“With a rise in childhood obesity and diabetes, it is more important than ever for parents to provide healthy food for their children and to model good eating. One way to instill good habits is by providing healthy, nutritious lunches for children to take to school.”
So begins an article containing a listicle of things you should never pack in your kid’s lunch. Of the 15 items, four are obvious (candy bars, energy drinks, sports drinks, soda) and 11 will have you thinking “What… I don’t…Where do I go from here?”
The following things should not make their way into your kid’s lunchbox, apparently…
“The next time you look at a box of fruit snacks, look at the ingredients list. The first ingredient is usually fruit concentrate, not actual fruit.” No kidding. I’m busy, not stupid.
It’s not a piece of fruit. I get that. It’s also not a Skittle, so “A” for effort as far as I’m concerned.
“But these pre-packaged meals are overly processed and have little nutritional value. They also contain saturated fats, sodium, and preservatives. Not great things to be feeding your growing child!”
Deli Meat Sandwiches
“Many parents pack deli meat sandwiches without thinking what is in that meat. Processed meats include lots of chemicals like nitrates and added sodium.”
Duh. Just bake a whole turkey every week and slice that shit up, you lazy freak. I’m not kidding. That’s actually what this list suggests you do. HAHAHAHAHA.
“If your kids become used to eating junk food as a child, they will likely continue eating junk as they get older.”
I don’t pack these in my kid’s lunch, but not because I don’t let them eat them occasionally — just because I don’t want to be judged. #truth
Drink Pouches And Juice Boxes
“You are essentially giving your child flavored, watered-down high fructose corn syrup to drink for lunch.”
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
“Choose peanut butter that is just made up of nuts and a little salt. Instead of jelly, use thin slices of fruits like bananas, strawberries, or sliced apples.”
Oh sure. Spread some chunky health store peanut butter with some apple slices on wheat crackers and slip that into your picky 6-year-old’s lunch box. That should work. They won’t even notice the difference.
“Yogurt is a huge source of hidden sugar for kids and adults. Pack plain or lightly sweetened yogurt and include some fruit for your kids to mix into it.”
Ugh, can’t we have anything? Well, they better start shoving unsweetened Greek yogurt into a plastic sleeve with Spongebob on it, STAT. That’s the only way my kid would eat it.
“Granola bars are really just dressed up junk food. You can make your own granola bars at home and cut down on the amount of sugar you add in.”
GRANOLA BARS? GRANOLA BARS? Now I have to feel guilty about giving my kid a granola bar? Nope. I refuse.
When it comes to school lunches, we’re damned if we do, damned if we don’t. We can follow the following directions and just throw some raw, homemade granola in a bag with some unsweetened yogurt and an apple and pray our kids eat something. Or we can rely on the convenience that plenty of parents rely on and SHOULD NOT BE GUILTED ABOUT. Roast a whole turkey a week? Make my own granola bars? Sure, that’ll happen after I get to the list of things I’m already woefully behind on this week — i.e., never.