Marie Oser | Recipes

Healthy School Lunch
by Marie Oser

Commercial fast food is rearing it's unhealthy head in lunch rooms across America and excess fat, calories, and cholesterol are a serious concern. According to Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine close to 5 million children, aged 6 to 17, are seriously overweight, a number that has more than doubled in the past 30 years. Increasing numbers of children, often as young as ten years old, are being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. This form of diabetes is most often referred to as "adult-onset diabetes" and frequently found in obese people. It's important to encourage good eating habits as early as possible because this will have a positive impact on future health, weight, and medical expense. As we get ready to send our children back to school, health conscious parents are looking for healthy options that their children will want to eat.

Preparing a wholesome lunch for the family each day doesn't require a great deal of time. With a little planning you can have a tasty lunch that is nutritious and economical. Children like to "fit in" and it is so easy these days to make a lunch that doesn't scream "sprouts & granola." There are healthful sandwich-stuffers that mimic the taste, texture, and appearance of traditional deli meats. Look for plant based alternatives such as, Light life Roast Turkey, Country Ham, Foney Baloney, Three Peppercorn Pastrami, and Tofurky Hickory Smoked and Original slices and Jerky. There's Yves Veggie Canadian Bacon, Salami, and Pepperoni, too. A Healthy Lunch can come together as quickly as its unhealthy counterpart, and its a real time-saver to make sandwiches the previous evening. Spread frozen slices of multi grain bread lightly with eggless mayonnaise, or Dijon mustard, add slices of Hickory or Savory Baked Tofu, and lettuce and tomato. Include a piece of fruit, wholesome cookies, and soymilk. Wrap and set aside in the refrigerator overnight.

Many American parents are buying prepackaged boxed lunches that typically contain deli slices, processed cheese and a candy bar for their kids, despite concerns regarding their nutritional value. The popularity of these prepackaged "Lunch Boxes" among school children has parents heading to the stores; fueling a $600 million industry in America.Traditional lunch boxes have come under fire from the American College of Cardiologists because of their high salt content. Typically these lunch boxes include meat, cheese, crackers and a dessert and can contain nearly three-fourths of the recommended daily salt allowance.

Our Enlightened Healthy Lunch is made with healthful alternatives that are widely available in supermarkets and health food stores. And those prepackaged lunch boxes? You will find a wholesome alternative you can feel good about and that your children will enjoy. Yves Veggie Cuisine has introduced two styles of their "Good Lunch." You can offer a wholesome box lunch that looks and tastes like it's traditional counterpart but contains less than 300 calories and only 7 grams of fat ! Widely available and priced competitively healthy school lunch options have arrived and they are as close as your supermarket or local health food store.

Enlightened Healthy Lunch
Servings 1
2 slices multi grain bread
1 Tablespoon eggless mayonnaise
1 1/2 ounces Baked Tofu, sliced on an angle
3 slices fresh tomato
1 leaf Romaine lettuce
1 medium orange
2 Health Valley cookies
6 ounces enriched soymilk.

Enlightened Healthy Lunch
Nutrition Analysis per serving
Protein 17g
Carbohydrates 63g
Fiber 9g
Fat 6g
Sat Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Calcium 235 mg
Sodium 484mg.
Calories 369
Calories from Protein: 18%
Calories from Carbohydrates: 68%
Calories from Fat: 14%
Traditional Lunch
Nutrition Analysis per serving
Protein 22g
Carbohydrates 71g
Fiber 5g
Fat 31g
Sat Fat 11g
Cholesterol 77mg
Calcium 323 mg
Sodium 1108mg
Calories 640
Calories from Protein: 13%
Calories from Carbohydrates: 44%
Calories from Fat: 43%

Marie Oser is a bestselling author and on-camera chef at Her latest book is More Soy Cooking, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Marie can be reached at

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