My family is on the road to eating clean. I always say that we are “in process” or “on the road to” rather than declaring that we 100% do something because as soon as I declare that we’ve arrived at that place we strive for, I can feel the itch to fall off the bandwagon. We try to keep things realistic around here, and don’t set the bar too high. I’m going to cave every once in a while and buy the Double Stuf Oreos. And then I’ll do my best to not eat half the bag in one night, and stick to healthier choices for the most part.
I see packing school lunches as a very easy way to fall off the clean eating bandwagon in a major way. Most pre-packaged foods are full of additives, preservatives, enriched grains and high fructose corn syrup. Making everything from scratch every day isn’t realistic for us, so relying on packaged products, at least to some extent, is going to need to happen. Fortunately, there are some TERRIFIC options out there that can help you put together kick-butt lunches for your kids without having to yield to the nutritionally devoid stuff that fills most of the middle aisles in grocery stores.
NatureBox is one such company that I recently discovered, and that I highly recommend. NatureBox is a curated collection of carefully sourced and nutritionist-approved foods that make for some seriously yummy snacking. Everything is free of artifical sweeteners, colors and flavors.
When you are a NatureBox member, you are sent 5 different snacks in a box each month. You can choose your own snacks from a list of over 100 options (check out the snack catalog!), or you can let NatureBox surprise you, which could be a really fun way to try something new. As much as I love surprises, I also appreciate that I can pick and choose, as Darah’s school requests nut-free lunch offerings for all the kids due to the severity of nut allergies in the classroom.
4 Tips for Easier, Healthier School Lunches
Here are some strategies I’m using to help me get the school lunches made faster and to increase the odds that my child will actually eat what I send!
1. Keep the lunch snack bin full. I’ve got box in my pantry that is exclusively for school lunch snacks. I try to add something to it every time I shop for groceries, but I also love knowing that NatureBox can deliver to my house every month to help me stay stocked up on quality options that are healthier choices, but still feel like special treats.
2. Sneak in some superfoods. I’m not really a big fan of “tricking” my kids into eating healthy foods. I want them to understand that giving your body good fuel is something that we need to do to be our best selves. But sometimes you just have to get your kids to try something that they think they won’t like by trying it in a different way (for example, adding pumpkin to a bagel spread, or having lentil chips). Look for opportunities to present great choices in unique ways so that your kids will realize that they really like the good stuff, after all!
3. Rethink the sweet treats. I have a HUGE sweet tooth. It turned out to be my Achilles heel as I tried the whole Paleo diet thing (which I loved in pretty much every other aspect!). So I’m not really one to give my kid a banana and call it dessert. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t offer them better choices that are free of HFCS and food dyes. NatureBox has some great offerings in this department, and they make it easy for me to have some good choices, even when my options still seem a bit limited at my local grocery store.
4. Give fruit a new look. For my child, at this point sending in an entire piece of fruit is overkill. She won’t eat the whole thing even if she likes it, and in many cases, she won’t even make the attempt (apple = entirely too much effort, in her opinion). So I make it a point to have fruit for her, but to have it presented in a more interesting (and more serving-size appropriate) way. Examples include fruit squeeze pouches (her very favorite!) and dried fruit so she can get a lot of nutrition packed into just a handful of bites. We’ve all been munching on the NatureBox dried pears. They are super yum!
Ready to try NatureBox and make school lunch packing a bit easier? Click here to get 50% off your first month’s NatureBox delivery! ($10 value) using promo code: SNACKTOSCHOOL. The same code can also be used for $10 off your first box if you are signing up for a prepaid subscription (such as the 6 month plan or the 12 month plan). The price for the boxes, not including the promo code, is as follows:
- 1 month: $20/box
- 6 months: $17.95/box
- 12 months: $15.95/box
Each box contains 5 packages containing 15-20 servings and weighing 2-3 pounds! In addition, with every box sold, NatureBox donates 1 meal to FeedingAmerica to help with the very real problem of hunger that affects millions of people right here at home.
Do you have any tips for keeping lunches healthy AND easy? And have you tried NatureBox yet? As someone mulling over the 12 month subscription, I’d love to hear about your experience!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.