As SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL CHILD OBESITY AWARENESS month I thought it would be timely to focus a bit on easy, packable, nutritious lunches and after school snacks. (This isn't just for the kiddos either! We all could do with brown bagging now and again!) Currently, 1 in 3 American children are overweight or obese. That is a staggering number to me. That would mean one of my three children, to put it in perspective. Those overweight children are at risk for serious health problems such as diabetes and heart disease at an early age. Also, obese children are 80% more likely to become obese adults and have even more health risks.
I believe one of the best things we can do for our children is feed them from home. That way you know what they are eating and from where it came! YOU can control the amount of sugar and pre-packaged and processed foods they are eating. Packing a good lunch is not nearly as daunting as it sounds. To prove this point I am setting out a list here of LOTS of great ideas! Personally, my lunch packer usually gets leftovers. That way I know he is getting a lean protein and then a side of a fruit, like a clementine, and veggie, like carrot sticks. We fill a huge water bottle and stick it in the fridge the night before so it stays cold. He helps with the process so he has a say in his eats and is happy.
If your ideas are getting stale, here are some ideas you might like to try:
Tuna/Chicken Salad and Crackers
Fruit and Yogart
Homemade Trail Mix
Apples/celery and peanut butter
Cheese and crackers
Pizza Roll ups
Hard Boiled Eggs (great idea but mine won't touch it!)
Nut butter and jelly sandwhich (I read a great idea to switch up the nut butters so your child doesn't get tired of the same ole' PBJ sandwich)
Rice and beans
Hummus and crackers or veggies
Cottage Cheese and Fruit
Ham and Cheese roll ups
Whole Wheat English muffin pizzas
See, there are plenty of healthy options for LUNCH or AFTER SCHOOL/PRE-PRACTICE OR GAME SNACKS. The only bad thing is it does take a little time and preparation.
ON ANOTHER NOTE, in conjunction with CHILDHOOD OBESITY MONTH, Saucony has released a FREE app called Run4Good. It's an easy download and track your mileage, pace, route, calorie count and more! PLUS, every step helps fight childhood obesity! Saucony will double its contribution to charities based on runners meeting monthly mileage challenges. This looks pretty painless . . . check it out!
By the way, Saucony in no way compensated me for this post or information. They have NO idea who in the world I am!