Lunchbox Makeover

It's back to school and time to get creative in making kid's lunches appetizing and healthy.

In the movie,"My Big Fat Greek Wedding," Nia recalls the torture of pulling her Greek mousaka from her lunchbox while the girls around her called it  "Moose Caca" and laughed. She dreamed of eating a sandwich on white bread like the other girls. At this point in time, most people already know there's not much nutritional value in white bread and you might be one of the moms constantly working on a "Lunchbox Makeover," a lunch that's appealing to your child as well as healthy.

First Lady, Michelle Obama, challenges Americans to become educated and act in regards to  the epidemic of childhood obesity in the U.S., stating that one out of every three children is considered overweight or obese. Gathering information about what a healthy meal looks like is the easy part, but getting a picky eater to down  a healthy meal is sometimes a little trickier. Thankfully, there are some stealth moms that have taken action. Jessica Seinfeld, author of Deceptively Delicious and Missy Chase Lapine , The Sneaky Chef, make no bones about lacing lasagna with hidden veggies or serving delightfully pink pancakes with hidden beet puree.

Registered dietitian, Karah Sanchez, gives some suggestions for packing school lunches.

  • Make sure your child's meal is balanced with foods from different food groups. Try picking out a whole grain, a dairy, a vegetable, a fruit, and a protein for each lunch.  Add a  light cheese stick or nut butter for dipping apple slices or for spreading on rice cakes.
  • Yogurt is great source of protein and calcium, but stick to light or reduced fat and stay clear of yogurts high in added sugars.
  • Try changing up the carb in the lunch; try experimenting with wraps, tortillas, flat bread, rolls, instead of just the standard sandwich bread. When picking out grain products, turn the label over and look for the ingredients list. The word “whole” needs to be present in front of the grain, preferably as the first ingredient (i.e. whole wheat flour).
  • Instead of packing 100% juice, pack fruit (instead of OJ, pack an orange instead) It will provide added fiber for your child. Pack flavored water or reduced fat milk as the beverage, and keep in mind that fruit drinks are loaded with added sugars.

Most importantly, "don't give up" if your child rejects your attempts to lead her down the healthy path of nutrition. Keep trying and follow the footsteps of stealth moms that have gone before you.

We raised three picky eaters. Lord knows there are lots of things I'd do differently, but thankfully, they all eat vegetables now. One of them even has the letters R.D. after her name... registered dietitian.

I found a couple of videos of those moms sneaking healthy foods into something kids like....amazing!