Welcome to the final day of Lunchbox BONANZA!
We’ve had many exciting posts about how to make a healthy and fun lunchbox (see Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4)! Today is all about packaging! How to read the packaging of products you purchase for your child’s lunchbox as well as the way you package the goodies you put in your child’s lunchbox!
When you’re grocery shopping, follow these guidelines for The Good and Not-So-Good of Lunchbox Food and you will get you on the right track to packing healthy lunches for your precious kiddos!
- Bread and grain products – look for whole grains, whole wheat flour, and flour that hasn’t been enriched or bleached
- Fruits and Veggies – organic is always a good choice, but if money is an issue, stick to the Dirty Dozen
- Dried Fruits – look for ones labeled “unsulphured” and “unsweetened”
- Dairy – lowfat and organic
- Protein – try to choose nitrite-free lunch meats and low-mercury tuna
- Stick with canola or olive oil for dressings or in your cooking and look for substitutions like applesauce for oil in baking as well as using plain yogurt instead of mayonnaise
The Not-So-Good (avoid these ingredients when you can, but every once and awhile is okay :-))
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Partially hydrogenated oils
- Trans fat
- Nitrite (an additive in lunch meats and most hot dogs)
- Artificial sweeteners (often found in products marked as “light” or “sugar free.” May also be listed in the ingredients as aspartame, Splenda, sucralose, or saccharin)
- Added MSG (may be listed as glutamic acid or glutamate in the ingredients)
- Artificial colors and flavorings
Once you’ve got your food ready, focus on presentation factor. The retail world knows how to entice a child with packaging! Unfortunately, though, what’s inside their packaging is not always the most nutritious. Follow these tips for jazzing up your own fun packaging for your kids!!
Stock up on…
- Stickers, stickers, and more stickers! Target recently had packages of 550 stickers in their dollar bins! You can add stickers to everything from Ziplock sandwich and snack bags to the surface of the regular ole’ brown bag! I like to find stickers smooshed in with the greeting cards at WalMart!
- Fun party napkins! After a holiday, hit the clearance shelves at party stores to find lots of exciting napkins to slip into your child’s lunchbox for a fun surprise! Who wouldn’t love getting a napkin with a big orange pumpkin on it in the month of October??
- Colorful reusable containers! I just discovered these Lunchskins for sandwiches and snacks! Not only do they cut the amount of Ziplocks you purchase but also they help in the quest to go “green.” :-)
4. Lunchboxes of cuteness! Found these on Amazon and just had to share! I think I might ask for one for Christmas!
Since this is the last day of Lunchbox BONANZA and I love helping Mommies build happy homes and happy lunchboxes, I thought I’d do a GIVEAWAY!
I just happened to pick up an extra set of 550 glittery smiley face stickers when I was at Target the other day! If you’d like to win a set to add some magic to your child’s lunchbox, leave a comment on my blog (see below) with your name and email address! Giveaway ends on Sunday at midnight!! Winners will be notified by email!
Happy Lunchbox Bonanza-ing! :-)