This NOT That: Lunchbox Replacements for the Worst Junk Foods
Stop sending your kids off to school with a box filled with junk and instead infuse their day with these healthy, green, and best of all- tasty “treats.”
There are way too many chubby kids running around these days. And there’s a good chance that you are part of the problem. Parents don’t realize just how influential they are on their kid’s waistline, and therefore health. You might closely monitor what your children eat for dinner, making sure have healthy, organic, balanced meals. But what about what they are chowing down on the rest of the day… like at school? I know, you stuff their lunchboxes with nutrient-rich, chemical-free foods (yes, that’s important too considering that studies show that exposure to pesticides in common kid-friendly foods boost the chances of ADHD, that, honestly, are anything but tasty. And you wonder why they trade it, toss it, and eat something else? It’s time to start feeding your kids healthy foods that they will actually eat. Don’t stress, we’ve done the work and taste testing for you.
Here is your This not That list of lunchbox foods:
THIS: Funky Monkey Fruit the Crunches Carnaval Mix
NOT THAT: Banana Chips
WHY? While banana chips may sound healthy (they’re made of fruit and found in almost every natural food market and health food store), most banana chips are fried. Not only that, but they’re usually deep fried in coconut oil which amps up the fat content. Fact: 3 oz of banana chips has around 440 calories and almost 29 grams of fat (primarily saturated fat, even trans fats). Yes, baked are better, BUT they’re often pre-coated with honey or sugar to make them even sweeter. The BEST option are dehydrated to remove the water without added oil, sugars, or trans fats, but often lack the sweet crunchiness characteristic of the fried ones. Funky Monkey’s freeze-dried snack size fruits are a flavor and fiber-filled crunchy snack that totals 3-servings of fruit in 1 bag. Plus the packaging is cute and friendly to the kid’s eye.
THIS: Pure Bar Organic Apple Cinnamon
NOT THAT: Granola Bar
WHY? Though seemingly healthy, many granola bars are filled with sugar, fat, even chocolate and are just as bad as candy bars. These Pure bars are made with organic dates, apples, almonds, walnuts, a major sprinkle of cinnamon, and sweetened with low-glycemic agave making them oh-my good, fiber and amoega-3 rich.
THIS: Kashi TLC Dark Chocolate Coconut Fruit & Grain Bars
NOT THAT: Candy Bar
WHY? Candy bars are just plain old bad. They are filled with sugar- which creates an energy high followed by a dramatic drop, and they contribute to making you fat. These all-natural Dark Chocolate bars are made without high fructose corn syrup but WITH 7 whole grains, 4 g fiber, and 4 g protein and they are topped with a thick coat of chocolatey goodness.
THIS: Health Valley Organic Wild Berry Multigrain Chewy Granola Bars
NOT THAT: Pop Tarts
WHY? You may as well be eating a pop tart when you bite into these insanely tasty “treats”- yes, they are THAT good. And the great thing is that you’re not getting all of those nasty energy-sapping fats (these are just 2 grams of fat), chemicals (these are organic), or other crapola. Plus, these gems are a great source of antioxidants and vitamin C.
THIS: Boulder Canyon Rice & Adzuki Bean Chipotle Cheese Chips
NOT THAT: Spicy Nacho Doritos
WHY? Boulder chips same great spice and crunch as Doritos, but they are all natural, gluten free, and with zero trans fats or cholesterol. Plus the adzuki beans are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals.
THIS: Earth’s Best Organic Snackin’ Fruit Hearts
NOT THAT: Fruit Loops
WHY? The self-contained little box of cereal is perfect to put in a lunch box. Pour milk into it or snack on it dry. Regardless, it’s tasty, low in sugar, and even has both protein and fiber. The cute Elmo character on the front of the package doesn’t hurt either.
THIS: Juicy Juice Sparkling Fruit Juice
NOT THAT: Soda
WHY? Soda is FILLED with sugar, empty calories, and often caffeine. None of which are goodyou’re your kids. Instead try Juicy Juice’s new Sparkling fruit juices (love the apple) made with 70% real fruit juice and 30% lightly carbonated water, contained in an energy drink-looking but without added sugar, artificial colors or flavors.
Pack it all up in THIS: ECOlunchette Bag and Stainless Steel Box with a Bamboo Spork
NOT THAT: Paper Bag or Plastic Bag
Why? Because, really, do your kids recycle at school? These reusable bags, stainless boxes, and sporks don’t just keep waste down, but they are super cute, totally functional, won’t crush your lunch, and they washable. Love!
Your kids won’t even know that they’ve been “duped” into eating healthy food and in fact they will think they are just super cool for toting around such trend-setting styles and insanely good tastes. Nicely done there mom.
For more on this story, please visit Discovery.com/PlanetGreen