Ugh, back-to-school lunches can strike terror in the heart of a health-minded parent. At least it did for me. Summer is a great time to let our guard down and indulge in summer fun. Sugared cereal, ice cream, and s’mores are typical summer fare. Once we return to reality, and back-to-school/back-to-work, we reign in our eating habits and look to a healthier diet. One of the most frequent questions I get asked is “what to pack for school lunches?” So, I’d like to share with you our back-to-school/back-to-work survival guide.
When you are a family of carb addicts, as we are, making healthy food choices takes an indescribable amount of effort for adults, let alone kids. In order to empower our kids and ourselves, without tearing our hair out, we have come up with a system that works for all. It started with a list of healthy foods in the categories of protein, vegetables, and fruit and has evolved from there. When my kids were young they would pick one protein, one veggie, and one fruit for breakfast and for lunch. Now that they are older we adapted the list to limit our intake of fruit, carbs, and fat to two servings per day.
I have spoken about the benefits of a ketogenic diet, where you use a high fat diet as a fuel source for a variety of health benefits. That is too limiting for social kids that will benefit as much on a more balanced diet. Look here for info on ketogenic diets.
I have created a printable version of our healthy food list and some bullet points on how to use it. For more details like serving sizes, meal plans, recipes, and tips you can access the original food plan called the Specific Metabolism Diet here.
Have a good school (work) day!
Click here for printable version: Eating Survival Guide
Pick a Protein/meal:
Pick 2 Veggies/meal:
Dark greens (Spinach/Bok choy…)
Peas (Snow, Snap)
Salsa (sugar free)
Sea vegetables (kelp)
Pick 2 Fruit/day
Pick 2 Heavy Veg or Grain/day
Pick 2 Fat or Oil/day:
- Highlight the foods from each category that you absolutely love and underline the foods that you tolerate or are willing to try.
- Eat every 3-4 hours in a 12 hour window
- Drink approximately ½ your body weight in ounces of water a day
- Move your body daily (walk, yoga, biking, weight lifting…)