Saturday, August 31, 2013

Milk Unleashed - The Perfect Lunch Box Companion (And a Contest!) #BTS

Isn't that lunch box adorable? Yeah, I'm not nearly that creative, or even awake, in the mornings. Some days it's a struggle just to locate the various components that I think will go together to create a healthy lunch for Little Boo. School lunches are hard, and I'm pretty much out of practice, though I did have to make lunches for him 4 days last week at Zoo Camp. So, I'm getting back into the swing of things. Two days to go ...

Here's one of the lunches Little Boo enjoyed last week:
Yes, I feed my kid sandwiches on white bread. Judge if you must, but it's what he likes.
Sandwich, cheese, tomatoes, and a treat (that's still got health benefits!), plus a container of shelf safe chocolate milk. Milk that can safely make the trip to school in a lunch box, sit there all morning, and still taste great at noon? Yes indeed. Shelf-safe milk in Tetra Paks is a great alternative to juice boxes, and it provides the same nutrition as any other milk. Because it's milk, just in a special container.

Each 250ml carton of shelf safe milk has 8 grams of protein and 9 essential nutrients – calcium, Vitamins A, D and B12, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, riboflavin, niacin and zinc – nearly half of the daily recommended vitamins intake! And each container fulfills one of the two servings of milk and milk products recommended for children by the Canada Food Guide. Best of all, it passes the kid taste test.

Milk Unleashed sent me samples of both white and chocolate shelf-safe milk to try. Little Boo tried both in his lunch last week and gave them a big thumbs up. I asked him if they tasted any different than his usual glass of milk, and he looked at me like I had two heads. "No. It's milk. It tastes great. Can I have one tomorrow too?" I think that says it all.

My guy is pretty happy with either white or flavoured milk, but not every kid is so flexible. (I can't believe I just used the word flexible in relation to my kid. This is one of the very few areas it applies.) If you have difficulty getting your kid to accept their two servings minimum of dairy a day, don't feel bad about trying flavoured milk as a treat. It is still milk and provides all the same goodness as white milk, and, although it does have added sugar, it isn't a huge amount (around 7g), with a comparable sugar content to fruit juice.

Lunch Box Tips

Milk Unleashed suggests these "5 Cs" of the lunchbox. These tips should help you tackle the challenge of creating a healthy lunch your kids will actually eat and enjoy!

1. Convenient – A package of string cheese is just as easy to toss in the lunchbox as a bag of salty, fatty potato chips. So is a box of raisins. And shelf safe milk. Keep some single-serve cartons in the freezer – then nestle one in the lunchbox, and they’ll keep the other items chilled until noon. Since healthy can be so easy, vow to pass on the junk!

2. Colourful – Research shows that kids eat with their eyes, and many colourful foods are healthy options. Like baby carrots, red grapes and bright green edamame. Buy the red or green tortillas for wraps. Or make some pasta salad with colourful corkscrew noodles.

3. Cut Up – Youngsters are much more likely to eat an apple (and other produce) if you cut it up for them. Especially if there is something to dip the wedges in…like yogurt and honey. Try cutting a sandwich in four strips or little triangles. Or make a mini kabob with rolled up lunchmeat, grape tomatoes and chunks of cheese on a toothpick.

4. Cute – Use a cookie cutter to shape a sandwich or vegetable slices. Get some fun printed napkins at the dollar store. Draw a smiley face on a banana. Need more ideas? Click here.

5. Cow – Embrace the cow! Dairy foods are packed with nutrients. Just one carton of shelf safe milk has 9 grams of protein and plenty of calcium and vitamin D. It’s just the right beverage to help kids learn and play all afternoon.

For an entire month’s worth of ideas for your lunchbox makeover, download the latest Cow Calendar.


From August 14 to September 10, be sure to enter Milk Unleashed's Lunchbox Makeover contest. How do you jazz up your kids’ lunchbox? Submit a photo or description of your most creative recipes and lunchbox ideas for a chance to win. Hint: Follow the Five Cs above for a winning entry. Need inspiration? Visit Milk Unleashed on Pinterest for some fun ideas!

To stay up to date, you can connect with Milk Unleashed on Facebook and Twitter @MilkUnleashed.

Disclosure: I received complimentary product to facilitate this review. No other compensation was received. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own or those of my family.

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