What’s in a Lunchable? A Healthier Homemade Alternative

healthy homemade lunchable

Learn how to make your own!

My kids love the “idea” of the Lunchable. They love the idea of peeling off the chemical laden plastic seal off of an equally chemical rich plastic container that’s been sitting on the refrigerated shelf for an indeterminable amount of time.  But not to worry. The food that lies within the plastic container has enough chemicals in it to allow it’s color and freshness to withstand long periods of shelf life (plus a few weeks in your own refrigerator). Then imagine the joy a child feels when peeling a slice of “turkey” off the stack in it’s cute little compartment, adding a slice of processed cheese and placing it all atop a white flour cracker which, you guessed it, has it’s own little compartment.

My kids and I do not share the same love of the Lunchable. Yet there we were, stuck in a battle of wills. Who would back down first. Who would break the eye contact and surrender? I was up against two tough competitors:  seven year old’s and peer pressure. Luckily, Kelly Lester’s Easy Lunchbox system came along and we could retreat from the standoff.

In my opinion both as a Children’s Nutrition Advocate and a Mom, Lunchables do not constitute a healthy lunch.  But don’t just take my word for it.  Let me show you what’s in the Lunchable and give you the opportunity to decide for yourself.  Then I’ll offer you a fresh Out of the Box Food alternative recipe for a homemade “Lunchable” that your kids will love using the Easy Lunchbox system. ______________________________________________________________________________

The Comparison: Oscar Mayer Breaded Chicken + Mozzarella Sub Sandwich vs. Out of the Box Chicken Parmigiana Sandwich “Lunchable”

(All ingredients followed by an * can be referenced at www.wikipedia.org by clicking on the ingredient.  Please feel free to reference the ingredients on other reputable sites for further information.)

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Oscar Mayer Breaded Chicken + Mozzarella Sub Sandwich

Ingredients:

**All listed product ingredients are taken from product’s package label.  Though Out of the Box Food makes every effort to provide complete ingredient information, please check the package for the most current information.

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Out of the Box Chicken Parmigiana Sandwich “Lunchable”

healthy chicken parmigiana sandwich - DIY lunchable

Both the Chicken Tenders and Pizza Sauce can be made in large quantities and frozen.  Simply thaw and warm for easy weekday lunches.

Serves: 1 Lunchable

Ingredients:

  • 1 all natural sandwich roll (please read product label for ingredients)
  • 1 Out of the Box Chicken Tender (Click HERE for recipe)
  • 1/4 C Out of the Box Pizza Sauce (Click HERE for recipe)
  • 2 thin slices fresh mozzarella

To Assemble Lunchable:

  • Place sandwich roll and chicken tender in large compartment of Easy Lunchbox container.
  • Place fresh mozzarella cheese in medium compartment.
  • Place 1/4 C pizza sauce in small compartment.

I encourage you to read the product labels of your family’s food and get to know the ingredients.  By reading the labels we begin to recognize ingredients such as TBHQ, carrageenan, BHT, BHA, hydrogenated oil, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose (synonymous for corn syrup) and artificial food dyes Yellow 5 and Yellow 6, Red 40, and Blue 1 and Blue 2. These ingredients are on my radar both as an advocate for Children’s Nutrition and as a Mom.  For another fresh alternative to the Lunchable using the Easy Lunchbox System, visit Out of the Box Food for our take on the Extra Cheesy Pizza Lunchable.  Join us as we learn to shop smart and cook fresh for our families at www.outoftheboxfood.com.

Out of the Box Food creator, Kim Gerber, is a Los Angeles mom, home-cook and Children’s Nutrition Advocate with a focus on feeding children healthy, unprocessed food.  For more processed food comparisons and fresh alternative recipes visit www.outoftheboxfood.com