Nowadays, making lunches can be the most stressful part of the morning for countless families. I have two kids on two varied ends of the spectrum. Unfortunately, my youngest daughter, Ananda, has severe allergies. To top it off, she’s somewhat of a “flexitarian” when it comes to eating. Needless to say, my picky first-grader has provoked me be to ingenious, creating lunches that I hope she won’t end up trashing at school. Yep, Ananda’s brutally honest and tells me when she throws snacks away! At the same time, my older daughter Samara is a ninth-grade student-athlete, who’s extremely conscious of her daily nutritional count. She must eat enough to stay energized throughout the day because of extra-curricular practice after school.
I’m searching for snacks that contain vitamins, are absent of artificial sweeteners and flavors, doesn’t have high fructose corn sugar, but will keep my kids full. Thank goodness there’s a plethora of products for families like mine – choosing the organic and gluten-free route. With Ananda and Samara, I’m packing a number of snacks from Stonyfield Organic YoKids Yogurt, line that the girls enjoy such as the YoKids Yogurt (4-ounce, six packs, either Strawberry and Strawberry and Banana or Blueberry and Strawberry and Vanilla). I appreciate that YoKids also contains the calcium and Vitamin D all growing kids need.
In my earnest need to be clever, I also froze several individual packs of YoKids Squeezers Cherry &Berry flavor (2-ounce, eight packs, available in Strawberry, Cherry & Berry, and Blueberry & Lemonade) and dropped them in their lunch boxes. This makes for a cool and filling lunch box treat, and doesn’t melt by the time the kids decide to eat. My girls often complain of feeling thirsty, and YoKids sMOOthie has just the answer (3.1 fluid ounces, six packs available in Strawbana and Very Berry). This mouth-watering sMOOthie not only contains yogurt, but also a burst of organic juices that you don’t usually find in most drinks.
My girls are fruit snack fanatics, so I included packs of Annie’s Homegrown Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks Berry Patch flavor. I like Annie’s products because it’s made with organic strawberry, cherry and raspberry fruit juices. Moreover, the ingredients are not only gluten-free, but also gelatin- and vegan-free! Annie understands kids with allergies, and has made various flavors to accommodate this issue.
Because Ananda can only tolerate a certain amount of dairy, I had to be mindful of what I included in her lunch bag. I packed her a single Organic Valley Stringles Organic String Cheese in Mozzarella flavor (six, 1-ounce packs, Mozzarella, Mild Cheddar, and Colby Jack). Along with her “yummy” mayo and catsup sandwich, she also received a bag of Homegrown Organic Tropical Treat Bunny Fruit Snacks, which contains the delicious mango-peach and tropical punch flavors that Ananda loves! Whether at home or school, Ananda always asks for a snack pack of Annie’s Homegrown Bunny Grahams. So, I put a pack of Honey flavor in her lunch box (six, 1-ounce packs in Honey, Chocolate and Chocolate Chip). To curb Ananda’s thurst, I put an Honest Kids Organic Juice Berry Berry Good Lemonade (eight, 6.75-ounce drink pouches) in her bag. With thirst-quenching cranberry mixed with white grape and lemon juices, this is a delightful beverage. You’ll find mouthwatering flavors like Appely Ever After, Goodness Grapeness, Super Fruit Punch, and Tropical Tango Punch.
Along with receiving her LAUSD-designated, daily breakfast, I can only hope that Ananda’s appetite with suffice until I pick her up at the end of the day. As far as Samara, I think, I’ve created a lunch with enough nutritional products to keep her full and energized… Wish me luck… If not, I have a box of the girls’ favorite Annie’s Homegrown Shells & White Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese on the ready for a quick snack before starting homework.
– That’s IT Mom Penny
Penny received products free of charge to facilitate this review. This will in no way sway our opinion of the product or service. The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your results and opinions may differ.