Make A Healthy Lunch This Food Revolution Day!Fri 03 May 2013
Story by Jennifer Tyler Lee
In honor of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day, we’re making healthy lunches! Moms across the country share their easy, healthy lunch ideas in The Healthy Lunch Challenge.
School lunches remain one of the biggest hurdles in the food revolution fight. Thanks to Jamie Oliver’s inspiring efforts, and the community of food revolutionaries who support him, we’ve made progress. But there’s still important work to be done.
So in honor of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day, we’re taking back lunch! Together with Kelly Lester of Easy Lunchboxes, I launched The Healthy Lunch Challenge. Moms across the country are coming together to share their healthy lunch ideas – from creative ways to boost colors in your box to fun ways to try a few new foods.
It’s easy to build a healthy lunchbox, with just a few simple steps:
Step 1: Eat Your Colors
The first key to a healthy lunch is to make it colorful! The same principles that we use playing Crunch a Color to build balanced, healthy dinners can be used in your lunch box: three colors + one protein + one healthy grains. Not only does it make your lunch more fun, it’s more healthy! Jill from Meet the Dubiens shares a few fun and colorful ideas.
Step 2: Make it Easy
The antidote to our frantically busy schedules? Make lunch easy! Assemble a stable of recipes featuring healthy ingredients that can be whipped up in a flash. Marla Meridith at Family Fresh Cooking is masterful at dishing up easy, family fresh ideas. Her Giddy Up Pasta is a super example of how to transform a few simple ingredients into a delicious and easy lunch.
Another way to make it easy? Leftovers for lunch! Brenda at Meal Planning Magic shows us how, along with a few more time saving tricks.
Step 3: Think Out of the Box
Processed foods begone! Your ticket to a healthy lunch is to "Think Out of the Box." Try remaking your boxed favorites in a healthy way, starting with chicken fingers. Cristi at Bent on Better Lunches shows us an easy remake of this lunch staple. Make it even better by choosing organic meats raised without antibiotics.
Step 4: Try New Foods
Do you serve the same three things in your lunchbox over and over? That qualifies as a lunch rut! Break out by trying a new food each week. Head out to the local farmers’ market and let your kids pick a new veggie or fruit to try. Or use the Crunch a Color Foods by Color chart for a little inspiration. The creative Keeley McGuire shows us a fun way to try Brussels sprouts.
Step 5: Cook it Together
“The most important thing in your diet is not a nutrient, but an activity: cooking.” Michael Pollan’s new book, Cooked, is calling us back to the kitchen to savor the pleasures of cooking together as a family. Lunch is no exception. One of the keys to getting kids to eat their healthy lunches is to get them making their own healthy lunches.
Together with your kids, create a meal plan for the week. Invite them into the kitchen and encourage them to experiment with their own healthy lunch recipes. You can start with something as simple as DIY almond butter pizzas inspired by Venia at Organized Bites or BLT Kabobs from Deb at iPackLunch. Or bake up a batch of gluten-free blueberry muffins from Amy The Family Chef. Most important: cook together!
According to Laurie David, “When everyone is involved in the meal, they become invested in it in a new way.” I couldn’t agree more! This Food Revolution Day we’ll be celebrating by cooking and enjoying a healthy lunch with friends. I hope you’ll join us!
Still hungry? Check out the full roundup of healthy lunch ideas from The Healthy Lunch Challenge.
What do you pack in your lunch box? Share your healthy lunch ideas!
About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color – award-winning nutrition games that make healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit kids’ nutrition programs. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color and Jennifer’s 52 New Foods adventure has been featured by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Rachael Ray’s Yum-O, Laurie David’s Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, Yum Food & Fun For Kids, and Edible Silicon Valley, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods. Jennifer’s passion is making mealtime fun and healthy for busy families. Her easy recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her weekly recipe blog at crunchacolor.com.
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