Monday, September 13, 2010

Laurie's Lunch Tips

It’s back to school time, so it is time to get life back on track.
Even if you don’t have kids, or have kids who don’t go to school, doesn’t September always feel like more of a New Year than January? There have been a lot of articles lately on how to make a lunch that is interesting and nutritious for kids. I would like you to think about your lunch as well. What have you been having for lunch lately? If you go to work every day are you making good choices? If you are at home, are you actually eating lunch?

I find that most people want to buy processed foods for lunch. It seems a bit easier to cook up some chicken, veggies and grains for dinner, but if you don’t want leftovers what do you grab for lunch and snacks?

Here are my top 5 processed food choices to have in your lunch bag this fall.
Natural Selections Meats – These cold cuts from Maple Leaf Foods are good. I must admit I was doubtful, but looking at the ingredient list (Turkey, water, sea salt, vinegar, potato starch, lemon juice concentrate, cane sugar, cultured celery extract, spice, smoke) shows that it’s a pretty good choice for cold cuts. Without any preservatives like nitrites or nitrates, you can make a sandwich in good conscience. You can get these meats pre-packaged, or ask at your deli counter where they will slice them how you like it.

Cracker Barrel Cheese – This cheese is apparently made from milk with no antibiotics, no artificial preservatives and no artificial growth hormones. A little pricier than the other cheese, it is still a little cheaper than Organic cheese. Ideally it would be best to choose an organic cheese, but the cost of organic cheese is unfortunately often prohibitive for families.

Liberte Organic Yogurt – I wrote about yogurt on my blog and there you will find that my favourite brand is Organic Meadow plain yogurt. However, if you like to buy yogurt in a container, I recommend Liberte. It is made with organic milk and they do not add fillers like gelatin.
Sun-Rype Fruit Source Plus Veggie – This is a great snack to carry in your bag. There are many fruit leathers and bars coming onto the market now, but I find that they often contain glucose as well as glazing agents (because we want them to be shiny). The Sun-Rype brand is basic, pureed fruit, fruit and vegetable juices. Eating these with a handful of nuts makes a complete snack, but don’t think these will make up your vegetable content for the day, you still need our veggies.

Baby Carrots and Cherry or Grape Tomatoes – Okay, so they aren’t really processed, but these are great snacks that can be easily be packed into a baggie or small container. They are veggies and kids like them because they are cute! Also to consider packing, green beans, mini cucumbers and slices of red or orange peppers. Are you wondering how Baby Carrots have come to be? We sure didn’t have them when we were kids; click here to learn the True Story of Baby Carrots.

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