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    Unless your child attends a school where they serve 100% whole grain or wheat products, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, you are likely better off sending them to school with their own lunches. Why? Even if you have a limited amount of money to spend on food, you will spend less in the long run to send your children to school with healthy meals. How will you save money? By preventing many hospital visits. A healthy diet prevents many illnesses, meaning that hospital visits will occur less frequently for a relatively healthy person.

    A few things to keep in mind:

    1. Organic foods are the best to get, but you will have to be sure that what you are getting is truly organic.
    2. Do your research on the companies or farmers that your grocer uses.
    3. Visit farmers’ markets, talking with each vendor to be sure you are getting what you want.
    4. Growing your own food is a family project that does not take as much money and time as many people think. And, you can grow everything organically.
    5. Do the best you can. You cannot purchase all of your organic foods when on a budget. Grow what you can, and do your best otherwise. Search out other food resources, and be sure that each family member is eating their own serving sizes by visiting MyPyramid.com and entering the information for each family member. Many people overeat without even knowing it.
    6. You can preserve home grown and farmers’ market foods for winter use. Learn about drying, canning and freezing your fresh produce.

    Packing lunches for children is not difficult, as long as cold foods are able to be kept cold and hot foods warm. One way to accomplish this is to invest in  hot/cold thermoses. Here are a couple of recipes for simple, healthy foods that your child will love come lunch time at school.

    Trail Mix

    Cheerios

    Wheat Chex

    Granola

    Wheat Thins

    Dried Fruit

    1. Mix everything in a large mixing bowl.
    2. Place into jars with lids to store for short periods of time.
    3. Pour some into small containers when packing lunches.

     

    Favorite Chicken Soup

    When I was young, my grandmother would make me chicken soup if I got sick. My grandmother would do this for all of her grandchildren, asking each one specifically what they wanted. In this way, she provided each of us with our very own Favorite Chicken Soup recipe.

    Chicken

    Cicken broth and/or water

    Parsley or other herbs

    Vegetables of choice

    Noodles of choice, if desired

    1. Place the broth and water into the pot and add bite size pieces of chicken.
    2. Add any vegetables that your child will eat and cook on medium heat for a few hours, or until all vegetables are tender.
    3. Fifteen to twenty minutes before the soup is done, add herbs and noodles.
    4. Freeze leftovers in canning jars or other containers.
    5. Warm in the morning while preparing school lunches, and pour into a thermos to keep it warm.

    There are many other recipes that can be used when packing lunches for your children to enjoy at school. The Frugal Recipes blog has a topic category just for this purpose. Check it out, and start sending healthy meals to school with your children.

    Change How Schools and Child Care Centers Serve Lunch

     

    It is imperative that parents fight for their childrens’ right to eat healthy, well-balanced meals at school. By doing this, you can force the USDA to change how they run things, and ensure that schools are required to feed children nutritious meals. Most schools still do not do this. White processed and wheat processed foods are not healthy.

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