– school lunches. Not only are they often less than appealing, but they are also are unhealthy. There are actually a number of reasons why school lunches aren’t ideal, and even if you choose to send a lunch, that doesn’t mean you aren’t dreading doing that too. Choosing the right foods to pack and coming up with appetizing and creative ideas your kids will actually eat can be a challenge. Real food lunches can be done.
What’s For Lunch?
Let’s start off by talking about what’s in those school lunches. You might find a 64 ingredient cafeteria chicken sandwich and a whole host of processed foods. That carton of milk on the lunch tray may contain hormones, such as rbST. The cows are injected with this genetically engineered hormone to stimulate milk production. It’s been banned in Canada, Europe, New Zealand, and Australia. The meat and poultry is likely to contain antibiotics and hormones. In fact, 80% of all antibiotics used in the U.S. are given to livestock, not people. With the excessive use of antibiotic drugs, it’s creating bacteria resistant to treatment with antibiotics.
Moving on from meat and dairy, the rest of the lunch is likely genetically modified. GMO crops were designed to be herbicide and pesticide resistant so that the crop would survive, while the weeds and pest do not. They are heavily treated with herbicides, such as glyphosate. And glyphosate is toxic. In fact, The WHO recently declared glyphosate as probably carcinogenic. The excess use of glyphosate is leaving residue in the foods we eat and is even affecting ground water.
Those easy to pack lunchtime staples from the grocery store are a concerning option. Avoid things like Goldfish Crackers, Go-Gurt, and Lunchables at all costs. They contain a laundry list of ingredients, whose health risks don’t outweigh their convenience. With processed foods, in a packed or purchased lunch, you’ll also need to be on the lookout for MSG. This is not something we want to be feeding school children. MSG is an excitotoxin that overstimulates brain cells which can lead to brain damage, tumors, learning disorders and behavioral issues. You may have to look carefully to spot MSG on an ingredient list, as MSG is likely hidden.
If packing a lunch is an option for your family, real foods are the best way to make sure your child is eating a healthy and nutritious meal. So how can you pack a real food lunch everyday without slaving away in the kitchen all week?
Real Food, Real Easy
You’re not alone when it comes to wanting to feed your family real food, other moms are out there packing lunches. This means there are a ton of kid tested recipes out there that you can use for your own family. Not only are there recipes, but there are great resources on how to feed your family healthy meals. The Environmental Working Group offers tips of an eco-healthy lunches that will keep nourished.
Along with tips you can find lunchbox power players from Sara Snow and The Organic Kitchen shares lunch prepping tips and meal ideas to please both mom and kids. But let’s face it, kids eat a lot of lunch, so you need a lot of ideas. Luckily 100 Days of Real Food has a full 12 weeks of real food lunch recipes to keep you full of ideas and your kids’ bellies full.
Disclosure: Bookieboo LLC is an affiliate for More Real Lunches, Real Easy! and Real Lunches, Real Easy. This post contains affiliate links.
100 Days of Real Food has just released a new ebook, More Real Lunch, Real Easy that contains six weeks of new lunch recipes. You can purchase it starting today, August 17th, until August 31st for just $9, but after that it’s gone. This two week period also gives you the opportunity to buy the previous edition, Real Lunches, Real Easy and the new ebook together for only $15.
I’ve personally been a fan of Lisa and 100 Days of Real Food for years. She has unique meal plans with wholesome ingredients. They’ve been great for my family, and I think you’ll find they’ll be great for yours. If you’re not sure if these ebooks are for you, then see if any of the below applies to you.
Who should buy these ebooks?
- Anyone who has been frustrated with packing their kid’s lunches.
- Anyone who is fresh out of new, good ideas of what to pack.
- Anyone who doesn’t know where to start and needs help getting organized.
- Anyone who doesn’t want to think about what to pack or purchase, and who simply wants someone to just tell them exactly what to do!
- Anyone who wants to send “real food” in their kids lunches – YOU!