Have you watched the ‘The Sugar Film’ yet? Are you, like more and more mums, inspired to reduce sugar in your household and for your children? The reality of that however can seem overwhelming. Do you need some ideas and solutions?
Firstly, sorry i don’t have a magic quick solution for you. But please don’t stop reading...you know this is an important thing to do for your family or you wouldn’t have started to read this blog.
It’s time to start changing your thinking and priorities around food. Yes it really is possible - you can do it!!
Lets be real, if a company can make a range of inexpensive snacks in your child’s favourite flavours that can be stored on the supermarket shelves and your pantry for months then it's not real food that is going to nourish your child’s body and brain.
We need to start remembering about actual REAL FOOD as options for lunch boxes...you know like meat, vegetables, eggs, fruits, nuts and seeds.
We need to step up as the grocery shopper, the cook, the parent, the role model and start taking responsibility for our family’s nourishment and wellness. Take it as an empowering honour!
We need to start re-thinking about what school lunch boxes and snacks have looked liked for the last 30 years and go back to the nourishing basics.
Sugar is addictive. The unhealthy gut bacteria feed off the sugar and send the body signals for more. Sugar tastes good and gives you a high. The desire for sugary snacks is a physical as well and psychological response from the body. So if your child is used to a lot of sugar be prepared that they are going to whinge and beg you for more. It is going to take love and strength from you to make these changes for your family. But it is possible, it will get easier and be so worth it, I promise!
Wheat products get treated very similar by the body to sugar. So in my opinion reducing your sugar intake needs to go hand in hand with reducing (or better yet eliminating) your wheat intake. It will actually be easier to do the both together.
Including protein and good fats with every meal will be the biggest help when reducing your sugar intake. It will help keep you full and satisfied, and fat makes things taste good.
This is for your family’s long term health so lets be real it will take change, effort, planning and cooking. It will require a mind shift. It will require you as the parent to lead by example. But don’t freak out it doesn’t all have to happen overnight.
For example if your children are used to having mini biscuits every day, start reducing it to 3 times a week and start introducing other options. Slowly phase out the old as you phase in the new. Read more about this in a previous blog here.
Reducing, then eliminating soft drinks and bought fruit juices will make one of the biggest impacts. Drink water and use the money saved on quality real foods.
You can help to make it fun by cutting the vegetables into different shapes, using toothpicks to create mini kababs, or leaving notes/jokes in the lunch box.
Low-Sugar Lunch Box Ideas
These are not necessarily Paleo ideas, they are to help with the transition off sugar-filled processed foods.
- Cold Meats - BBQ chicken, roast lamb, meatballs, sausage, ham, smoked salmon.
- Vegetables - carrot sticks, snow peas, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers etc
- Fruit - whole, cut, fruit salad, fruit kababs.
- Dips (preferably homemade) - hummus, avocado, cream cheese, pesto
- Homemade Soup or leftover dinner in a thermos
- Popcorn. It is possible to buy pre-popped popcorn that just has corn, oil and salt as the ingredients. Or pop your own at home. Popcorn makers are super cheap from places like Kmart. You can pop up a large container and pack them into snap lock bags or containers once it is cooled down. Flavour with real butter and celtic sea salt or himalayan pink salt.
- Home made smoothie in a drink bottle - include e.g. an egg white for protein and coconut cream for fat.
- Homemade muffins, slices, pancakes
- Slice of frittata
- Homemade bliss ball or protein balls
- Cheddar cheese cut from a block and plain rice crackers.
- Tuna or boiled egg mixed with homemade mayonnaise
- Salad box which includes a protein and a little container of an olive oil dressing.
- Trail mix of nuts, seeds, dates, coconut, dark chocolate.
- Filtered Water
Well done for taking the first steps to improving your family's health! Keep reading, keep learning and keep opening your eyes to what has been happening to our food. Start reading all food labels, start making changes and keep moving forward. Be kind to yourself and celebrate when you have each small win.
Soon YOU will be the one sharing your own lunch box ideas and tips to reduce your children’s sugar intake with your friends and family. Start your own ripple effect! Thank you for reading. Wishing you wellness, Mel x