55 Healthy & Cheap School Lunch Ideas

I smelled it in the air the other night.

That first cold crisp taste of autumn after a hot summer day.

That nervous tension quivering around me.

That bustling sensation in the air that can only be caused by millions of children and parents simultaneously scrambling to gather last minute glue sticks, scissors, trapper keepers, and lunch boxes.

What will I wear?

Who will I sit next to on the bus?
What will my schedule be like?
Will I be able to find my classroom?
Will my friends have my same lunch schedule?
Are those big bullies going to be there?
I hope I like my teacher!

Oh my gosh I feel SO STRESSED!

What is that?

Oh, wait. That’s right. I don’t have to go back to school anymore. I guess I can just relax. I can hold off on trapper keeper shopping for now.

Phwew!

Back to school time, can be quite stressful for children as they adjust to a new schedule, new teacher, or new school. Keeping the home schedule consistent is prudent during this time. You can also ease the stress by packing them a healthy lunch from home.

A home-made lunch ensures your child is properly nourished to cope with these new stressors, while also providing a bit of the comforts of home. I still remember hanging up my lunch bag in the coat room, a cozy symbol of comfort, waiting there for me if I needed it.

The key ingredients to a successful school lunch are protein and fiber. They will serve to keep your child’s concentration up, and stress levels down, as explained in my article What to Eat for Better Concentration. Also, parents really need to understand that most lunch meats are processed with sodium nitrites that are implicated in increasing rates of childhood cancers as discussed in my article Hot Dogs: Foe of Kitchen Table.

Be sure to try these new lunch ideas at home first before leaving your kids stranded in the cafeteria with some freaky lunch that other kids may make fun of. For the first few weeks of school, pack all their most familiar and favorite foods before making any major changes.

I have collaborated with my sister, a teacher and mom, and my friend Heidi the author of “Healthnut Mom Wannabe” to develop this simple list of whole foods lunch menu items that most kids will eat.

Here is the list of healthy whole foods lunch ideas to feed your children:

  1. Leftovers from last night’s dinner can be quickly packed in a thermos. Fill the thermos first with hot water to ensure the meal stays warm through lunch time. Here are some favorites to try:
  2. Spaghetti.
  3. Your family’s favorite casserole.
  4. Salmon, veggies, and brown rice.
  5. Chicken, veggies, and brown rice.
  6. Chili and rice or whole grain crackers.
  7. Stir-fry and brown rice.
  8. Soup in a thermos with whole grain crackers. Kids especially love:
  9. Chicken noodle soup.
  10. Vegetable soup.
  11. Minestrone soup.
  12. Tomato soup.
  13. Yogurt, fruit, granola, and nuts.
  14. Cottage cheese and fruit.
  15. Chicken and bean burrito on a whole grain tortilla.
  16. Pita bread stuffed with hummus, sprouts, and tomato.
  17. Guacamole and blue corn chips.
  18. Turkey sandwich on whole grain bread.
  19. Vegetarian BLT sandwich (use veggie bacon).
  20. Almond butter, bananas, and a dash of honey on whole wheat bread.
  21. Veggie burger.
  22. Whole grain bagel and cream cheese.
  23. Vegetables should always be included. Here are a few favorites:
  24. Carrot sticks.
  25. Celery (add almond butter, or cream cheese, and raisins).
  26. Snap peas.
  27. Edamame (soy beans).
  28. Broccoli and ranch to dip it in.
  29. Sprouts can be added to sandwiches.
  30. Smear avocados on sandwiches for essential fats.
  31. Red pepper slices.
  32. Cucumbers.
  33. Whole grain crackers are a great source of protein and fiber. Pair them with:
  34. White cheese or cream cheese (yellow cheese is high in saturated fat).
  35. Hard boiled eggs.
  36. Nitrite free lunch meat.
  37. Hummus.
  38. Nut butters like cashew and almond butter. (Peanuts are highly allergenic, try to rotate your nut butters to prevent allergy).
  39. Nuts are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and fat. Try to do raw nuts if possible:
  40. Cashews.
  41. Almonds.
  42. Pistachios.
  43. Mixed nuts.
  44. Trail Mix.
  45. Fruit is always a school lunch favorite. Here are a few that pack well:
  46. Apples.
  47. Oranges.
  48. Peaches.
  49. Pears.
  50. Cantaloupe.
  51. Honeydew.
  52. Bananas.
  53. Raisins.
  54. Dried blueberries, apricots, pineapple rings, or other favorite dried fruit.
  55. Water, rice milk, soy milk, or 2% cow milk. Kids don’t need juice!

Please do add your favorite healthy lunch ideas to the comments section, for all to enjoy!

Remember, if you don’t want your child to become yet another American diabetes and obesity statistic, it is imperative that you gradually switch your family to a “Whole Foods Diet”. Develop healthy habits in your children NOW to prevent disease.

Don’t let the media pressure you in to buying unhealthy junk “designed for children”. Put an end to those crummy cheese and cracker processed “Junkables” that are so tempting to send your kids off with. The reality though is that most processed meals intended for children are exactly what are causing the childhood obesity epidemic in America.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table, please share these simple lunch ideas with any other parents that will benefit!

