Let's face it, schools do not offer the healthiest options for kids these days. Personally speaking, I remember ordering french fries and a soda, that was my lunch. Horrible, I know. I mean most kids don't think about what is best for them when given money to buy their lunch at school, they just get what tastes good. Usually that means deep fried and full of sugar. But what can parents do when they don't have the time to make them a lunch to take?
I think I found the answer, I recently came across Brown Bag Naturals, a local Southern California business that is partnering with natural food manufacturers to make nutritious lunches for schools. Having started with a single preschool, they've grown to dozens throughout Southern California and are making the move to nationwide.
With a growing need for nutrition to reach America's youth, they couldn't have come at a better time. In addition to their programs in more affluent private and public schools, Brown Bag Naturals has made a commitment to bring these more nutritious meals to students in disadvantaged communities as well. Through their Pantry Partners help, such as Whole Foods Market and Kashi, they are able to subsidize some of these meals for students eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch program. With generous donations of cash and products, they help bring the daily amount to less than $2.50 per student.
For those kids who aren't eligible, regular-sized lunches, are just $5.00. They contain an entrée (both hot and cold) and two side dishes/snacks, along with water, a napkin and all required utensils. Sometimes the Pantry Partners will let you throw in additional snacks and drinks at no charge! There's also a Junior meal option for those with a smaller appetites, meant for children in the 1st grade and under.
Now you're probably wondering what's hiding in these signature "Brown Bags." Well, number one, all items are prepared fresh each and every morning, as if Mom made them, and kids can choose from up to 27 different combinations daily. And they really covered their bases, all of their menus have been reviewed by nutritionists to make them as well balanced as possible.
Kids will find familiar chicken nuggets, cheese quesadillas and hot dogs (made with 100% naturally-raised turkey of course), in addition to Chicken Teriyaki Bowl, Chicken Salad Wrap, and a Baked Potato Kit, just to name a few.
Granted, the nationwide problem of childhood obesity won't be solved overnight or by a single person. This is just one example of what some are doing to help turn the tides on this growing epidemic. There is something we can do to help, so get your kid's school involved and you can have Brown Bag Naturals deliver a healthy lunch to your kid's school in the morning.