Headed #BackToSchool? Build a Better Lunch Box With These Tips

Want to “healthify” your kids school lunch box? Packing a delicious, healthy lunch is actually easier than you think. I’ve got three different lunch box meals and some easy tips, plus great products to introduce you to!

(Disclosure: I work with the brands mentioned on the TV segment and this blog.)

Toddler’s Preschool Lunch Box

Give preschoolers a variety of foods they can easily hold – like eggs, hummus with veggies, a half sandwich on whole grain bread and fruits. I love to use canned carrots – all you do is drainScreen Shot 2016-08-29 at 12.17.50 PM, rinse, and add to the lunch box. My girls like them because they are easier to chew.

I also am a big fan of canned fruit, like pears and peaches – delicious choices for younger kids to enjoy.

The can seals in
nutrition, freshness, and flavor. Studies show that kids who eat canned foods get more servings of fruits and vegetables overall.

So go ahead and stock up and build a “cantry” in your pantry! You can also visit CansGetYouCooking.com for recipes.

Sandwich Lover’s Lunch Box

sabra spreadThis box is for our sandwich lovers — the next best thing for sliced bread. Sabra Spreads is a new line of fresh, hummus based spreads with flavors and texture to compliment your kids favorite sandwich.

Make a quick chicken salad with canned chicken (or leftovers) and the Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper spread, paired with crunchy romaine lettuce and sliced tomato.

Also try Garlic Herb (I like this with tuna fish or roasted veggie wrap) and Honey Mustard (pairs great with turkey or other lunch meats). I love this new way to enjoy hummus and “upgrade” the taste and flavor of sandwiches.

fairlife product

Pack More Protein and Calcium with fairlife 

Along with your sandwich, make sure to include milk – either 2% white or chocolate.

If you’re looking for higher protein, look for fairlife ultra-filtered milk because it has more protein and calcium than other milks.

One cup provides 13 grams of protein, 9 vitamins and minerals, and half the sugar of conventional milk. When they filter the milk, they are able to take out the lactose, and give you more protein and calcium.  So you don’t need to add a protein powder.

Chocolate milk is great for youth athletes after a practice or game – or as a treat with lunch, I know my girls love it.

Make Good Use of Leftovers

This last box is for busy parents – like me! Make good use of leftovers and “reimagine” your kids’ lunch. I turned turkey cheeseburgers into turkey burritos with “Farm to Family” by Butterball. This is a new line ofScreen Shot 2016-08-29 at 12.19.46 PM ground turkey with no antibiotics ever – American human certified, turkeys are fed an all vegetarian diet, based on whole grains – with no animal byproducts.

Just chop up leftover turkey burgers and roll into a tortilla with your favorite fillings. A simple trio of canned black beans, shredded carrots and lettuce and a little salsa will be very filling and flavorful.

Serve it up with a piece of fruit and milk.

What’s in Your Kids Lunch Box?

What will your kids be packing for lunch? Share your favorite tips and recipes that help get your family in the back-to-school groove in the comments below.

Like This Content?

Body Kindness with Rebecca Scritchfield, RDNIf you’re enjoying what I have to share, sign up for my e-mail. You’ll get a FREE full copy of my Feel Great Guide (while it’s still available) with plenty of useful ideas to fuel up your energy, health, and happiness. Plus you’ll be subscribed to my e-mail updates with exclusive tips and free resources you can’t get anywhere else. Double plus… you’ll be the FIRST to know all the updates about my upcoming book, Body Kindness.

You can also listen to my podcast, Body Kindness, which one listener said “It’s like free counseling with Rebecca!”

 

What “Food Fight”? Send the Kids Back to School Blissfully with These Menu Ideas

How do you make sure your kids are well-nourished for school and extra curriculars? Everyone is happier and healthier, if we can avoid the “food fight” at home. So I’m here to help!

My ideas focus on taste first – with easy, enjoyable ways to make it good for you too.

(Disclosure: I work with the brands mentioned on the TV segment and this blog.)

Make Breakfast Truly Fast

Mornings are busy so you want something you can do quickly and maybe even enjoy on-the-go. My favorite thing to do, especially when it’s still warm out is to put ingredients for your smoothie in a bowl or the blender the night before and refrigerate. Then it’s a 1-minute prep in the morning.

