L.Y. asks from Sheffield Lake, OH on February 02, 2008
Help Packing School Lunch
I am trying to cut out as much dye and preservatives in my daughter's diet as possible. I am my no means a health nut but I am trying to figure out allergies. I know she has reactions to the "sugar free" products so we are starting by cutting out as much as possible and reintroducing things slowly. I have gone back to packing her lunch for school so I know what she is eating but find myself packing the same things each day. She loves food and will eat just about anything I give her so that's not an issue but she is only two and half so she really doesn't eat much of a sandwich I pack her unless she takes it all apart. They also don't really have a way to heat up food for her but will refrigerate. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! Thanks!
A.H. answers from Toledo on February 02, 2008
Little about me: I am a sahm of 4. Oldest is 5 1/2 with food allergies. I homeschool my daughter for kindergarten.
My best advice is to serve as many fresh unprocessed fruits and veggies as possible. My daughter has allergies to pork, citrus, and wheat. I serve alot of turkey, turkey bacon, and turkey ham. Carrots ,grapes, bananas and applesauce are some of her favorites. At home I try hard to use all fresh ingredients and as little as possible out of a package or box. Hope this is of some help.
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L.R. answers from Cleveland on February 03, 2008
strips of chicken or turkey breast from a meal at home, cheese sticks or cheese of choice cut into small bite size squares, retular or stick pretzels, peanutbutter roll ups (flour tortilla spread with thin coat of peanut butter or other nut butter and rolled) you can use only half a tortilla also for this or cut the roll in thirds and only send what she will eat. Carrot sticks (regular carrots cut in thin strips) small Tuna sandwiches cut in child size strips or shapes. Apple or pear slices or other fresh fruit cut in finger size portions. Most any small crackers like the little fish ones. These have worked well for my grandchildren and pack the night before with a juice or milk container and refrigerate ready to take with you the next day. Our daughter in love sometimes packed two days in advance if she had meetings of an evening that week.
J.N. answers from Cleveland on February 02, 2008
I am a single mother of a 6 year old who has cancer and a 4 year old who is fructose and lactose intolerant. I have been slowly switching to organic food but with my youngest I have had to do this instantly. So I pack lunches for my oldest everyday (they do not have school lunch) and also for my youngest for snack at preschool. First, I buy organic mac and cheese and get a thurmus and you can put that it there, I also do organic soups, spaghetti etc that you can buy at Giant Eagle and they both love it. I also buy some snacks at Trader Joes or Whole foods and even Giant Eagle like cheese and crackers, fruit roll ups (not the roll ups we know of), soy chips, health valley cookies (they are wonderful). If you get fruits and veggies get organic because they are free from pesticides and hormones. Also buy organic milk they do not have the antiobiotics, pesticides and hormones that are causing some awful things to our kids. I hope I helped, I can tell you more if you would like.
A.N. answers from Cincinnati on February 03, 2008
This is a learning process. As time goes on you'll think of things and other people with older kids will have suggestions. I bought an apple corer and slicer. I use that and then squirt lemon juice over the slices, then I run a little water quickly over them. The slices won't turn brown!At age 9 my son still dosn't eat a big lunch so I pack half for him and half for me. Since you are worried about the preservatives and dye you will probably need to buy organic apples. Biggs in our area has a bag that is not any more expensive than the bags of non-organic apples. There is a great website Environmental Working Group.Com that has a list of fruits and veges and shows which ones have the highest amount of pesticides used. I pack my son half a peanut butter sandwich, organic cheese crackers, organic fruit roll ups.
D.W. answers from Cincinnati on February 04, 2008
Hi, L.. Good for you that you care this much about the health of your child. DEFINITELY NO ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS! They are BAD for EVERYONE. It is difficult to find things without sugar, artificial sweeteners, and corn syrup (another possible allergen) which is commonly found in everything including bread. Kids like things in pieces, which is why your daughter is taking apart her sandwich and why these little snack containers that separate the cheese and crackers are popular (not that the food is extraordinary). Try the idea of putting things separately in a fun way, maybe a segmented container or several with (colored?) lids. In them could be any number of sliced or diced goodies: cheese, fruit,berries, veggies (could include a dip), chunks of GOOD bread-a challenge to find- read the ingredients-try local baked gourmet breads-Sprouted bread (usually refrigerated) is the best. Our local IGA carries it. Also, mini sandwiches with nutbutter (peanut, almond, cashew, etc.). banana, honey-just bite size is less of a mess and FUN for them. My daughter likes plain mayonnaise on (good) bread with the crust cut off, sometimes with a tomato in it. There's much you can do with this idea. Think bitesize, colorful, and fun as well as healthy and I think you'll both enjoy it. Shalom
A.H. answers from Cincinnati on February 03, 2008
There are lots of healthy recipes out there for things like muffins and bars taht you could make. For example,i have recipes for carrot/apple/raisin muffins and apple "breakfast" bars that my 19 month old loves for lunch. Pack with a cheese stick and maybe some lunch meat slices and it's a really healthy lunch. I don't have the recipes in front of me now but I found them on the internet. If you can't find them, I'd be happy to send them to you. You could also send an avocado if the school is willing to cut it up for her. Or how about veggies and some kind of dip? Hope this helps!!
E.D. answers from Louisville on February 03, 2008
You might want to invest in a container that will keep food hot-I have found some around $5-8 that look like little barrels. Just be sure to tell the teachers so they don't put it in the fridge. That should help improve variety-you can send hot stuff. You might also try cutting the sandwich into cool shapes with cookie cutters. My son didn't care for a regular sandwich, but when I asked him if he likes and ate the stars and hearts, his response was "well, yeah" like I was stupid for even asking. I also pack baggies of dry cereal instead of chips or crackers every now and then. One other hint-when I buy a big bag of something to be used for lunches I separate it into smaller baggies when I open the big bag. It makes the food not get stale and also easier to pack when you just need to grab a bag of this or that. Good luck!!!