With school here, our children are being faced with a huge decision. Eating healthy or eating junk. In the majority of public schools, kids aren’t being offered nutritious meals. At least, not when I went. Which wasn’t that long ago! Sure, sometimes they had tasty meals…but they don’t cater to those who are trying to watch what the eat. In high school wellness class, we were taught to exercise and eat a balanced meal. However, whenever lunch time rolled around, our minds were confused. We were faced with foods high in sodium and fat. There was a whole table full of brownies and cakes!
About Horizon Organic
Horizon is committed to providing great-tasting, organic dairy products that nourish families and build healthy foundations. Celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this year, Horizon is proud to be an organic industry pioneer and the first company to supply organic milk nationally. Over the past 20 years, Horizon has grown to become not only the leading organic dairy brand in the US, but the largest national organic brand int he country. Today, Horizon works with more than 600 family farmers across the country to supply 94 percent of it’s organic milk. Horizon offers a delicious variety of certified organic dairy products made with simple ingredients and produced without the use of antibiotics, added growth hormones or pesticides. In an effort to protect the earth and its natural resources, Horizon offsets the energy used to product its products with clean, renewable wind power.
Top 10 Best Back to School Foods:
1. Organic Milk – With only 1 in 10 girls and 1 in 4 boys meeting their calcium needs, it’s important to keep calcium-rich foods front and center in kids’ diets. Organic milk, which is produced without the use of antibiotics, toxic synthetic pesticides or artificial growth hormones, is a great choice for lunchboxes or breakfast time. Horizon makes convenient single serve milk boxes that pack perfectly into lunchboxes and provide a nutrient-rich alternative to juice drinks and other nutrient-poor beverages. In addition, Horizon organic milk with DHA omega-3 is a good choice for breakfast beverages and paired with low-sugar, whole grain cereals. DHA omega-3 has been shown to support brain, heart and eye health.
2. Whole Grain Bread – The new U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that at whole grains, so choosing whole grains for lunchbox sandwiches and wraps is a smart strategy to boost fiber and other important nutrients. One good choice is Rudi’s Organic Bakery’s 14 Grain Bread. With just three slices, you get the daily recommended allowance of whole grains.
3. Trail Mix Fixings – A variety of dried fruits (cherries, cranberries, raisins, dates), nuts (almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pistachios) and cereal (look for those high in fiber and low in sugar) can combine into one hearty snack-on-the-go for kids. Plus, you can make an activity out of letting your kids create their very own one-of-a-kind mix.
4. Nut Butter – Peanut butter, almond butter, hazelnut butter – they’re all great for lunchtime sandwiches or on toast for an after-school snack.
5. Hummus – This protein-packed spread comes in a wide variety of flavors and even in single-serve packs for kids on-the-go. You can try it as a dip for veggies and whole-grain crackers or as a spread on wraps and sandwiches as a nutritious alternative to mayonnaise or dressing.
6. Granola Bars – Granola Bars can be a lower-sugar, higher-fiber alternative to cookies and candy bars. They are also great as after-school or after-sports snacks. Look for granola bars made with whole grains and with 10 grams of sugar or less. One bar that fits this criteria is Annie’s Organic Berry Berry Granola Bars. Each bar is packed with 8 grams of whole grain per serving, is certified organic and contains no artificial ingredients, preservatives or high-fructose corn syrup. They’re a perfect snack to replace high-sugar treats.
7. Turkey Breast – Turkey breast is low in fat and high in protein, and it can be a crowd pleaser in the lunchroom! You can also get creative with turkey as part of after-school snacks – think turkey and cheese roll-ups.
8. String Cheese – Cheese is a good calcium and protein. If your child isn’t a meat eater, cheese is another high protein option for lunches and snack time. String cheese is a great way to help your kids play with their food by pulling apart the cheese – and they will love munching on it too.
9. Fruit, Fruit, Fruit – Apples, cherries, bananas, oranges, grapes – fruits are an important part of a well-balanced diet. Try and vary what you offer. Different fruits provide different nutrients. When looking for organic fruit options, check out Earthbound Farm, which offers a number of organic fruit products nationwide, ranging from apple slices to strawberries to grapes, citrus and blueberries.
10. Veggies, Veggies, Veggies – Veggies like carrot sticks, celery, cucumbers, pea pods and cherry tomatoes are all great for lunchboxes and after-school snacks. Remember, the darker the veggie, the more nutritious it tends to be. To spice veggies up, you can think about serving them with a low fat salad dressing or hummus as dip. In addition to organic fruit, Earthbound Farm also offers a full range of organic veggie products.
The “Top 10 Best Back to School Foods” list is part of a “Horizon’s Toolbox for Mom” Facebook application on Horizon’s Facebook page. The toolbox contains news, offers and advice to support parents as the school year begins. It also has a lunchbox randomizer, which provides parents with ideas for healthy school lunches.
In addition to the “Horizon’s Toolbox for Mom” application, Horizon has launched a “Healthy Families Back To School” online community where parents can connect on topics ranging from money-saving back to school tips to ideas for fun ways to get kids ready to head back to the classroom.
I received one of the Survival Kits for Mom for my back to school post. The kits include bubble bath, chocolates (not pictured, I ate them before I took a picture!), a candle and aromatherapy lotion. One lucky Beautifully BellaFaith reader is going to win the same Survival Kit for Mom from Horizon Organic!