It is always a challenge to come up with healthy lunch choices for my children. It’s not that there aren’t a lot of options out there, but there is always the challenge of cost and time that seem to prevent me from making the best choices every time. If you are like me, you are now vowing to make this school year better by providing healthier lunch boxes for your children as they go back to school. Thankfully, Walmart comes to the rescue with a variety of healthy options at great prices.
According to Walmart’s “Class of 2012 Back-to-School Survey,” 76 percent of moms with children in kindergarten to 12th grade consider back-to-school a time for a fresh start over Jan. 1 and 61 percent of moms said they plan to get their families to eat healthier during the new school year. However, moms’ biggest challenge with getting their families to eat healthier during the school year is the cost of healthier foods.
When I think of a typical (easy) lunch box, I think of a sandwich on white bread, a bag of chips, a juice box, and maybe something sweet such as fruit snacks. Not exactly healthy huh? So Walmart is challenging us to come up with healthier options and here are some of my ideas:
Instead of bread (which can be healthy too if you pick whole wheat or whole grain options) I plan to start making some of Danica’s lunches with whole wheat tortillas or pita wraps. This switches up the same old sandwich in a healthy way and hopefully will make her more likely to eat it since it isn’t the same old thing.
One thing that drove me crazy this past year was a classmate of Danica’s that brought fruit snacks for lunch every day. Danica tells me every time she sees a certain brand of fruit snacks how her friend had them every day for lunch. Really? Every Day? I don’t doubt that Danica is telling the truth. I know it is easy to grab and throw in, but wouldn’t REAL fruit be a much better option? Especially when Walmart offers a wide variety of pre-sliced fruit options such as apple slices. Or, if you have a little more time, buy the whole apples from Walmart and slice yourself, sprinkle with a little lemon juice and they won’t turn brown.
A personal favorite of mine for lunches is string cheese. I love cheese and so do my kids and it is a terrific way to provide them with calcium, Vitamin A, and protein which breaks down slower and helps them feel fuller longer. Also, string cheese allows them to play with their food making it more appealing.
As an alternative to chips, I plan to add a little crunch to Danica’s lunches with Sugar Snap Peas such as these from Walmart that are, as the package says, ‘washed and ready to enjoy.’
Finally, one of my biggest pet peeves, the dreaded juice box. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of juice boxes, but many are nothing more than sugar water, which is why I choose options such as Fruitables to provide a full serving of fruits and vegetables with less sugar. I am sure their teachers will appreciate less sugar!
Now it’s your turn! What are some of your healthy suggestions for school lunches?
Walmart has a wide variety of options for healthy lunch boxes at very affordable prices.
What are your favorite healthy breakfast, snack or lunchbox ideas? One lucky reader will win a $25 Walmart gift card to help you create your own healthy lunchbox and snack items for this school year.
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Disclosure: I received a gift card to purchase healthy lunchbox items from Walmart. All thoughts remain 100% my own.