3 R's reusable lunch bagWe know school lunches have been the butt of jokes since the invention of “mystery meat.” But, if watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution taught us anything, it is that what our kids eat at lunchtime can get better with the effort and cooperation of schools and parents. And since National School Lunch Week is just wrapping up, I thought it a perfect time to keep the discussion going with a few things we can do.
For those of us whose kids eat a school-provided lunch, we can do our part by lobbying for healthier school lunches, eliminating unnecessary sugar and franken-sweeteners like HFCS, and questioning whether or not french fries is considered a vegetable in our district.
And for those of us who pack our children’s lunches, of course fresh cut fruits and veggies are always the best. But in reality, ready-made snacks are going to play a part of your kids’ lunches. So we’ve rounded up just a few of our favorite snacks to help make it a little easier to find better-for-you options that our kids will actually eat. -Christina

GoPicnic Lunches

GoPicnic’s complete meals-in-a-box are perfect for those days when even slapping a PB&J together is too much of an effort. With no trans fat, no artificial flavors or colors and loads of healthy proteins and grains, it’s a guilt-free option when we need a ready-to-go meal.

Funky Monkey Snacks

If your little scholar complains that there’s no time to peel an orange or eat that entire apple in those precious few lunchtime minutes, throw a pack of Funky Monkey dehydrated fruit snacks in their lunch bag. Delicious and quick without added sugar.

Chobani Champions
Chobani Champions kids’ yogurt is super thick and creamy and comes in kid-approved flavors like Very Berry. Stick it in the lunch sack with a cool pack for a treat besides cookies.

GoGo Squeez
No spoon needed for GoGo Squeez’s resealable applesauce or the fruit and veggie blends from Ella’s Kitchen that even big kids like. Plus, our kids have fun trying to see how much they can squeeze into their mouth.
Justin's Organic Nut Butters

If it’s allowed in your classroom, we’re all big fans of Justin’s Organic Nut Butters, which comes in peanut, almond and hazelnut varieties, and some sweetened with maple or honey. It’s a great way to pack in some protein for a midday snack.

Organic Popalongs

Organic Popalongs are not health food, but make a healthier alternative to all those salty fried chips, plus they come from the wonderful Revolution Foods. We wouldn’t put them in every lunch, just as a special treat. (And uh, we need to keep some home too. Hey, mama’s got to eat.)

[lunch sac via print*pattern*paper; h/t to reader jenna for the tip!]