Expert Advice: Busy Mom Tips for Packing a Healthy Lunch

Busy Mom Tips for Packing a Healthy Lunch

This post is sponsored by Strong4Life. All opinions expressed here are my own. 

Expert Advice: Busy Mom Tips for Packing a Healthy Lunch

Last week my family visited a pumpkin patch, the aquarium, made it out to Chess Club, and our weekly play day on the Atlanta BeltLine. If you hadn’t noticed…….we’re a very busy family! As we’re out and about, and on the go, most days I pack a lunch for myself and the kids. With my sons food sensitives and epilepsy, it’s not always easy to find foods that he can eat while we’re out that won’t trigger a seizure. If you haven’t had a chance to read about my sons epilepsy, last year was very difficult for my family in pinpointing his seizure triggers and what to avoid. For a few months we tried out the Ketogenic Diet with the help of the Keto Clinic over at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. While Keto wasn’t the best fit for him, it did help us to remove certain foods from his diet that can cause him problems. I’m happy to say that now my son is seizure free, healthy, and happy! 

Busy Mom Tips for Packing a Healthy Lunch

Recently we had the opportunity to meet up at Kroger and go on a grocery shopping trip with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Strong4Life’s Registered Dietitian and food expert, Katherine Shary to get some tips on how to pack a healthy lunch for my family that is always on the go! I decided to bring the children along on this grocery shopping trip so that they could ask any questions they had about healthy eating, as well as learn how important it is to make good food choices. Did you know that eating habits are formed in children by age 3 and can follow them through adolescence into adulthood? That’s why it’s so important to establish a strong foundation and preference for healthy eating early on. 

Busy Mom Tips for Packing a Healthy Lunch

Healthy on-the-go Lunch Tips for Busy Moms: 

Add a mix of fruits and veggies – While grocery shopping for lunch, I like to grab easy to pack and eat fruits and vegetables like berries and carrots. Ask your children what their favorites are and mix things up! 

Busy Mom Tips for Packing a Healthy Lunch

Be aware of hidden sugars in juice & foods – Due to my sons food sensitivities, I’m a perpetual label reader while grocery shopping. I’m not only looking for chemical additives, but I’m also looking at the sugar content a product contains. Be aware of high sugar content in pre-made smoothies and pre-packaged juices and juice drinks while shopping. Kids have a strong preference for sweet flavor. If they are introduced to added sugars as an infant or toddler, it encourages this sweet tooth. That’s why the American Heart Association last year (2016)  issued their first-ever recommendations for limiting added sugar in the diets of children under two and juice should not be introduced to kids younger than one. I choose juice drinks that are watered down, like the Honest brand, and my family knows it’s a special treat. Fruit infused water is always a great alternative to juice, or if you have time you can make your own smoothies. 

Busy Mom Tips for Packing a Healthy Lunch

Make Mini-Meals – Skip the pre-packaged lunches you see in the store and make your own! While shopping we picked up all of the items we need to create a mini grab and go lunch. Lunch meat, crackers, carrots, berries, nuts, and string cheese. Pack it all up in a plastic container the night before, and grab it out of the fridge when ready! 

Busy Mom Tips for Packing a Healthy Lunch

One of my son’s seizure triggers is wheat and gluten, so I’ve removed these from his diet, but he still needs a source of healthy carbs. Katherine provided me with this great list of alternatives: 

Healthy carbohydrates that do not contain gluten:

Butternut squash

Acorn squash

Corn

Any type of potato

All fruits and berries

Legumes (beans, lentils, peas)

Rice, buckwheat, millet

Gluten Free Oatmeal

*Even vegetables have a small amount of carbohydrates, but the above foods listed have the same amount of carbohydrates per serving as a slice of bread.

Katherine also gave me this fun homemade tortilla recipe to try out below! You can get your little ones involved in making their own food. I’ve found that when my children are involved in the shopping and cooking process, they are more likely to eat a wide variety of healthy foods. 

Homemade Tortillas
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Ingredients
  1. 3 cups flour
  2. 1 tsp baking powder
  3. 1 tsp salt
  4. 1/3 cup oil
  5. 1 cup warm water
  6. **Flour can be substituted with an all purpose gluten free flour if necessary
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine flour, salt and baking powder.
  2. Stir in water and oil.
  3. Turn onto a floured surface; knead 10-12 times, adding a little flour or water if needed to achieve a smooth dough.
  4. Divide into 16 fairly equal portions and cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
  5. After rest period, heat a large pan over medium-high heat.
  6. Roll each dough piece into a rough circle, about 6-7 inches in diameter, keep work surface and rolling pin lightly floured.
  7. When pan is very hot, place one dough circle into pan and allow to cook about 1 minute or until bottom surface has a few pale brown spots.
  8. The uncooked surface will begin to show a few little bubbles.
  9. If tortilla is browning too fast, reduce heat a bit. If it’s taking longer than a minute to see a few pale golden brown spots on underside of tortillas, increase heat a bit.
  10. Remove from pan with tongs and stack in a covered container or zippered bag till all tortillas are cooked. This will keep them soft and pliable.
Notes
  1. Store in an airtight container or plastic zippered bag at room temperature for 24 hours. Refrigerate for up to 1 week, stored in a zippered bag. Or freeze indefinitely. To freeze, separate tortillas with parchment paper or waxed paper and place in a zippered bag before placing in freezer.
Mommy Week™ http://www.mommyweek.com/

Are you ready to head out to the grocery store to shop for some healthy on the go lunch box items?! I’m excited to be hosting a giveaway for one of my readers to win a $50 Kroger Gift Card!! Simply enter below.

