7 mins read

Eco and Health Friendly Meal Options

Going and soon to be gone are the days of brown and plastic bags that we have used to pack our kids lunches in. Fantastic eco friendly companies with innovative fashionable products are now hitting the market for us eco friendly parents! Some American schools are now enforcing or highly suggesting that lunches be packed in eco friendly containers. I think it is a great idea and a great direction that eventually most schools will follow.

Check out these Eco Friendly Lunch Buckets

Snack Taxi- offering reusable bags for snacks and sandwiches replacing the throw away plastic bags. There sandwich bags are priced around $8.95, and offer unlimited use. You will end up saving money in the long run with this eco friendly option. LaptopLunches – offering a different approach of wasting less and spending less with their unique boxed offering, similar to the boxed lunch you would get at a Japanese restaurant. Sustainable, reusable and dishwasher safe. These LaptopLunches offer great eco lunch containers that are phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), and lead free. Eco Bags – Older kids and maybe you too may want a simple sack and Eco Bags offers many options. I love their simple white, recycled organic cotton one for $6.99.

Supplementation for Kids

If you have kids going through a phase where they are not eating balanced meals, or skipping meals you can give them a daily supplement. Many practitioners believe that much of the earth’s soil is so deficient in nutrients that even if we ate the perfect organic diet, we would not receive the right balance nutritionally to sustain optimal health, so you may want to supplement yourself too. Use whole food supplements that do not contain colorings, sugars or artificial flavors and that don’t have a long list of other ingredients. A good label may also boast that it does not contain gluten, yeast, egg, dairy etc. and is very important for those people who may have allergies to certain ingredients. Supplement vendors make it simple for us to get the right dose for age by placing guidelines on the label. Add in an essential fatty acid supplement for kids. Little children need good fats for brain and nervous system development and we all need good fats for a healthy heart. If your kids are not getting these fats from avocados, olives, eggs or sea food like wild salmon, you should be supplementing them. Kid friendly fats come in capsules, or natural flavored liquids. For smaller kids, you can mix the dose right in a bowel of oatmeal, soup, and smoothie or yogurt snack. For older kids, capsules are better, especially if they don’t like the fish taste. Teenagers can start to make their own salad dressing using a good raw fat, mixed with spices, herbs and vinegar. Just keep the fat raw, once it is heated, the fat is no longer useful for health. So many low fat products are out on the food market today and are probably not right for your family. Low fat products were created for people who need weight loss, but when the low fat revolution hit America, people got fatter. Good fats help us feel satisfied and are an important part of a balanced diet.

Balancing it All Out One Step At A Time

It can all get overwhelming, but remember no one is perfect; we can only do our best and then try to get better from that point onward.

Try to Eat Organic

At least with the foods your kids favor. If you child loves and eats a lot of apples, buy them organic. The foods that have the most pesticides used on them should be eaten organic. Every year The Daily Green releases the most current top pesticide list. If you are on a budget, get just the top pesticide list organic. Even fast food can be organic and nutritious. If you have limited time, you can choose to purchase from companies that offer organic canned, frozen or faster types of foods.

Drink Plenty of Water

Talk to your kids about drinking water at school and ensure they drink it at home too. Around 90% of nighttime hunger can be dealt with by drinking a glass of water.

Avoid Nightime Eating

Such a hard habit to break once started. Offer good tasting herbal teas or healthy vegetable snacks if your kids need a night time snack.

Healthy Fats

Feed your family unsaturated fats. Found in plant foods, fish, olive oil, olives, albacore tuna and salmon. Avoid Saturated and Trans fats, which raise the bad cholesterol and can lead to heart disease.

Feed Your Kids The Color of the Rainbow

Eating a variety of colored vegetables is important and offers many different nutrient values.

Skip the Fake Food Stuff

Avoid artificial colors. Avoid artificial flavors. Avoid additives. Eliminate Genetically Modified Foods or GMO foods by choosing organic. This is especially important when using boxed, canned and frozen goods. Some of the top foods that are now GMO are soy, corn, Hawaiian papaya, cotton oil, some tomatoes and potatoes, some canola oil, some sugar and some rice.

Go for the Real Sugar

Avoid refined sugars. Avoid high fructose corn syrup. Try sweetening with Stevia. Try sweetening with Sugar in the Raw (brown sugar). Cut juice with water, never serve 100% juice. Create healthy baked goods at home. Keep healthy snacks in the pantry.

Go for Whole Grains

Replace refined flour with whole grains.

Avoid Nitrates and Nitrite Meats

When choosing lunch meats, links, hotdogs or bacon, look for Nitrate and Nitrite Free labels.

Offer a Healthy Protein with each Meal

This practice helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Remember, we need the protein; it does not have to come from animal meat.

Teach Your Kids to Choose Healthy Foods

If you are going to allow your kids to partake in the schools lunch program use the time when at restaurants to teach your kids how to make good food choices. If you show them and explain why, they will listen.

Risk Factors

The Center for Disease Control has noted that as of all the infants born from the year 2000 onward, 1 out of 3 will become diabetic in their lifetime. Type II diabetes use to be called Adult Onset, in the future we may need to change this to Poor Dietary Onset.

About the Author

Renay Matthews, CSN, D.A.Hom is a certified nutritionist, practitioner of homeopathy, and holistic health practitioner.

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