Sunday, August 10, 2014

3 Foods to Never Give Your Kids for School Lunches (and the healthier alternative!)

With school starting for us tomorrow, I wanted to share my sentiments about school lunches. I look at every meal as an opportunity to give my kids something nutritious that will benefit their bodies, not just fill them up. I am shocked that kids these days even survive considering how unhealthy they eat. Here are a few of my horror meals that no person should ever consume, especially a growing child!


1. Lunchables. There is so little actual food in these things that you would literally be better off not eating and sparing yourself from the chemicals, preservatives, and GMO's. Here are the ingredients in the plain old turkey, cheese and cracker lunchable. I have highlighted the harmful ingredients in red:

Ingredients: ROAST WHITE TURKEY – CURED, SMOKE FLAVOR ADDED: WHITE TURKEY, WATER, POTASSIUM LACTATE, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF SALT, DEXTROSE, CARRAGEENAN, SODIUM PHOSPHATES, SODIUM DIACETATE, SODIUM ASCORBATE, SMOKE FLAVOR, SODIUM NITRITE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR. PASTEURIZED PREPARED CHEDDAR CHEESE PRODUCE: MILK, WHEY, MILK PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, MILKFAT, SODIUM CITRATE, SALT, LACTIC ACID, SORBIC ACID AS A PRESERVATIVE, OLEORESIN PAPRIKA (COLOR), ANNATTO (COLOR), CHEESE CULTURE, ENZYMES, WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, WITH STARCH ADDED FOR SLICE SEPARATION. CONTAINS: MILK, WHEAT CRACKERS: ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2],FOLIC ACID), SOYBEAN OIL, WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, SUGAR, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED COTTONSEED OIL, SALT, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, LEAVENING (BAKING SODA, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE), WHEY (FROM MILK), SOY LECITHIN (EMULSIFIER). CONTAINS: WHEAT, MILK, SOY.

A good alternative? Roll up some Boar's Head nitrite-free turkey breast and Organic Valley cheese, throw in some Annie's Cheddar Bunnies. Real food, what a concept!

2.Smucker's Uncrustables. I guess this is the processed food industry's idea of a PB&J. Once again, I have highlighted the harmful ingredients which are preservatives, chemicals or GMO's. There is so little food, and so much poison that once again they would be better off skipping a meal.

BREAD: ENRICHED UNBLEACHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, NIACIN, FERROUS SULFATE, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), WATER, UNBLEACHED WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SOYBEAN OIL, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SALT, YEAST, DOUGH CONDITIONERS (DISTILLED MONOGLYCERIDES, DATEM, ENZYMES [WITH AMYLASE, LIPASE, ASCORBIC ACID, CALCIUM PEROXIDE, AZODICARBONAMIDE, WHEATSTARCH]).  PEANUT BUTTER: PEANUTS, DEXTROSE, SUGAR, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: FULLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OILS (SOYBEAN AND/OR COTTONSEED AND/OR RAPESEED), SALT, MOLASSES.  GRAPE JELLY: GRAPE JUICE, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: PECTIN, CITRIC ACID, POTASSIUM SORBATE (PRESERVATIVE).

A good alternative? Almond butter and organic jelly sandwich on Ezekial Sprouted Grain bread! So easy and super healthy! Ezekial bread can be found in the frozen section of the grocery store.

3.Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. New York times did an article on Kraft mac and cheese and there are two warnings that every parent should be aware of before they feed this to their child:

Warning #1: This Product May Cause Adverse Effects On Activity And Attention In Children (This warning label is required because The US version of Kraft Mac & Cheese has artificial food dyes yellow #5 and yellow #6 which are proven to be linked to hyperactivity in children.)
Warning #2: GMO Declaration: Made from genetically modified wheat. (May contain GMO) (This warning label is required because the US version of Kraft Mac & Cheese contains GMOs.)
A good alternative? Annie's makes a large variety of macaroni and cheese for only a few cents more. You will completely avoid the GMO's and food dyes by going this route.
Some other healthy lunch options:
A small salad with dressing on the side
Left overs! I often cook extra the night before so I can send the left overs in a thermos
Amy's Organic Spinach Pizza-- Bre loves this pizza and its good at room temp if there is no microwave. 
Carrots or cucumbers and dip, string cheese and crackers.
Peanut butter and raw honey sandwiches
Fresh berries, organic yogurt, granola
Breakfast for lunch! Cut up some pancakes and send a side of Grade B pure maple syrup
Organic chicken noodle soup in a thermos with a side of crackers
What about you, moms? What healthy lunches do you pack for your little ones at school?





Friday, August 8, 2014

It Is Okay to be a Size 0

I read a beautiful article the other day about how we should talk to our daughters about their bodies. The message was simple, don't talk about it. Don't let their body define who they are or how they see others. I loved it. The focus should be on being healthy, not on looking a certain way. There is such a big movement of women trying to send the message that it doesn't matter what size you are, and if you are overweight it is okay, often even applauded. I have to rant here, so I apologize in advance. 

I read an article today, in a popular magazine, about a clothing company who is adding a size XXXS to their line. The writer was disgusted and angry that they would dare have such a ridiculous size available. Seriously? You are mad because there was a demand for smaller sizes? Up in arms because there are small people who would like to buy clothes!? How dare they!!

Come on people. I have always been a small person, yes I even wear a size 0, and I am sick of people trying to make me feel bad about it. I grew up constantly being told I was "skinny." After hearing it all the time, I began to think that there was something wrong with me and I needed to gain weight in order to be "normal." It gave me an awareness of my body that I didn't need at that young of an age. I certainly don't want my daughters to have to worry about all that. I want them to focus on the inside, and the outside will flourish as a result.


Discriminating against a body size, big or small.... is wrong. 

Ladies, love your body by taking care of it, eating healthy and exercising. Please, let's stop with the discrimination....on both sides. 

XXOO