I’m proud to be a contributing writer for ChatterBlock.com, a free social media web resource for parents. Finally! A one-stop-shop for finding local programs, drop-in schedules, and child-friendly events!
With plans to expand to more cities around North America, ChatterBlock is currently offered in California’s Bay Area as well as Victoria, British Columbia.
This month, I share tips in ChatterBlock’s Back to School Guide on how to pack a school lunch that doesn’t compromise on nutrition or fun! Packing a lunch for work? Read on! These tips apply to grown-ups, too!
How To Pack a Fun and Healthy School Lunch
By Natasha Kay
After teaching Kindergarten PE classes at my boys’ school, I would often walk past the Kinder lunch tables on my way out. I’ll never forget that first day, peeking over the shoulders of each child to see the contents of their lunchbox. With it being my first year as a parent with school-age children, I wanted to see where I measured up with what the other parents were packing.
As a health and fitness blogger and someone who “walks the walk”, I know that my expectation of what constitutes a healthy diet is above average. But even still, seeing these children’s lunches made me feel like some kind of health- nut alien from an alternate universe. I stood horrified as I took in all the sugary, processed, and “food-like” products in front of them.
Dessert puddings void of any real nutrients, granola bars jam-packed with refined sugars,“fruit” gummies chalk-full of chemical colorings (but no real fruit), juice boxes made with more High Fructose Corn Syrup than a bottle of soda, and despite the school district’s supposed “no-candy” rule, there were even a few chocolate bars.As a small boy tapped me on the arm, I snapped out of my horrified deer-in-the-headlights state to find the proverbial icing on the cake — he was asking me to open his Pixy Stix! I mean, an honest-to-goodness paper straw full of nothing but straight-up chemically-flavored sugar! I thought for sure I was about to get PUNK’D but sadly, Ashton did not appear, and what I discovered week after week was that this was just another day at the school yard lunch tables.
How can a health-conscious parent compete with sugar-filled dessert lunches? How do we send our kids with healthy and nutritious food that will help them grow, think, develop and thrive when their peers are scarfing down candy in between classes?