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Training for Baby: Healthy lunches

Lunch is one of the easiest places to screw up your diet. Convenience often means less healthy.

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Kathy Hanrahan
Kathy Hanrahan

Lunch is one of the easiest places to screw up your diet. Convenience often means less healthy.

Sometimes getting in the car and driving to Whole Foods to get a nice spinach salad from their amazing salad bar just isn’t possible when I am working. So, I find myself tempted to go with a less healthy option like something from a nearby burrito place within walking distance. Quesadillas are my weakness!

The key to staying on track and not slipping back into old habits (like greasy fast food) is packing a healthy lunch. When I was hardcore trying to lose weight, I would go with lean deli turkey with mustard and light mayo on wheat bread and a cup of yogurt. Healthy snacks like almonds and 100 calorie snacks kept me from getting hungry later in the day.

There are only so many turkey sandwiches I could take though, so I had to start trying out frozen dinners.

Smart Ones has the best frozen meals, at least in my opinion. Their mini-cheeseburgers are almost as good as real ones.

Lean Cuisine’s healthy snacks, specifically the spinach and artichoke dip and garlic chicken spring rolls are filling and serve as a great lunch item, if you combine it with some fruit or some yogurt.

Healthy Choice’s fresh mixers are also great items on the go. Just add water and microwave. My favorite is the ziti and meat sauce. The sweet and sour chicken isn’t too bad either.

Trying to feed myself something healthy can be rough. How do you moms out there make sure your child has a healthy lunch?

When I was in elementary school, my mom used to pack me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a tiny baggy of potato chips. It was about the only thing I ate when growing up! I was a little picky.

Buying lunch wasn’t always a great option. I grew up in Cajun country. Even the spaghetti and meatball plate lunches were overly spicy! Most of the food offered in the cafeteria was frozen stuff dropped off that week from Schwans. One time I found a bone in my chicken nugget … at least I hope it was a bone…

When buying lunch, I mainly lived off of strawberry push-up pops and French fries.

Are school lunch options a concern for you? What do you do to help your child get a good lunch?

Kathy is a web producer, entertainment expert and concert photographer for WRAL.com. She has written a manuscript about her life as an entertainment reporter and pop culture. Learn more about Kathy on her website. On Wednesdays here on Go Ask Mom, she's chronicling her efforts to lose weight before she and her husband start a family.


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