Product Reviews

Back to School Lunch & Snack Guide 2013


back to schoo lunch guide 2

I wanted to create a guide for our parent readers to help them decide on healthy lunch and snack ideas. The products you read about in this guide are products I would feed my own children. These products are also blog approved. Disclosure: for our review and guide I received samples of each of the products I talk about in the in the picture (except the fruit and veggie, I bought those) and I was not compensated. I needed to be able to sample each product to know if they are good enough for my readers! I hope you find some good products to try out of this sampling.

School starts the first week of September for us and I got to say I cannot wait. The kids are driving me crazy so it’s going to be a dream come true for them to be back at school. However, school lunches and snack ideas are always hard for me. Are they for you? Below you will find an overview of the products I endorse for back to school food and lunch/drink storage products.

Food/Drink  Storage

Wexy lunch & munch bags. These are sandwich sized bags that are made from a bit heavier plastic. They look like they could be reused if you washed them out and dry them. What I love about Wexy is that there are colorful characters on the bags that are variable age appropraite. They aren’t too little kid like so older children would be able to use them without feeling embarrassed.  The bags are also BPA free and are biodegradable. I actually think I might have a cute project for my gardening side of the blog using these bags after the kids are ready to toss them out.  So be on the look out for that 😉 You can purchase WExy bags on Amazon Wexy 3 Pack resize_f92f56d854c80b93253252e203af722a855e3fa2dfb4bac02d7e8e9a9fa5b1d9c04d85de250250

 I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Built Big Apple Buddies Sandwich & Snack Pack help cut down on waste. they are made from heat saving technology and have a zip lock. The fabric is like vinyl so it wipes clean easily which is my favorite part. These retail for $11.99 and come with a sandwich bag and a snack bag. There are many designs to choose from on the site.p189840b

Brita has a great selection of filtered water bottles so that your child can go to school with a healthy lunch and drink. There are some health researchers that say children should not have juice or other sugary drinks. Water is a great thing to encourage your kids to drink and Brita bottles will ensure they are getting clean drinkable water.

brita

 

  • Save over 300 plastic bottles by using Brita bottle.
  • Can change the filter to keep using the same bottle.
  • Less chlorine exposure! Filter removes most of it.
  • Great selection of hard sided bottles.

As a parent we are always looking for healthy options and sometimes it can be hard but with balance it can be done. I don’t believe that giving my children sweets in moderation hurts them but I don’t think it should be a regular item in my kids lunch box either. So while we have cookies, chips and popcorn in our guide this year it is a treat and I believe that’s why these items are classified as “snack” foods. I plan to surprise my kids with a few of them throughout the month. *Some schools do have rules in place that you can’t bring these items and almost all schools say you cannot pack soda.Natures Own

Nature’s Own offers  quality bakery foods for every meal–soft variety breads, premium specialty breads, white breads, buns, sandwich rounds, and English muffins, bagels, and breakfast breads. There are no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial preservatives, no trans fats, no cholesterol and is low fat. The bread is baked fresh and is kid approved! I tested the whole wheat bread on my son after cutting the sandwich using mustache cookie cutters (his request) and he had no idea the bread was whole wheat. He normally will say he doesn’t like whole wheat and refuse to eat it because it’s too dry but with Nature’s Own the bread is soft so he had no clue.

Nature’s Own products can be found at most major grocery stores. I find mine at Safeway, Fred Meyer, Winco and sometimes I get it at Walmart.

Mom Made Foods are USDA approved organic foods that are marketed to kids bu state they are for every age. I would say they are specifically made for toddlers as we tried them and found the products to be pretty bland for an older child or adult pallet. I would not purchase them for myself or my kids but if I had a toddler I would.  I think they are just right for the toddler age. the one product I sort of liked was the Turkey Meatball Delights. they are antibiotic free, low sodium with great protein. They also seemed to have an appropriate amount of fat to carb ratio.

Newman’s Own Organics makes great products that would be perfect for your child’s lunch box. They don’t just make cookies and candy, they have pretzels, popcorn, tea, dried fruit, oils, coffee and even pet food! In fact, I was recently on their Facebook page and I read a super sweet post about how the company gave a customer a hefty supply of cat food for her disabled cat! You can read about the story here , I highly encourage you to like their page while you are there as they are a great company to support.

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I received a wide assortment of organic products from their line, including fig newtons, sandwich cookies, dried fruit and raisins, pretzels, and licorice. The products were so good that I had left the house, leavings the kids behind and when I cam home I had discovered that the dang kids had EATEN most of the cookies and fig newtons! Needless to say I was pretty ticked off and they are now grounded lol. If that isn’t kid approved I’m not sure how else to convince you.

  • Newman’s Own Organic products are certified organic and have Oregon Tilth Certification . You can find more information about ingredients in each of their products here.  The line of products are GMO free and they are mindful of the substances they use in manufacturing food products. You can find Newman’s Own Organic products at most grocery stores including Whole Foods, Trade Joes, Safeway and Fred Meyer.

Betty Lou’s Inc has a nice selection of snack foods, powdered peanut butter, protein bars and protein powder that can be incorporated into a healthy lunch or snack item. My favorite is the Fruit bars found here they are really good and I will be purchasing them in the future. Betty Lou is certified organic, is low in fat and calories. All products are wheat and GMO free, there are no refined sugars and no hydrogenated oils.

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Almondina Cookies are a great healthy low fat treat for your kids lunch box. They are low in salt and low in calories so you don’t have to worry about the treat turning into half their daily calorie limit which is often the case with other leading brands. The thing I like most about Almondina is that the brand carries a large variety of flavors and they go well with tea. We received a large assortment of samples to try and my favorites were the chocolate cherry and the sesame. There are nuts in Almondina so you need to be sure your child is not allergic. You can purchase Almondina at Walmart, Trader Joe’s, and many other stores.

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SeaBear makes fish products in can and packets of 100% wild caught salmon and other seafood products. They are most famous for their wild caught salmon products in foil wrapped packets. The fish is cooked inside the packet already sealed. There is no additives, oils or water added to the packet. If I were giving salmon to my son or daughter for school I would mix it up like tuna and put it on bread or on top of a salad. I would be sure to remove any bones and I would not give this to small children.  Salmon is a great source if healthy fat. you can find more information on their FQS page here . med_4142seabear_smoked_wild_copper_river_sockeye_holiday_fillet ThePurBar has a brand new product out called Pure Organic Fruit Snacks and they are pretty darn delicious if you ask either of my kids.  Pure Organic Fruit Snacks are made from fruit and vegetables, no added sugars or preservatives and come in single packets with a suggested retail value of .89 to $1.19 each. You can find more information here   CAM00329

This years back to school lunch guide was tons of fun. the kids loved trying all these new products and learning what they did and didn’t like and now I have some awesome items to start the school year off right. A big thanks to all these wonderful companies for making fantastic products. I encourage all you to check out the sites listed in each product description.

Was there a product you wished we covered this year? Leave a comment with a little product information and I’ll research it for next years guide.

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