Try my High Protein Smoothie, it’s so simple! It’s made with two SunGold kiwifruit and 1 cup fairlife ultra filtered 2% Milk, plus 1 cup ice. Combine in a blender and enjoy!

fairlife productFairlife is a high protein milk that uses ultra-filtration to boost the natural protein and calcium found in milk. A cup of fairlife ultra-filtered milk contains 13 grams of protein and 6 grams of sugar – that’s half the sugar of other white milk. It’s a good source of 9 vitamins and minerals and contains no artificial hormones.  It is also lactose free. Besides smoothies, try fairlife with cereal or oatmeal. Also look for grab-and-go sizes that are great for your kids lunch box.  Need more recipe inspiration? Go to fairlife.com and get exciting food ideas.

Build a Better Lunch Box
Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit

Lunch is going to help them focus in the afternoon – you want to offer a variety of foods that offer good taste and nutrition. Pack Zespri kiwifruit – in season through October, available at Costco, Safeway, and Whole Foods. All you need to do is cut in half put it back together and send it in the lunch box, and your child scoops it with a spoon. Just cut, scoop, and enjoy!

ZES21653 Zespri Organic Range Compilation Option2 v2a_wThis variety is SunGold kiwifruit from New Zealand- they have a bright yellow flesh, a smooth hairless skin – a little different from the Green Kiwifruit which is more familiar to us.

Zespri® SunGold is sweeter than a green kiwifruit, it’s refreshing, and has a tropical-sweet taste.

A serving (2 kiwifruit) has three times more vitamin C than an orange and as much potassium as a banana. For a complete lunch box meal, add  a yogurt, chopped hard boiled eggs, and veggies and hummus.

chick jerkyGood Fuel for After School

Most kids will need some energy before dinner or to power through sports. If they won’t be home to enjoy a study snack, sSarah Anne Wardend them to school with more food they won’t eat over lunchtime.

Choose foods that don’t need refrigeration, come in convenient packaging, and pleases your kids’ palates.

Chef’s Cut Real Jerky is handcrafted jerky that uses top quality, real ingredients.

Created by an actual chef – Chef’s Cut is lower in sodium and fat than other jerky on the market – and is a great source of protein. Original Recipe Steak and Honey BBQ chicken are two of my favorites – and all Chef’s Cut flavors contain no nitrites and are gluten free.

Chef’s Cut makes steak, turkey, chicken and bacon jerky – a healthy, high-protein, low-fat snack – and it tastes amazing. Get it at chefscutrealjerky.com and locally at Harris Teeter, Wegman’s and WaWa.5 flavors on blue

For taste and convenience, I love the new PRESSED by KIND bars. KIND’s first-ever fruit bar is made with only fruit & chia or only fruit & veggies.  Every flavor has five ingredients or less with no added sugar and two full servings of fruit. (Yes, TWO servings of fruit per bar!)

Try any of their five flavors like mango apple chia, pineapple banana kale and spinach, and cherry apple chia.

These bars are dairy free, a good source of fiber and vegan – a first for KIND. Like all KIND products, Pressed is also gluten free.

For beverages, send them to school with a water bottle to refill. And for sports nutrition recovery,  try the individual containers of fairlife, especially the chocolate milk – it’s ideal refueling after sports and it doesn’t need refrigeration.

Beat “What’s for Dinner” Dilemma

Serve something delicious and easy to make that will prevent you from picking up the phone and ordering delivery. Who doesn’t love pizza?

You can do personal size or large to feed everyone – a nutrient filled dinner with very little cook and prep. I pulled it off by taking advantage of my pantry – which I nicknamed my “cantry” for all the canned foods options I keep on hand year-round.

main-greekCans seal in nutrition, freshness, and flavor – naturally. For the Greek pizza I used canned chicken, artichokes, mushrooms, and olives – plus pesto and prepared crust from the store.  Or try BBQ chicken with your favorite BBQ sauce, canned chicken and mozzarella.

Canned proteins, like canned chicken, make it so easy to prepare dinner on your busy weeknights – and it’s more affordable than takeout.

I also love stocking up on canned fruits, vegetables and beans like tomatoes, peaches, and black beans.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are harvested at their peak of ripeness and canned within hours, making the can one of the best ways to lock in nutrients and get food from its source to your family table.

Get this recipe and more at CansGetYouCooking.com

How do you get in the back-to-school groove?

What will your kids be packing for lunch? Share your favorite tips and recipes that help get your family in the back-to-school groove in the comments below.

Like This Content?

