School Starts in 3, 2, 1… What to Pack for School Lunch?

School_Lunches.jpg

Have you been struggling with the issue of school lunches? There are options beyond peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! School lunch offerings have improved somewhat in recent years (more vegetables and fruits), but they still have a long way to go to meet the Brain Warrior’s Way standards.

I make sure to always pack Chloe’s lunch rather than let her buy it. I send her to school with foods like my Perky Turkey Tacos with Guacamole, or almond butter and banana in a coconut wrap. True, kids don’t like to be so different at first, yours may not be enthused with the healthy fare you pack for them. (My daughter Chloe is so used to the way we eat at home that she’s capable of making great choices on her own. She went to lunch recently with my assistant and made terrific selections. They shared a vegetable and hummus tray as an appetizer, and Chloe selected veggie nachos for her main course. How cool is that?! I’m telling you this just to let you know that kids who eat healthy Brain Warrior meals at home eventually learn how to do the same elsewhere.) And while some kids will always opt for a burger and fries when they have the chance, our job is to make sure that they eat healthy meals when we’re in charge.

Here are my top go-to protein foods to pack in a school lunch:

  • Hard boiled egg
  • Grilled chicken breast
  • Deli meat (organic, sugar free, nitrate free)- Applegate Farms is my favorite
  • Homemade protein bars

For carbohydrates:

  • Chopped vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, carrots, zucchini)
  • Salsa or try one of my dip recipes.
  • Organic Berries.
  • Organic Apples.
  • Organic Cherries.
  • Other low glycemic fruit.

Healthy Fats:

  • Sunflower or Pumpkin seeds.
  • 1/2 ounce dark chocolate (sugar free, dairy free)

What’s on the School Lunch Menu?

One big parental responsibility is to find out what’s going on, food-wise, at school. Ask your kids what they had for lunch if you didn’t send them off with something you prepared. Under new federal guidelines for school lunches, the amounts of vegetables and fruit offered are nearly double what they were in the recent past. Another new requirement: one to two ounces of protein.

As a parent, you can exert pressure to make sure your kids have access to healthy food and drink at school. Don’t be shy, fight back! This is our kids’ health we’re talking about! I’m sure there are plenty of parents who are as concerned about these issues as you are.

Should your child’s school ask you to sign a release slip, stating that you will go along with their attempt to teach ”nutrition” (according to the food pyramid), and ask you to tell your child that there are no ”good” or ”bad” foods, it’s definitely time to get involved. I wrote a document stating the reasons that I would not agree to such nonsense, clarified the science for them and offered to come teach a nutrition class. Remember, these are the people who count sugar filled ketchup as a vegetable in school lunches. Tomatoes aren’t even a vegetable, they are a fruit! If they’re going to hurt our children, they should at least look smart doing it. It’s school for goodness sake.

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