Lunch Box Ideas: Say Goodbye to Ho-Hum Lunches with These Gourmet
want something more exciting than bologna and cheese. You want them
to have something more nutritious than a Pop-Tart.
there any way to spice up the kids lunches that doesn't require
an hour of advance preparation? You bet!
tempting them with these kid-friendly, healthy gourmet foods. They'll
have even your pickiest eaters looking forward to lunch:
Gourmet Peanut Butter
Butter & Co. (www.ilovepeanutbutter.com
) makes a line of gourmet peanut butters that are sure to tantalize
the kids' taste buds.
Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter with shredded apples on whole wheat
(it tastes just like apple pie). Or spread the Dark Chocolate Dreams
Peanut Butter on good-quality white bread or french bread and top
with sliced strawberries. Both sandwiches are excellent grilled,
peanut butter is an excellent source of vegetable protein, fiber
(2 tablespoons contain as much fiber as a half cup of broccoli),
magnesium, Vitamin E, niacin and folic acid. It's also cholesterol-free.
make sure you read the label to see if your peanut butter contains
any partially hydrogenated oils. You don't want those - they're
the worst kind of fat for you.
Gourmet Almond Butter
) makes a similar line of gourmet almond spreads.
flavors like Milk Chocolate Cherry, Butterscotch and White Chocolate
Cantaloupe Almond, you're sure to find an almond spread the kids
will like. And almond butter is high in fiber, protein, calcium
and certain minerals.
love juice boxes, but even 100% juice is high in calories and sugar.
Milk or water are the best choices. But when kids are craving something
sweeter, try tempting them with HINT Water (www.drinkhint.com
). Bottled water flavored with just a hint of natural sugar, HINT
water comes in flavors like apple, raspberry lime, cucumber and
Crispy Fruit Snacks
Foods Fruit and Vegetables Snacks (www.sensiblefoods.com
) makes a line of all-natural dried fruit snacks that are far healthier
than your average potato chip. And thanks to a special freeze-drying
process, they're crunchy, too.
come in flavors like Cherry Berry (a mix of cherries, apples, blueberries
and strawberries), Tropical Blend (apples, pineapples, mangos, and
bananas) and Organic Supersweet Corn (sweet corn).
Healthy Brownies and Muffins
it possible to eat a chocolate brownie for lunch that's not only
nutritious, but low calorie, too? Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa
brownie in question is called a VitaBrownie, made by Vitalicious
and to be fair, it isn't huge. But it packs a walloping 6 grams
of fiber, 4 grams of protein, and 50% of the U.S. RDA of Vitamin
A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamins B6 and B12 and 60%
of the RDA of Iron.
it actually tastes good. Not oh-so-rich, gooey,fudgy brownie good.
But way-better-than-your-average-diet-product good. And remember,
most diet brownies and desserts don't have much nutritional value.
also makes VitaMuffins and VitaMuffin tops in flavors like chocolate
AppleBerryBran, Blueberry Bran, Cranberry Bran and Deep Chocolate.
Stephanie Gallagher, a.k.a., The Shopping Mom, is the author of
four books, Editor of The Shopping Mom's Favorite Things (http://www.the-shopping-mom.com
) and Healthy Cooking Columnist for Suite 101 (http://healthycooking.suite101.com