Avoiding Unhealthy Snacks and Foods In School Lunchboxes

Sometimes we get pulled into the big lettering, colorful packaging and the promise of healthy benefits on packing. However, it is important to not be pulled into all these promises without reading more into it. When packing school lunches, avoiding unhealthy snack and food will help children stay within their recommended daily allowance of calories and sugar. 

Avoiding Unhealthy Snacks and Foods

avoiding unhealthy snacks

For instance, Fruit roll-ups, for a child, sound like a dream come true. However, parents should be aware of the fact that three of their first five ingredients is sugar.  Also, some brands include trans fat as well as artificial colors. Both of these ingredients may lead to hyperactivity in kids. When making a purchase of these snacks, choose fruit leathers that are all-natural with no added sugar or artificial colors. They should have simple ingredients lists.

Juice pouches. I think you either love them or hate them. Personally, I have never been a big fan of them. They are loaded with high fructose syrup. In fact, some varieties actually only contain 10% juice with their first two ingredients being water and high-fructose corn syrup. If you are going to buy juice pouches, look for the ones that say 100% juice drinks. Even better, look for those that have juice as its second ingredient and water as its first one. Also, look for those that say no high fructose corn syrup. These varieties will be lower in sugar and calories.

Pre-packaged lunches are another item to beware of. These lunches tend to be loaded with saturated fat, salt and sugar. Usually these lunches contain items such as crackers, cheese, turkey or ham. Some now include pizza and nachos. Some of the larger ones contain a drink, as well as a treat.

This one, I am rather bummed about. I bought these just this school year for my kids. I thought, the perfect combination…yogurt and raisins. Ha, I was duped again! These are really more like a candy. 🙁 The yogurt is mostly sugar and oil. One serving, which is a 1 oz box, contains 17 g of sugar. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends children between ages 4 – 8 only consume 3 teaspoons or 12 grams of *added sugar per day. So, 1 oz of these sugar coated raisins has already surpassed their recommended daily allowance of added sugar.

Other added sugar intake numbers you may be interested in are the following:

Preschoolers daily recommended intake of sugar is 4 teaspoons, or 16 grams, of added sugar per day.

Preteens, and teens recommended intake of sugar is  5 to 8 teaspoons, or 20 to 32 grams, of added sugar per day.

Lastly, be careful with granola bars. These tend to be very high in calories, which will take up a large portion of the recommended daily calorie intake for grade school children of 1,400 or 1,600 calories per day. When purchasing granola bars, look for ones that are say they are low in sugar and do not contain high fructose corn syrup.

If you want to start incorporating healthy well-rounded lunches in your child’s lunchbox, I would highly recommend eMeals Healthy Lunch Plan. This takes out the hassle of planning your child’s lunch. Plus it helps eliminate unwanted stress and frustration. Sign up today using the Discount Code: SCHOOL to receive 20% off eMeals, and to get rid of those nutritional no-no’s!


*Added sugar is the sugar that is added during food processing or by the consumer at the point of consumption.



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About the Author

I am a work from home mom who dearly loves her 15-year-old daughter, 11-year-old boy/girl twins, and husband. I love my life and feel very blessed by what God has provided for me.

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