For this week's Tuesday's Lunchbox, I tried my hand at another Bento. Actually, The Princess really loves Bento lunches, so I have made them for 5 of the past 6 school lunches. Here it is! :) (I apologize for the poor lighting.)
This bento contains:
- Pita made with leftover ham from Saturday's dinner, cheese, tomatoes, and Arnold's "Italian Herb" pocket thins flatbread. (Grain, dairy, veggie, protein. Check, Check, Check, Check. Yes, I just called tomato a veggie. Just for right now, we will pretend that it is.)
- Sliced apples (Fruit. Check.)
- Homemade brownie cupcake. I like to bake brownies in cupcake pans, the kids like the way they look, and it makes serving easier, and fun. :)
- Bottle of water
Now for the lunchbox tip of the week. Last week, our top was to exchange juice and other sugary drinks for water. This week, I want to call attention to prepackaged and deli lunch meats. A lot of the time, these meats contain nitrates and sodium nitrites; potentially harmful chemicals that have been proven to increase the risk of colon and pancreatic cancers, and may even cause an increase in migraine headaches. Learn more about that here on Livestrong.com. You should be especially aware of these risks if you have a family history of these conditions, or are predisposed to them otherwise. Look for packaging that says "Nitrate and Nitrite free." Two brands that claim not to use these harmful chemicals are 'Applegate Farms' and 'Hormel Natural Choice.'
Another option, and my favorite, is to make Sunday's dinner using a meat that is sandwich worthy, and make it large enough so there are leftovers for lunches the for the following week. Leftover Turkey, chicken, and ham that has not been treated with Nitrates or Nitrites all make for great lunch meats. Plus, you will save time and money by having prepared the meat ahead of time and using leftovers. Sounds like a win, win, win to me. :)
I hope you all enjoyed this week's Lunchbox Tuesday. If you would like to share what your child is eating for lunch, send me an email with a picture and description of your lunch, I am always looking for inspiration.