That’s right! Not all kids are sandwich eaters. For some kids that’s too many textures all put together and it freaks them out. I happen to have one of those kids. So what do you do when a sandwich, in it’s many varieties is the mainstay of most lunches yet your kid wants nothing to do with them? You take them apart. Literally. Or better put, you never put them together in the first place. For instance, a turkey and cheese sandwich on whole grain undone = Roll up the turkey like i have here, add whole grain crackers to replace the bread (or some kids actually like to eat the bread by itself on the side) and give them a cheese stick or piece of individually wrapped cheese. (This kids not a big cheese eater so the greek yogurt helps to replace that). To make a well balanced lunch you need to have at least one food choice from each of the following categories:
1. an energy source (example shown: whole grain gold fish) This needs to be whole grain
2. a protein source (example shown: Boars Head pastrami turkey) I buy Boars Head turkey products as they contain no fillers, gluten, artificial flavors, colors or trans fats. Most Boars Head meats do not contain nitrates and nitrites (both are known carcinogens and can cause hyperactivity in some children) but a few do so you want to make sure you ask to read the label on the meat before they slice it. Some deli’s have Boars head nutritional fact sheets on display. None of their turkey meats have nitrates and nitrites BUT their ham does and their roast beef is not organic so it does have hormones. That’s why I stick to their turkey products only. They are minimally processed with no preservatives. Applegate farms makes all natural prepackaged deli meats that are minimally processed. NONE of their deli meats contain nitrates or nitrites so their turkey AND their ham is safe. Still would not buy their roast beef because it is not “hormone free”. Remember that you always want to buy anything that comes from a cow organic as often as possible but especially with children. You can read why in detail in chapters 1 and 4 in the BodyInstinct book. I stick to turkey with my kids because that’s what they like and although I prefer the Applegate Farms brand, they Boars head turkey products come in so many different varieties and flavors that they never burnout on it.
3. a fruit or vegetable source (example shown: blueberries) There are so many fruits and veggies that you are bound to find a few your kids will eat. You can encourage them to eat fruits and veggies by including dips in with their lunch too. Some examples of dips to go with fruit and veggies include: yogurt, salsa, soy sauce, peanut butter, hummus, ketchup, honey mustard, ranch dressing, etc. Get creative in your presentation too! My kids would never eat a slice of watermelon in their lunch but they DO eat melon balls that have been scooped out with a melon scoop! Refer to Chapter 1 in the BodyInstinct book to find out which fruits and veggies are important to buy organic.
4. a treat source (example shown: Chobani Champions Vanilla Chocolate Chunk) Don’t kid yourself and think just because it’s yogurt (and greek yogurt at that) that it’s not a sweet treat! Most of these yogurts directed towards kids have a considerable amount of sugar. Even the “natural” ones. That’s ok if you use it as their lunch “treat” source. The best part about this sweet treat is it does pack an extra 8 grams of protein. My 11 year old loves this as her sweet treat. Doesn’t fly with my 8 year old. He wants his cookie. And that’s what he got today for his treat. A cookie. ONE cookie. That’s all they need. Lunch/after school is the BEST time for kids to have their “treat”. It’s early in the day and they will burn it up. Get rid of dessert after dinner (It makes it hard for them to sleep, is 90% more likely to turn into fat and is a hard habit to break as an adult). Don’t get rid of the dessert just “reposition” it to after school or lunch. And whatever you do, don’t tell them “NO more dessert”! Just tell them “dessert is moving to a new time”
It’s also important that water and ONLY water is what your kids should drink for lunch. Forget the juice and sports drinks and vitamin waters. Nothing but liquid sugar. Some moms tell me their kids won’t drink water. Trust me, if they are thirsty they will drink it.
Lot’s more lunches to come this month! ( I have no choice ) So stay tuned for lots of other hints and ideas to get your kids to eat healthy and enjoy it too! xoxoxoxo