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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Build A Better Lunch

Continuing our back to school theme, let's talk about building a better lunch.  What you eat for lunch can make or break your diet.  If you are grabbing fast food with your co-workers or letting your children eat what passes for a nutritious lunch in the school cafeteria, you are neglecting your health and that of your children.  Eating those types of lunches should only happen occasionally.  Don't tell me you don't have time to prepare lunch in the morning, get organized.  Yes, your kids can help with their own lunch if you provide some good choices. 

Tuesday's blog provided a few ideas that work for lunch or snacks but let's think about sandwiches.  There is nothing wrong with a good old peanut butter sandwich for lunch for kids or adults.  I love peanut butter; just pick a brand with the least sugar, salt and other additives.  Use whole wheat bread and then get creative with toppings.  You can just use your favorite jam but you could add sliced bananas as well or a sprinkle of raisins or other dried fruit.

Many times we stick with just meat and cheese on our sandwiches which is pretty boring after awhile.  Try using a different bread such as rye or adding some roasted red pepper (buy the jarred kind) to your sandwich.  I recently tried the "living" lettuce which still has the roots attached.  It stays fresher longer and is easier to break off the leaves than the iceberg lettuce.  You could also add thin slices of cucumber to your sandwich for some crunch.  I have even been known to add a couple of slices of bacon to a sandwich. 

I mostly buy whole wheat bread but for variety, I often get the new super thin bagels or the thin buns some of the bread companies have come out with.  Experiment with different condiments too but use less of the fatty ones like mayo.  I like cranberry sauce on turkey with Havarti cheese.  I really like avocado and red onion on turkey but it's hard to keep avocado from turning brown.  Kids find it fun to use two different kinds of bread or ham and turkey together.

For sides, grab that fruit or some yogurt.  Skip the chips and cookies.  And PLEASE don't give your kids a soda for lunch.  You don't need one either; drink tea or water.  Even if you and your kids don't take lunch every day, try to do it 2 or 3 times a week.  It will really help.  The weekend is approaching so use it to plan next week's lunches.          

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