Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Waste Free Lunches and Their Nutritional Benefit

With the kids heading back to school tomorrow I have to jump in and talk a bit about this subject. A few days ago, I made a trip to BJ's to get a few things, and all around me are these parents buying mass quantities of prepackaged processed foods. Carts were flowing over with 100 calorie packs, fruit in little cups, pudding in little cups, juice boxes, little frozen PB & J sandwiches and even little cut up apples in individual bags(oh why do people think they need this).
Then there was my cart, whole grain pretzels, cat litter, cat food, and a ton of produce. I feel compelled to buy things in the largest container possible to save on waste.
Back to lunches. At my kids school, even the trays are disposable! I find this mortifying. We used to have washable trays and silverware. Now for the sake of 'saving' money we are filling landfills everyday with Styrofoam and plastic.
Most of the lunches brought to school are filled with processed junk. (does anyone read a label anymore?) What do we really save when we fill our kids lunchbox with all this stuff. It may be easy to reach into the pantry and shove a bunch of this stuff into a lunchbox, (or brown paper bag, yikes!) zip it up and hurry out the door. Then we fill the garbage cans at school with little bags and containers (some of which could be recycled, if it were available).
Two weeks after school starts, parents are rushing to get Doctors appointments because little johnny has caught a cold, from someone at school. If we give our children foods that boost immunity, like fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy whole grain breads with real foods on their sandwiches, lots of fresh water, well our kids would be so much more healthy and resistant to these virus'.
It is not that difficult to cut up carrots, celery and the like in advance. it is easy these days to find lunchboxes that have containers that neatly fit together. The laptop lunchbox, pictured above, is what I have used for years. It seemed expensive at first, however, this is the third year that I have used them. So I have to say, I have more than made up my initial investment. Not to mention that it is a great way to portion too! There are many other systems like this now, for the health of the earth and for the health of my children I will continue to use these lunch systems for the benefit of all. I hope you will too!
Too many parents say, well johnny wont eat that. Well he wont allow himself to starve either. So if he is hungry he will eat! Even when kids aren't used to whole foods, they can still start to eat them and like them, if offered to them on a regular basis! Yes, even your kids! I saw a great BBC/ Discovery show, about just this topic, hosted by Dr Oz. and his research showed that a child needs to try something at least 30 times! How many of us do that? I do it more now, and I even try things myself from time to time (still I don't care for mushrooms) however, I will do it if I expect my children to do it!
I pack my kids lunches each day, it only takes about 5 minutes. They get sandwiches on whole grain bread, leftovers, cut up fresh fruit and veggies and sometimes crackers. However this year that might change since I have some great healthy cookie recipes! I know lunches can be hard, and busy mornings stressful, but with anything else, I feel I must make health a priority. My kids don't visit the doctor much, only when they have a required physical(or break an arm) We save on medical costs, time and hope to live long healthy lives.
I consider these imperative to my daily life. There is nothing more important than nutrition for the whole family. Save the Earth and the Children!


Katherine said...

Great post. I enjoyed reading it! Though my son is not school aged yet I totally agree. I am ready bent on cooking homemade meals everyday and the over abundance of processed food is really discouraging. Keep up the good work!

Check out this site - if you have a chance...they have lots of good, healthy recipe ideas for kids lunches.

Permission to Mother said...

That's a good point you made about why kids get sick so much in school. It's not just the exposure but the poor diet as another element contributing to poor immunity.

I had no idea that PB&J came frozen.

Angie said...

Wow, awesome post!

I would love more ideas on lunches - what to pack, etc. :)

Red said...

I worked in a major grocery store chain, and it amazed me at the garbage people would push off o their children asn food.

But Fit has mentioned in many a previous, that the SAD (Standard American Diet) is nothing but pure rubbish. there is really no ohter way to dewcribe it.

I see it in what my brother-in-law and his wife give their son. But that is how they eat, so they see that as AOK. And when I was in the grocery store business, I was not as whole foodsy(I made that word up) as I am now. That is not to say I lived on junk food, but man oh man, the stuff(And that is what it was) I used to scan. Suitcases of soda. I mean come on. How much soda can one person drink. I may splurge and have one a month.

We are eating ourselves into a dietary nightmare, and I only hope that people wake up and smeel the freshly homemade baked bread!

P.S. Great post.

Tam said...

Great read love your thoughts! Our immune system is our best and should be our first defense! We need to take good care of it! We need to pay attention to what we eat and feed our children!

Stephanie said...

I read about the laptop lunches in one of your blogs last summer and bought one for each of my girls. They love them! Sidney said the kids at school thought her lunchbox was cool. She told them it was better for the environment and told them to look it up online. Madi loves to help me make her lunch. Sid prefers me to make hers, as long as it tastes good. She is so much like her dad :-)


fitncrafty said...

I am so glad that the girls enjoy having the lunch boxes and it is so awesome that they are understanding that not only are they eating healthier food, but also helping the environment! Way to go girls!
It's funny my kids think everything is better in them..not to mention it teaches them proper portion sizes... Which becomes SO important as we grow and our metabolism slows!