Chef Kelli's tips on how to pack a healthy lunch - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Chef Kelli's tips on how to pack a healthy lunch

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(WJBK) -

It is important from a young age we expose our children to real food. And by that, I mean 90 percent of the time our food consumption comes from one word foods; ex. for instance; broccoli, tomatoes, asparagus, eggs, chicken, beef, fish, vegetables, so on and so forth, food that comes from nature.

If it comes in a box it is not close to the vine and whole so to speak. My fear is we are raising a generation of youngsters that possibly may not even understand what REAL food is, smells or looks like. Most of the food born out of a box, bag or can and often has our favorite cartoon or young celebrities tied to its label/branding to super sell us.

Even things that use to be real food such as yogurt are now being corrupted with dyes, artificial sweeteners and the list goes on and on. For a lunch box revolution to succeed we have to get our kids in the zone of eating real food vs. the; box, bag, pouches and cartons that make claims of nutrition but leave our children tired, poor learners, often over weight and type 2 diabetic .

We have to start looking at our food as fuel and why would we want to put bad fuel i.e.; white sugar, flour, high fructose corn syrup, manufactured foods with very little to no nutritional value. 

How to pack eco-friendly & healthy school lunches

Avoid Plastic containers & vinyl lunch bags
Look for materials such as; stainless steel, silicone or plastic labeled FREE of; PVC, BPA and phthalate's  
Choose reusable snack bags
Avoid foods with additives such as; artificial dyes & flavors, refined sugars and processed foods available prepackaged
Look for REAL, WHOLE and Fresh ingredients

Packing a Good Lunch

"You want an appealing salad bar so kids will take what's offered, the brighter the veggies, the more nutritious.  Try some of the baby organic carrots, celery with sun, peanut or almond butter.  Cucumbers cream cheese sandwiches or just with homemade or better yet just cucumbers.  Add spinach and other greens whenever possible in sandwiches, casseroles, soups etc.

The fiber in REAL whole grain and brown rice breads or even the sprouted grain tortillas are a lunch box home run!  Don't be afraid to include cold brown rice for a salad or side, kids and people in general have a preconceived idea that certain food has to hot and other cold, pack your kids favorite sides cold for lunch! A cold meat balls in a lunch with some crunchy veggies and a side of fruit!


From REAL food sources vs. manufactured foods!  Homemade dressing rich in olive oil vs. the MSG, proceeded veggie oil and high fructose syrup you will find in many off the self-dressings.


Don't forget to expose your kids (and yourself) to the bounty around us here in Michigan; regularly incorporate unfamiliar vegetables like butternut squash, pea pods, and bean sprouts as well as ethnic dishes. Variety is vital to good nutrition, so increasing kids' food knowledge. The more food choices they have, the more they'll try.  Don't let your kid be the chicken nugget or bust kid!

2-Unique Pastry Chef Ashley's Power Bar

1 ½ c Whole Almonds                     
½ c Pumpkin Seeds                               
½  c Sunflower Seeds                
1 c Currants
1 c dried Cherries
1 c Dried Blueberries
½ c Dried Strawberries
¼ c Flax Seeds
¼ c Cocoa Nibs
1 c Shredded Coconut
4 c Rolled Oats
4 c Rice Krispie Cereal
½ c Wheat Germ (optional)
1 c Peanut or almond Butter                
1 c Light Organic Brown Sugar
1 c Honey                                                     
1 tsp. Vanilla                    
1 ½  tsp. Salt    

Toast all nuts and oats. Then combine with the rest of the ingredients into a large bowl.
Melt together in heavy bottom pot. Pour over dry mix until fully coated.
Press firmly while warm into a sprayed 9 x 13 pan.
Let set up at room temp or in refrigerator until firm and cool.
Cut into desired size and store at room temp or freezer.


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