Convenience vs. Healthy Choice

I’ve been counting down the days for summer, because for the first time ever, my kids will be in day camp. I love spending time with my kids more than anything in the world, but after the past three summers of having them hang around the house, saying “I’m bored” approximately 3,000 times a day while I try to work,  it was time to make a change.

We went out last night to buy all of the supplies for camp: sunscreen, bug spray and lunch items. Sounds straightforward, right?

Not so much. My husband and I had a debate about convenience vs. healthy lunch in the meat aisle.

He grabbed ten packs of Lunchables, threw them in the cart and said, “Done.”

I said, “We cannot give them a Lunchable everyday.”

“Why not?” he asked.

“Because it is not healthy.”

He said, “It’s cheese, turkey and crackers. How bad can that be?”

“They are full of fat, sugar and salt. I research and write about how bad this crap is on my blog. If we buy these, I will not practice what I preach.”

If you don’t know how bad lunchables are, read Out to Lunch, which grades nine pre-packaged lunches. You may ask, “how can cheese, turkey and crackers be that bad for you.” Consider that Kraft adds starch to the cheese slices, hydrogenated oil and high-fructose corn syrup to the crackers and sodium nitrate to the turkey. This small meal, which would only fill up the tiniest of tummies, has 19 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat and 900 grams of sodium.

After I stood on my soap box and recited all of this to my husband, he came back at me with something that resonated louder than the shocking ingredients on the label, “You always say you are busy and don’t have time. Why are you making this hard on yourself?”

He had a point.

So in my moment of weakness under the glow of fluorescent lights in the grocery store aisle, I bought Lunchables, a bag of apples, yogurt and gasp….fruit roll-ups.

I caved.

When given the choice between convenience and the healthy option, I chose convenience. I don’t feel great about it, but it sure feels good having that extra thirty minutes in the morning to spend time with them instead of stressing myself out in the kitchen prepping lunches.

What would you do?

I’m going to find some easy, fast, healthy convenient lunches to pack for camp and I’ll share them with you on the blog. Please share ideas that you have! I’d love to hear your suggestions. In the meantime, my kids will enjoy their sugar and fat filled lunch.

10 thoughts on “Convenience vs. Healthy Choice

  1. For what its worth, I say alternate. On busy mornings its Lunchables and on easy mornings make a healthy lunch. Just don’t get the chicken nuggets, your daughter hates them! LOL

  2. Have you thought about spending time with the kids and making healthy lunches at the same time? It’s been my experience that children love to help out in the kitchen and they are more likely to eat the food they’ve had their hands in.

  3. At my house, we spend our weekends doing make-ahead meals for the week. This helps keep things simple AND healthy! I’m working on increasing the make-ahead lunch recipe repertoire, but I’ve found that using the previous night’s make-ahead leftovers works great!

  4. Pingback: Healthy Lunch Series: Tip #1: Everything tastes better on a stick

  5. Pingback: Confessions « Modern Parent Online

  6. This conversation is nonsense. Natural peanut butter and whole grain bread, chicken breasts (which can be poached, sauteed or baked on the weekend and then sliced for lunch or snacks), make tuna salad with grated carrots in the evening or on the weekend. It will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge. Cooked green beans, sauteed zucchini sticks, a sweet potato baked in the microwave and cut into chunks all can be your own ‘convenience’ food and don’t have the salt, fat, preservatives and sugar that packaged food like Lunchables have. And they’re cheaper, too.

  7. You are right, Lunchables are VERY bad for you. They may be easy and quick but it is not healthy for kids. The meat and cheese is are wheat-fed animals (Wheat is a very bad chemical for your body) and is factory farming. (Which is also very bad). Just say this, everything Lunchables makes is bad for you, to the nuggets, pizza, and everything else they make. Next, on to the junk food they give in each meal. Number 1: The candy is nothing but chemicals and fake dye that can lead to hyperactivity and other very bad stuff. Number 2: About 89% of that candy has BUGS used in it. Like skittles and jelly belly etc. Tell your husband this and make a rule of NO MORE LUNCHABLES!!! Kid + Lunchables = Death or sickness. You decide your child’s future, I say no Lunchables.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *