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Feb 21, 2015 BY Du La

Sneak a Peak Into a Naturopath's daughter's lunch box!

—  found in  Food  —

Note from Joy: Dr. La has two adorable girls and I know she's a healthy mama so I thought it would be fun to sneak a peak inside her kids' lunch boxes! She always includes a special surprise, something my mom did too :)

As a mother of a kindergarten student and a pre-schooler, I am familiar with the challenges of consistently providing healthy, packable lunch to a (somewhat) picky eater, with limited time.

The value of eating healthy food cannot be over-stated: healthy food; food that provides energy and nutrients, doesn’t “spike” blood-sugar levels, and is easily digested helps your child make the most of every day. It gives them energy without hyperactivity, it helps them concentrate without distraction by “jitters”, head- or tummy-aches or fatigue, and helps to keep their immune system strong.

Also, and very importantly, the vast majority of chronic illnesses are lifestyle-related. Developing a habit of eating, enjoying and valuing healthy food is a cornerstone of a healthy adult lifestyle.

I follow three guidelines when “assembling” school lunches:

  • Focus on fresh (as opposed to processed, packaged) foods
  • Focus on “proteins” and non-starchy vegetables and fruit
  • Avoid candy and sweets

Processed foods are inherently less healthy than fresh foods, because they contain added sugar, fat, salt, and preservatives. Continually eating processed foods also makes it more difficult get kids to eat fresh foods because their palates become habituated to the more “intense” flavours engineered into processed foods. A strawberry, which is naturally sweet, pales next to a Pop Tart, which is loaded with sugar.

I don’t include sweets as they have an affect on behaviour and to avoid creating a habit of casually eating unhealthy foods. Our diet at home is not without sweets, but we include them as “treats”, enjoyed at special meals, with friends or at celebrations, not because “it’s Tuesday and I just ate lunch”.

Something I do, not exactly in the place of sweets, but to make lunch a little “special” for Esmé, is to include a love note, so she has a pleasant surprise when she opens her lunch.

The lunches I make for Esmé are typically composed of:

  • Half “protein”: fish, chicken, beans, legumes; whatever is the left-over from the previous day’s dinner
  • Half non-starchy vegetable: the left-over from dinner, or something simple that your child is inclined to eat (e.g., celery sticks, pepper slices, chopped broccoli)
  • A fresh fruit as a snack (e.g., apple or pear slices, berries, pomegranate seeds kiwis)
  • A fresh vegetable as a snack (e.g., carrot sticks, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, peppers)
  • Water in her stainless steel water bottle
  • A love note I prepare the previous evening after the kids have gone to sleep

Packing home-made lunches does take time, but it is time invested, not “spent”. It helps optimize their success at school, supports the creation of a value system that includes a healthy lifestyle, and can potentially improve the bond between parent and child, letting them know that you are thinking of them during the day!

Feb 21, 2015 BY Du La
6 Comments
Vanessa   •   February 21, 2015

Great tips...and the kids really come to love fresh and healthy lunches! In terms of food storage for lunches...any ideas where I can get some safe storage options for kids?

Reply

Krishyl   •   February 23, 2015

hello! Reading your blog article brings back memories when I was an Elementary Homeroom Adviser. I really pity my pupils since most of them are eating processed foods for lunch. And I can't hardly imagine what good they can get in eating hotdogs, spam, sausage and nuggets. I really salute parents who really takes time in providing and preparing healthy food for their kiddos. That is why, now that I am a mother... I will make sure that everything I provide for my baby boy makes him good and healthy. Kudos! Keep on writing and posting inspiring articles. :)

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Mazino Oyolo Kigho   •   February 23, 2015

Parents especially mothers ought to read this articles. Kids need healthy snacks. A lot of junks is the reasons for child obesity.

Reply

Andrea   •   February 26, 2015

"time well spent" such a nice way to think of packing lunches and food preparation for all the loved ones in our lives (my spoiled dogs included!)

Reply

Jen   •   February 27, 2015

Joy, this was such a great piece and idea. It's like the healthy/fit girls version of what's in my bag! Du seems like the perfect person to have featured. Would love to see more of this. So insightful. As well, brought up great memories of when my mom would pack me lunches with notes and little forget-me-nots.

Reply

Vania   •   March 4, 2015

Hi, this is a great tips. All parents should do this, for their kids healthy..

Reply

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