Body Kindness with Rebecca Scritchfield, RDNIf you’re enjoying what I have to share, sign up for my e-mail. You’ll get a FREE full copy of my Feel Great Guide (while it’s still available) with plenty of useful ideas to fuel up your energy, health, and happiness. Plus you’ll be subscribed to my e-mail updates with exclusive tips and free resources you can’t get anywhere else. Double plus… you’ll be the FIRST to know all the updates about my upcoming book, Body Kindness.

You can also listen to my podcast, Body Kindness, which one listener said “It’s like free counseling with Rebecca!” (I try, I try.)

 

Body Kindness Episode 11 – Finally Saying “I’m Sorry” To Your Body

Body Kindness with Rebecca Scritchfield, RDNMaking amends has major emotional benefits. For starters, you heal emotional wounds when the “wrongdoer” acknowledges the harm they caused. Apologies help you move past anger and opens the door to forgiveness, which allows everyone involved to move forward in life.

Today it’s time to give your younger self a great big hug. We’re talking about finally saying “I’m sorry” to your body, and how making peace with the past can help your Body Kindness practice.

You don’t want to miss the shocking confession Bernie shared that he believes is a source of his struggle with body kindness in his life — and I chime in with my best words of support and encouragement.

Have a question or comment for us? You can get in touch here.

Want to get the Feel Great Guide and Self-Care Journal, plus exclusive access to my resources? Sign up for my email list here.

Listen to Episode 11 below…

Subscribe to Body Kindness so you never miss an episode – we’re on iTunesSoundcloud and Stitcher. Catch up on previous episodes here!

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Here’s what we talked about…

  • Today’s show was sparked by a cathartic experience I had on a recent visit to my childhood town – the place where my body hatred began. I wrote an essay on Medium about how I apologized to my body and made amends with a younger version of myself:
    “A girl I know was innocently trying to do the right things. But instead she got it all twisted and became another victim of our society’s harsh judgment of females — we’re only good when we look great (or at least putting all our efforts in the pursuit)”.
  • The way I lived wasn’t in the spirit of good health and only fueled my bad body image. Brick by brick I built my own little prison that stopped me fully experiencing life.
  • I’ve now made amends with this younger version of myself and I’m inviting you all make peace with your inner child — or any version of yourself you’ve wronged: “There’s no complicated list of steps to follow, just one simple action. Say “I’m sorry,” really mean it and get back to your life.”
  • Bernie says the essay touched him deeply and confessed that despite living near the beach he hasn’t been in the water for decades, due to feeling self-conscious of his body and fearing ridicule from others.
  • I asked how he feels about his body these days. He says his Body Kindness work means he’s more nurturing but it hadn’t occurred to him to revisit the beach.
  • I pointed out that he’s made a habit of avoiding situations where he feels body vulnerability. It starts with a thought that you don’t want to go to the beach in case someone makes fun of you. Negative thoughts lead to negative feelings and they bounce off each other. The more it’s repeated it becomes a belief, then our behaviors align with our beliefs.
  • I said there were commonalities our experiences. I was not taking care of my body – I gave myself rules in the name of health but truly about wanting to feel good enough. However, because I didn’t look like I was suffering I could hide it. In contrast Bernie’s experience is not something he can hide because our society is focused on appearance, not showing vulnerability, and does not accept size diversity. So Bernie is dealing with a double battle.
  • Bernie asked if my growth had come from caring less about other’s opinions as I grew older. I said it wasn’t a magical overnight change and took a huge range of influences like books, tools and mentors to build self compassion and a true values system of self respect and wellbeing beyond appearance.
  • I learned to accept that I couldn’t control others’ comments on my body. It’s not my job to prevent myself getting hurt; it’s my job to recognize when it’s happened and bounce back by being good to myself. Pain is inevitable but suffering is avoidable. You suffer when you avoid the pain.
  • I asked Bernie what the nature of his apology would be. He shared that he’d been physically abused a child and often being punished for very trivial reasons.
  • I told Bernie this is a trauma and it’s okay if dealing with it is part of his life’s work. It’s also connected to his well-being and relationship to his body. Abuse and trauma create more intense fears and irrational processing of certain situations, making them extra difficult. Emotional eating and avoidance behaviors can also be tied back to those experiences.
  • Bernie sensed almost a sense of gratitude for my past experiences. I said it was more post-traumatic growth, as we discussed in Episode 9: The Upside of Stress.
  • I invited Bernie and our listeners to think of ways that traumatic experiences have made you a stronger, more resilient person and made your life more meaningful. That is how you can find gratitude.
  • I suggested Bernie’s apology could be about recognizing that he was doing his best to protect himself in the moment, and to acknowledge that any regrets he has about eating, exercise and avoidance were a form of protection for that little boy who didn’t have any.
  • So why say sorry to your body, and how can it help our Body Kindness practice? Making peace with your inner child helps  you to embrace your body as it is right now, to free yourself brick by brick and start living more fully.
  • Bernie says his apology could help him start breaking free of his self-imposed isolation and live by his principles. He wants to be a good role model for his daughter and to joyfully engage with life.
  • I said that doing that means engaging with vulnerability – being willing to hold the uncomfortable, gut-wrenching feeling while you do the thing that matters to you – like jumping into the ocean! Practice being the kind of man that is body confident. We beat our fears by facing them.

