Back-to-school season is upon us, and as parents, we're always seeking nutritious, kid-friendly, easy-to-pack lunchbox staples.
While you may remember school lunches with bright colored sugared juice punches, unpronounceable ingredients, and existential choices like pizza pocket or cheesy pretzel... the fact is that wellness is more than a trend, and parents are seeking the same better-for-you choices for their kids that they are for themselves. Thankfully, packaged food has had a significant makeover by using more whole ingredients and packing valuable nutrients into tasty treats, so parents can have confidence that their child's school day is fueled by quality nutrition.
Health Warrior Chia Bars pack around 1100mg of brain-boosting omega-3s, 4g of fiber and 3g of protein in a small bar in flavors kids love including banana nut, coconut, apple cinnamon, mango, and dark chocolate cherry. With flavor profiles similar to staples like brownies (dark chocolate) and fig newtons (acai berry), they’ll never know it’s nutrient-packed. Passionate about fueling nutritious choices, the brand will donate a percentage of sales of all products to the Whole Kids Foundation Aug. 24- Sept. 13, along with contributions throughout the year. The organization provides schoolgarden grants, funds salad bar equipment and training, and shares cooking and nutrition education with teachers. Children with a salad bar in their school eat three times the amount of fruits and veggies of those who don’t, and Health Warrior wants to help make this happen.
Go Raw's raw sprouted treats are everything you’d want to feed your little ones. Nutrient-dense and packed with minerals, vitamins and amino acids, Go Raw’s sprouted cookies, bars and snacks are the secretly healthy treat your kids will be craving. Crafted from 100% organic, raw, sprouted ingredients, Go Raw’s products are available in a wide range of kid-friendly tantalizing flavor profiles such as Spiced Chai, Lemon Pie and Spicy Fiesta.
Annie's Homegrown has innovated in lunchbox classics with its lineup of fun, tasty and kid-friendly staples made with nothing but goodness including Pea B&J Pockets, Organic Whole Milk Yogurts, and Organic Fruit Snacks. Though frozen, the Pea B&J Pockets thaw within an hour, consumed within 8 and takes the arduous crust-removing out of the equation. Packing 9g of whole grains with real fruit spread, the mini packaged sandwiches have golden pea butter, instead of traditional peanut butter, made from a legume variety that’s cousin to the green peas they typically scoot off their plate (but they'd never know). Meanwhile Annie's Yogurts and Fruit Snacks are certified organic with real fruit and fruit juices and absolutely no high fructose corn syrup.
Purely Elizabeth, the leading natural foods brand spearheading innovative and delicious gluten-free products, has just launched Grab + Go Oatmeal and cereal cups. Just add milk, yogurts, or hot water, and the wide variety of flavors come tolife, including Cranberry Pecan, Blueberry Hemp, Cinnamon Pecan and Pumpkin Fig.
Who says weekday breakfasts can't be spent together? Just add water and make that extra time, without putting in so much extra time with Birch Benders, a line of gourmet easy-to-make pancake and waffle mixes. This taste- and quality-obsessed brand offers nine varieties including Classic, Chocolate Chip, Six Grain Cinnamon, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Protein, Pumpkin Spice, Gingerbread Spice, and Double Chocolate Peppermint. All of the varieties are organic, trans fat-free, and non-GMO.
Suja Juice, the nation’s leader in organic, non-GMO and cold-pressed beverages, offers affordable and kid-friendly juices and smoothies as part of their core Suja line. Banana-based smoothies such as Mango Magic and Berry Nana offer a sweet creaminess, while other nourishing, veggie-heavy smoothies include Green Delight and Sweet Beets. At only $3.99 and available in major grocers such as Kroger, Publix, Target, Costco, Whole Foods and more, organic nutrition has never been so easily accessible.
With only 100 calories and up to 5 grams of protein each, Perfect Bar minis (MSRP $1.30) are the ideal snack or lunchbox addition for kids. The minis are available in Peanut Butter and Almond Butter flavors, and are packed with organic nut butter, 20+ expertly hidden superfoods, and a touch of organic honey for sweetness.
What other items are you packing in your child's lunch this year?