Back-to-School Lunch Survival Guide


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:

Beef

Chicken

Turkey

Fish

Eggs

Lamb

Cheese

Milk

Yogurt

Peas

Lentils

Chick peas

Hummus

Nuts

Nut butter

Seeds

Seed butter

Beans

Pick 2 Veggies/meal:

Artichokes

Asparagus

Bell peppers

Broccoli

Brussels sprouts

Cabbage

Carrots

Cauliflower

Celery

Cucumber

Dark greens (Spinach/Bok choy…)

Eggplant

Green beans

Lettuces

Mushrooms

Okra

Onion

Peas (Snow, Snap)

Pumpkin

Radishes

Salsa (sugar free)

Sea vegetables (kelp)

Squash

Tomatoes

Zucchini

Pick 2 Fruit/day

Apple

Apricot

Berries

Cantaloupe

Honeydew

Watermelon

Cherries

Fresh figs

Grapefruit

Grapes

Kiwi

Mango

Orange

Pear

Persimmon

Pomegranate seeds

Tangerines

Nectarines

Pick 2 Heavy Veg or Grain/day

Split Peas

Potato

Sweet potato

Yams Grains

Basmati/brown/wild rice

Buckwheat

Oatmeal

Millet

Quinoa

Teff

Sprouted grains

 

 

Pick 2 Fat or Oil/day:

Avocado

Avocado oil

Olives

Olive oil

Coconut oil

Butter

Ghee

Lard

Flax oil

Sesame oil

 

 

 

  • 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…)

Details, serving sizes, recipes, meal plan and tips can be found here.

 


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