I’ve been trying to minimize the stuff we buy for going back-to-school. We are about to get hit up for money at every turn. I can’t put off buying school supplies any longer. I’ve found that a few things we have are re-useable. School boxes, scissors, pencil cases. Our backpacks are in good shape but both kids need new lunch boxes. I’ve ordered a couple from llbean.com.
Last year I was packing a lunch similar to the one above: a sandwich, clementines or strawberries, prepackaged apple sauce, prepackaged yogurt tubes, chocolate milk. The convenience foods were killing us with their added sugar. I’m not anti-sugar but I worry my kids were getting too much during their school day. It seems like it’s in everything my kids like to eat!
Onlely 17% consume 3 or more servings of vegetables.
Only 14% consume 2 or more servings of fruit.
- according to the USDA
Our elementary school also asks kids to bring a snack – such a good idea. Snack time is during recess so it needs to be something they can consume quickly and throw away any packaging. A family favorite has been granola bars or goldfish. I am so happy to learn Quaker Chocolate Chip granola bars do not contain high fructose corn syrup. Hooray! Anyway I’ll be working on improving our snacks too. I’m hoping that we’ve sorta detoxed over the summer. Monkeyboy will eat a banana, provided it doesn’t get bruised between home and the playground.
I’ve had a hard time trying to find out how much added sugar is OK because there is not recommended daily allowance for sugar.
The American Heart Association “recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily discretionary calories allowance. For most American women, that’s no more than 100 calories per day, or about 6 teaspoons of sugar (25g). For men, it’s 150 calories per day, or about 9 teaspoons (37g).”
Here is a little math for you.
It seems my kids daily caloric intake should be about 1600 calories a day with about 120 of those calories being ‘empty calories’. I think I got that empty calories bit from the USDA website but it’s not at all clear. There are 4 calories in a gram of sugar.
is the maximum amount of sugar a child age 7-9 should consume in a day.
So I’m getting on the Bento Box bandwagon. Our new lunchboxes seem large enough to hold a number of different Bento Box systems (9.5″ x 7″ x 3.75″). I’m hoping to increase our fresh food consumption, cut down on our grocery bill and the amount of trash we generate as well.
I know this blog is all over the place but it’s how I live my life. Maybe you’re like me. Slow to get started and easily distracted. If so, follow along and we’ll do it together. To catch up resolve to lower your sugar intake, reduce your packaging, and buy a new lunchbox.
I also needed a place to save recipes and cute ideas for the lunch box. I actually have two Pinterest boards Cute Food and Bento Lunches I’ll Actually Make. Some folks are harder to link to, so I’ll just talk about them for inspiration and so I don’t forget.
Here are some yummy lunch ideas from Leopard Girl on Flickr. She is a big fan of wraps and simple fruits and vegetables as sides.
- Whole grain wrap with hummus, Trader Joe’s eggplant/garlic/pepper spread, grilled chicken, & grilled zuccini
- a cut up plum
- cucumber slices
- sugar snap peas
- Turkey meatballs (again from Trader Joe’s)
- a cut up plum
- cucumber slices (with salt and pepper this time)
- super cute stuffed tiny tomatoes
All righty then! I’m going to use the small containers I already have on hand for starters. I’m looking at buying some Bento Buddies to make things easier on me. If I have at least two sets of everything then I can run one set through the dishwasher while I pack lunch in the other. It is also my goal to pack lunches the night before. Something I haven’t done before because a soggy or stale sandwich is just too sad. If I make something especially cool, I’ll post a photo. Check the Pinterest Boards for the newest links.
“Make the most of yourself….for that is all there is of you.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson