Posted Under: Kids Cooking - Get Quick and Easy Kids Cooking Recipes at Captaincooksblog.com., Nutrition- Get Kids Cooking Ideas With Healthy and Nutritious Food at Captaincooksblog.com
We all know the state of our school lunch program….It’s disgraceful….Many districts would like us believe the food that they serve our children is healthy and nutritional because it follows federal and state guidelines and meets the RDA requirements for protein, calcium etc. But those guidelines are, well, misguided.
When you take a closer look, the food, if you could even call it that, it is just a processed mess of animal by-products, sugar, fat, salt and chemicals. School lunches “rely heavily on high-energy, low-nutrient value food, because its cheaper, says Dr Kim A. Eagle Director of the University of Michigan, Cardiovascular Center and author of a study on childhood obesity and school lunches. One third of our kids in this country are overweight or obese which puts them at risk of heart disease and diabetes. Lets break it down a bit……
A typical school lunch pre-frozen chicken nugget contains over 30 ingredients. This includes sugar, cheap corn products, trans fats, salt and nasty harmful chemicals, like TBHQ and sodium phosphates. A burger….yikes….dont get me started…I can’t even talk about the parts of the animal that may be in there….not to mention, what the animal was fed before it was slaughtered….A diet rich in genetically modified corn, perhaps….
The only fruits and vegetables on most school lunch menus are french fries, tater tots, CANNED fruit, frozen juice pops, and lettuce and tomatos which come on a burger?!….That’s craziness….Kids need fresh fruit and vegatables in their diet. When will Districts realize that FRENCH FRIES ARE NOT A VEGETABLE……and neither is ketchup for that matter.
The only alternative for parents concerned about feeding their kids healthy food is to pack a lunch. Here’s a list of my favorite things to make for my kids. I usually make all of these items from scratch, ie tortillas, pizza dough, quiche crust etc. This ensures that my kids are getting the best wholesome ingredients free from harmful additives, preservatives and chemicals. If I dont have time, I find a brand that uses minimal processing and no preservatives. Try to buy organic whenever possible. Always buy chicken that is organic and buy ground beef that is organic AND grass fed. Deli meats are usually highly processed so use leftovers from dinner the night before for sandwich meats instead. Some of these ideas have recipes on my RECIPE page or just look them up on the internet.
25 HEALTHY SCHOOL LUNCHES IDEAS
Chicken wraps with apricot preserves and brie, Apple and cheddar quesadillas, Homemade mini pizzas, Chicken salad with yogurt, curry powder and grapes, Panninis-any kind, Mini spinach and cheese quiches, Corn and potato frittatas, Baked rice balls, Baked macaroni and cheese balls, Veggie sushi rolls- sushi rice with sliced cucumber and carrots rolled in Nori, Mini corn dogs (use Trader Joes preservative free cocktail weiners and homemade corn bread batter) Grilled cheese and tomato sandwich, Asain Beef and rice wraps, Chicken or beef pita sandwiches with feta, tomato and cuke, Homemade granola bars, Date nut bars with coconut, Apples and peanut butter, Fresh fruit and yogurt, Hummus and veggies, Cheese and crackers, Hard boiled eggs, Shrimp cocktail, Homemade Soup: clam chowder, chicken noodle or tomato soup.