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Healthy School Lunch Swaps

School is back in full swing, and that means parents are back to planning school lunches. Unfortunately, many of the pre-packaged options available are packed with harmful ingredients. This year, try some of these healthier swaps that share their favorite flavors, but will be more nourishing for your little one.

Instead of This: Lunchables Ham & American Cracker Stacks
Pack This: Ham & Cheese Roll Ups

simple-fresh-lunch-1024x834Skip the store-bought boxed lunch packed with processed ingredients and opt for your own packed lunch that includes nitrate-free ham, hormone-free cheese, and gluten free pretzel crackers. You can also make a healthy swap by subbing the capri sun and candy bar for organic fruits and veggies.

Recipe: http://ipacklunch.com/2013/08/

Instead of This: Cafeteria Pizza
Pack This: Homemade Tortilla Pizza

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 10.24.18 AMSwap out the cafeteria pizza for a homemade tortilla so that you can control the ingredients going into your child’s body. Make a healthy tortilla pizza with a sprouted grain tortilla, real cheese, and tomato sauce that’s not packed with added sugar. Then add all of their favorite toppings, or leave it plain for a pizza that will be nourishing and full of flavor!

Recipe: http://www.momables.com/easy-tortilla-pizzas/

Instead of This: UNCRUSTABLES® PEANUT BUTTER & GRAPE JELLY
Pack This: Homemade AB&J on Sprouted Grain Bread

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 10.27.20 AMAlthough the classic PB&J is typically packed with highly processed ingredients and loaded with added sugar, this alternative features a healthier line-up and is just as (if not more) tasty. Trade out your traditional white bread for a sprouted grain alternative (like ezekiel bread), layer raw almond butter and no-sugar-added strawberry jam (or better yet, fresh strawberries!) and you’ve got yourself a revamped version of this lunchtime favorite.

Recipe: http://yumuniverse.com/ezekiel-toast-with-almond-butter-and-strawberries/

Instead of This: Lunchables Nachos, Cheese Dip + Salsa
Pack This: Homemade Nacho Lunch

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 10.28.16 AMIt may be hard to believe that any form of nachos could represent a nutritious lunch, however with the right choices you can give your kids a lunch that is fun and, most importantly, healthy at the same time. Steer clear of the prepackaged nacho lunch with fake cheese, a sugar-packed “fruit drink,” and a candy bar. Instead, make your own easy lunch with refried beans (lard free), salsa, and homemade (real!) cheese dip, as well as chips and fresh cut fruit.

Recipe: http://www.momables.com/lunchbox-wars-nachos/

By making these healthy swaps, your kids can continue to enjoy their favorite lunchtime meals with the added benefit of real food nutrition.