Links mentioned in the show:

Would you like to say sorry to your body?

What would you like to let go of, so you can really get back to your life? We’d love to hear your stories.You can get in touch here.

We’d be grateful if you could rate us on iTunes – it only takes a few seconds and helps spread the Body Kindness message.

Nothing in this podcast is meant to provide medical diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. Individuals should consult a qualified healthcare provider for medical advice and answers to personal health questions.

DC Moms: Join Me at the Moms Meet WOW Summit Oct 7-8 (Enter to Win!)

What can you accomplish in two days? So. Much.

Disclosure: I received a free ticket to attend the Moms Meet Wow Summit in Washington, DC on October 7-8th in exchange for writing this post. I received one ticket to raffle off and a discount code anyone can use.

Mom's Meet Wow Summit Logo

  1. Enter to win by leaving a comment on this post or my Facebook posts marked with the hashtag #WOWsummit. Tell me why you need to be at the WOW Summit! I will draw a winner at random Wednesday September 7, 2016. Winner will be announced on this blog and will have 24 hours to accept the prize. Winner will receive complimentary registration for one.
  2. Or receive 15% off your registration with the WOW Summit Promotion Code RS15

Meet Me at the Moms Meet WOW Summit in Beautiful National Harbor

I’m so excited to meet other healthy-minded mom bloggers and connect with brands at the Moms Meet WOW Summit! I want YOU to come with me for FREE! We’ll have so much fun learning from successful bloggers about brand-building and best strategies for boosting our social media presence.

The guest speaker list is impressive. I’m most excited to hear from Rachel Martin, the writer behind the site FindingJoy.net, partner of BloggingConcentrated.com and co-host of the Amplify Podcast. Martin believes in living each day intentionally and loves working with others to cultivate a vision, realize their potential and see their dreams become a reality.

Plus, the social events sound like a refreshing break from work and family (although I’ll miss my littles!)

Check out this highlight reel from last year’s Moms Meet WOW Summit. Looks like you should come hungry… samples, samples, samples all day long!

Thank You, Sponsors

I heard the “speed dating” event is a great way for bloggers and brands to interact. Looking forward to it.

You know events aren’t easy to pull off. I’m grateful to all the sponsors of the WOW Summit. I know it’s not possible without you!

Special gratitude to the title sponsors: Solgar, National Geographic Kids, Tasty Bite and Mary’s Gone Crackers

Enjoy National Harbor

I love that we’ll be at National Harbor. Check out this beautiful shot of my girls with their cousins from a few weeks ago.

 

cousins

Let’s take more fun pictures at the 2016 #WOWSummit October 7-8! I’ll see you there!

 

Pomegranate Watermelon Smoothie Recipe

FullSizeRender

Disclosure: I worked with POM Wonderful on a recent TV segment and shared this recipe. I was not compensated to create it or to share the recipe in this post.

This refreshing pomegranate watermelon smoothie is so easy to make and takes a few minutes, saving you time and effort in the kitchen especially when it’s too hot to cook or you just want a simple meal.

Pomegranate Watermelon Smoothie Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2 smoothies
Ingredients
  • 2 cups chopped watermelon
  • ⅔ cups (6oz.) 2% plain greek yogurt
  • ½ cups POM Wonderful Juice
  • 2 cups of ice
  • 4 tablespoons, roughly chopped fresh mint
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until creamy and smooth
  2. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed

What are your favorite ways to enjoy smoothies? What recipes help you beat the heat and eat well without turning on your stove?

Leave me a note in the comments below!