Love it, Like it, Hate it: Lunchables

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.

 

LOVE IT!

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 Packsnuts, cheese, dried fruit. Simple, clean ingredients. Only 190 mg sodium.

 

Fruit + Cheese, Fruit + Nut, Fruit + Nut Butter Snack Packs – DIY or store-bought

 

LIKE IT!

 

Oscar Mayer Natural Meat & Cheese “Plate”

  • 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 MayerGood protein + heart-smart fats, but…

  • Sodium 580+ mg per serving
  • Meats made with added carrageenan, phosphates, cornstarch, sugars…

 

Great Value – Prosciutto, Mozzarella, Bread Sticks

  • Decent protein (18 grams), but still contains white breadsticks + 820 mg sodium

 

 

HATE IT!

 

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.

 

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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.

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