Healthy lunches that are fun

August 29, 2010 But how do you pack a healthy lunch that's still fun?

Beth Aldrich is a green living expert, a mom to three boys and the author of an upcoming book called Real Moms Love to Eat. She visits ABC7 with some creative yet nutritious lunch-time ideas.

1. Pack Great Sandwiches
It Starts with the Bread: Kids simply love variations and surprise. Instead of using the same boring bread everyday, try using various kinds like whole wheat, multi-grain, omega 3, or flax bread. Of course, you can add even more variety by using bagels, dinner rolls or fajita wraps too!

Stick to Real Sandwich Meat: Sandwich meat is very processed - so a great idea is to use leftover meats from the night before. Make it a rule to always make extra chicken or whatever you're cooking up; then turn those leftovers into chicken salad sandwiches or grilled salmon fillet sandwiches. These are much healthier than the sodium-loaded "convenient" options.

2. Make Fruit and Veggies Fun
Instead of boring apples, get creative with your fruit. Include dried fruit, apple sauces, healthy fruit roll ups and low-sugar jams in your kid's lunchbox. You can even mix up some dried fruit, mixed nuts, crunchy whole grain cereals and chocolate chips to create a fun trail mix snack! --Beth will offer a healthy and delic trail mix recipe on-air

3. Create Homemade Lunchables
Instead of spending a fortune on pre-made Lunchables packages filled with processed meats, make a homemade and healthy "Lunchables" using cool laptop lunch boxes and your own meats, cheese slices, crackers, fruits and pudding or apple sauces. It's cheaper and your kids can create their own concoctions, a hit in Beth's house for sure!

4. Make Probiotics Part of the Lunch
Kiddie-sized yogurts provide a good source of protein and calcium. If possible, choose a brand with active live bacterial cultures (probiotics) to maximize health benefits.

5. Keep Crunch without Calories
Organic snacks like Pirate Booty are a healthy alternative to chips.

Beth Aldrich's Site:
Rudi's Organic Bakery:
Earthbound Farms:
Go Green Lunch Box:
Lifeway Kefir and Pirate's Booty:

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