It’s back-to-school time, which means packing snacks for lunches and after-school practice. Unfortunately, most Lunchable-type packs, and even snacks packs are loaded with sugar, oil and salt.
To help you get the most nutritional bang from kid-friendly lunch optoins, we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly the best and worst of grab & go options in stores.
No pre-made lunchables on shelves are a “LOVE IT” – best answer is to make your own with whole grain crackers, fresh fruit, veggies lean protein (grilled chicken, turkey + cheese roll-ups, Greek yogurt chicken salad, etc)
Sargento Balanced Break Snack Packs – nuts, cheese, dried fruit. Simple, clean ingredients. Only 190 mg sodium.
Fruit + Cheese, Fruit + Nut, Fruit + Nut Butter Snack Packs – DIY or store-bought
- Triscuits, turkey breast with no added nitrates/nitrites, white cheddar.
- 290 calories, 710 sodium, 22 grams carb, 3 grams fiber, 18 grams protein
P3 Portable Protein Packs by Oscar Mayer – Good protein + heart-smart fats, but…
- Sodium 580+ mg per serving
- Meats made with added carrageenan, phosphates, cornstarch, sugars…
- Decent protein (18 grams), but still contains white breadsticks + 820 mg sodium
Lunchables – any + all varieties.
White flour, oil, salt, sugar are the foundation of these meals, with added nitrites, preservatives, some have artificial sweeteners acesulfame potassium and sucralose; some have artificial food dyes like Red 40 & Blue 1.
Natural Foods Store “Lunch Kit”
Read labels, otherwise you may find yourself with a seemingly more “natural” lunch kit with 500 calories, 1100+ mg sodium, and more than half a day’s worth of saturated fat.
Want more from Molly? Click here to sign up for Nutrition Bites, her weekly e-newsletter with links to her Get the Skinny TV segments here on WGNO, and her weekly column in NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune! Follow Molly on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram: @MollyKimballRD - and check out her weekly podcast; just search ‘Molly Kimball’ on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.