~Dr. Nicole Sundene

www.KitchenTableMedicine.com

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Meet Dr. KC Kelly Online Psychotherapist at DOCintheBiz

kc.jpgEditorial Note: Please welcome to the kitchen table a very dear friend of mine, guest author Dr. KC Kelly, licensed psychotherapist…

Hi! I am KC Kelly, Ph.D., LMHC and I was invited to introduce myself here at one of my favorite alternative medicine and health care informational websites, Kitchen Table Medicine. I’d like to share with you what online counseling or psychotherapy (also called E-therapy) is all about and what I have to offer at DOCintheBiz.com.

Millions of people search the Internet every day for total health care information. Now, I have embarked on a whole new frontier of offering a single place to find a plethora of mental/emotional health information including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, relationship issues, self esteem, stress management, time management, and so much more! I also offer online counseling or therapy! One click to DOCintheBiz.com takes you to a safe and comfortable place where all your mental/emotional health needs can be met!

Before you go there, please allow me to share with you, who I am and some facts about online counseling or therapy.

First of all, one of the most important factors to consider when entering into therapy or counseling is the relationship you have with your therapist. A special kind of trust and rapport needs to be present or the therapy will not be successful. Not every therapist is for every client and visa versa and that is why it is imperative that you “interview” or get to know your therapist before beginning a therapeutic relationship with him or her.

At DOCintheBiz.com, I give you the opportunity to read a multitude of articles that I have written on a vast amount of topics so that you can get to know me, how I write, and how I work with clients. I write one article/week (sometimes more) and try to write based on the information that people request. I encourage my readers to comment on all my articles and I answer each and every commentary. I invite you to visit my blog and see what you think at DOCintheBiz.com.

The next step is to understand that E-therapy directly addresses a major problem uncovered by the Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health (1999) which stated that while one American in five has a diagnosable psychological problem, nearly two-thirds of them never seek treatment. Online therapy or counseling should be for mild to moderate concerns or issues you may be having. Online counseling or therapy is a great way to discuss issues, find solutions, and find ways to change your life for the better!

What Dr. KC’s online counseling or therapy DOES provide:

1. Therapeutic help from a professional, caring, compassionate, and understanding therapist who puts YOUR needs first without an ounce of judgment
2. The ability to get to core issues more quickly, sometimes in the first lines of an email
3. Complete confidentiality and ability to keep 100% anonymous (discussed in disclaimer)
4. Convenience of never needing to leave your home and reaching out when YOU want to
5. Affordable low cost services HIGHLY worth the small investment (it’s YOUR health!)
6. Quick, solid, informational, expert and thoughtful responses to your issues and questions

What Dr. KC’s online counseling or therapy DOES NOT provide:

1. Help for severe crisis situations- It is not that Dr. KC does not work with crisis situations (in person); however, when someone writes in online for help with a crisis, he/she is urged to please call 911 or a crisis hotline for IMMEDIATE help.

Thank you to Kitchen Table Medicine and your readers for giving me the opportunity to introduce myself and to share a brief understanding of what online counseling or therapy involves. I hope that you will visit me at DOCintheBiz.com for more detailed information.

If you are having concerns, it is OK if I’m not the one helping you; however, I do urge you to reach out and ask for assistance! Someone is there to take your hand and help guide you to a better, happier, and healthier life. YOU’RE WORTH IT!

~Dr. KC
www.DOCintheBiz.com
www.GLCzone.com

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

What to Eat for better Concentration and Memory: The ADHD Diet

adhddiet.jpgThis diet is not just for those with ADHD.

Whether you have ADHD, think you have ADHD, are told by others that you are completely ADD, are worried about age related memory loss, have chronic brain fog, or simply cannot focus; a few simple diet changes can help improve your concentration abilities.

Eating smart and healthy should also improve your overall productivity.

Let’s face it, we all could benefit from being more focused and cognitive. If this list is overwhelming, then you will most likely REALLY benefit from changing your eating habits. Please don’t be overwhelmed though, adopting a new eating plan takes time and effort at first. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Rosemary for Remembrance

rosemaryforremembrance.jpg

Rosemary is a great herb for memory.

Rosemary is often added to recipes dedicated to those that did not survive breast cancer for “remembrance”.

William Shakespeare even wrote in the play Hamlet, “There is rosemary, and that is for remembrance”.

Not too long ago we had some random spring snow here in Seattle, and whenever the sun is not shining (almost all the time) I am drawn to the garden for some sort of UV-free inspiration. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

McInflammation: Are You Really “Loving It”?

fries.jpgRecently a friend reported over dinner that his inflammatory problem (and let’s just say almost all medical problems are caused by inflammation) was not much better.

He said he was diligently taking everything I had recommended, and had only noted minor improvement.

Although natural remedies take time, I was curious how the dietary recommendations were going….you know, the most important part of his prescription? To no surprise, he was struggling to make the necessary changes.

As I climbed in to his car to head to our next destination I noted the eight bags of fast food littering his car floor.

“Well here is the source of McInflammation in your diet right here!” Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Fish Oil vs Flax Oil? The Great Debate

shutterstock_4806400.jpgOne of the greatest flaws in the Standard American Diet (SAD) is a lack of omega-3 fatty acids.

Repleting this deficiency typically improves memory and mental functioning as well as corrects a gamut of other annoying health problems.

The reason for this is that these essential oils are necessary for proper brain functioning, immune function, hormonal balance and skin integrity as they are the necessary building blocks for the cellular membrane of every single cell in our body. Wow just ONE thing for all SIXTY TRILLION cells in your body!

This must be pretty important then… Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™