**Winner will be notified by email. Giveaway ends on Monday November 13th.**

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Being a parent can get tough! Be sure to check out Strong4Life.com for help & support. Strong4Life offers busy parents like you and me age specific tips on parenting, food, and facts & advice from the experts at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. It’s such a useful resource! 
Busy Mom Tips for Packing a Healthy Lunch
What’s your favorite healthy food to pack in your child’s lunch? 

Ashley 

53 Comments

  1. Jenny Q.

    November 1, 2017 at 9:23 am

    I am lucky that my son isn’t a picky eater, he love almost everything for lunch. I usually give him anything from leftovers from the dinner the night before, homemade soup, sandwiches with cut up veggies on the side, pretty much anything!

  2. Kayley

    November 1, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Carrots are a great healthy snack to include in school lunches!

  3. LaShawn

    November 1, 2017 at 11:08 am

    because of Pookah’s allergies, I am always looking ofr healthy creative lunch ideas! I make him mini meals all the time. It’s so easy when you are busy!

  4. Jeffrey

    November 1, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    Both my boys like taking fruit with them everyday. Their favorite is bananas, but they also take apples and grapes.

  5. Jessica Gipson

    November 1, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    My daughter loves broccoli, it’s her favorite.

  6. Mary Cloud

    November 1, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    My kids love Apples and Grapes with a Turkey Sandwich

  7. amy stonger

    November 2, 2017 at 8:26 am

    my daughter loves grapes in her lunch.

  8. Elena

    November 2, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    My son loves broccoli salad for lunch

  9. Julie Wood

    November 2, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    My daughter loves carrots, brussel sprouts and broccoli!

  10. heather

    November 2, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    The kids love apples in their lunchboxes.

  11. Jessica To

    November 2, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    My son likes blueberries and cheese cubes.

  12. Sarah Hall

    November 2, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Baby carrots and grapes are always welcomed by my boy.

  13. Elle

    November 2, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    Grapes are his favorite.

  14. Mita

    November 2, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    Baby carrots, broccoli salad for lunch

  15. Tabathia B

    November 3, 2017 at 9:53 am

    bagels with cream cheese and seedless green grapes

  16. Chrissy

    November 3, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    My daughter’s favorite healthy lunch food and possibly favorite food in general is grapes. She would eat only those if I’d let her

  17. Lauren

    November 4, 2017 at 9:55 am

    My kids like applesauce in their lunchbox.

  18. Susan Christy

    November 4, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Grapes are the best!

  19. Patricia Crowley

    November 4, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    They like grapes and strawberries!

  20. Bridgett

    November 5, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    My kids just love apples and peaches and plums for a healthy snack.

  21. Natalie

    November 5, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    My niece’s favorite healthy lunch food is sliced apples!

  22. Ken C

    November 6, 2017 at 8:29 am

    Yogurt is my girls fave

  23. Will G

    November 7, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    Apples.

  24. Steve Weber

    November 7, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    Fruit Snacks.

  25. Rachel

    November 7, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    She really likes yogurt and apples.

  26. Tiffany Banks

    November 7, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    My kids love salad & applesauce!

  27. Sarah Hayes

    November 8, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    My daughter loves a simple taco salad

  28. James Robert

    November 8, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    My daughters like cheese with celery

  29. Susan Smith

    November 8, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    My daughter loves apples and carrots.

  30. Katie Bellamy

    November 8, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    My kids love fruit & cheese!

  31. Pat

    November 9, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    My children like grapes

  32. Julie Waldron

    November 9, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    They like carrots.

  33. Anna Pry

    November 9, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    roasted broccoli

  34. Dana Rodriguez

    November 9, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Fruits and carrots!

  35. Karla R.

    November 10, 2017 at 1:25 am

    They love eating fruit like grapes and apples.

  36. Kayte CookWatts

    November 11, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Avocado in any form! He loves dipping celery and carrots into guacamole.

  37. Gina R

    November 12, 2017 at 9:28 am

    My daughter loves carrots with hummus!

  38. sarah mayer

    November 12, 2017 at 9:40 am

    carrots and dip.

  39. Sam

    November 12, 2017 at 10:52 am

    My son is picky. :/ He gets a vitamin a day of course but I still encourage fruits and vegetables such as apples (if they are cut up right), Strawberries, bananas and others as long as they arent to hard or can be cut up right.
    He has had baby teeth problems. :/

  40. Erin M

    November 12, 2017 at 10:57 am

    My child loves frozen grapes, since he has the earliest lunch time they’re still pretty frozen.

  41. Julie Terry

    November 12, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    My kids love fresh fruit and veggies. Apples, frozen grapes (for youngest only), orange slices, carrots, celery, really any fruit or veggie, they love them all.

  42. Kayla Klontz

    November 12, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    My daughter loves carrots.

  43. Anita Jude

    November 12, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    grandson loves greenbeans

  44. Christina London

    November 12, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Vegetables

  45. Lisa

    November 12, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    They love apples!

  46. christopher h

    November 12, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    baby carrots

  47. Amanda Lindsay Shearouse

    November 12, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    baby carrots 🙂

  48. Juanita May

    November 12, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    She loves any fruits and raw veggies basically.

  49. Jeremy McLaughlin

    November 12, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    My son likes carrots.

  50. Bea Alexandra

    November 12, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    They love the oatmeal I make at home with natural sweeteners like honey and cinnamon.

  51. Kelsey Vinson

    November 12, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    They love any fresh fruit just about and My 4 year old loves salads!

  52. amanda whitley

    November 12, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    my son likes tomatoes and carrots, he actually loves a lot of healthy foods

  53. Breanna Pollard

    November 12, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    CARROTS AND APPLES ARE MY NIECE’S FAVE!

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