Is There a Place for Sweet Treats in School Lunches?Meghan Gesswein
One of the things that I love about the preschool my children attended is their “No sugar” policy. Birthdays were celebrated with handmade crowns and fruit salad instead of cupcakes and ice cream, and parents were asked to leave excessively sugary foods out of their children’s lunches. As my oldest son entered the public school system the rules changed and, essentially, I was able to fill his lunch with whatever my heart desired.
Except that after a few years of packing his lunchbox with low-sugar foods, and hearing no complaints from him about his options, I didn’t take advantage of this newfound lunch freedom.
A creature of habit, he wanted a turkey and cheese sandwich (sans crust, thank you), a bottle of water, crackers and a yogurt of some kind. I usually stuck with vanilla cups or his beloved Go-Gurt. It was easy, it was simple, it was predictable. On his birthday or other special occasion I’ll sometimes stick in a cookie or a little treat of another kind, but I just can’t bring myself to give him something like that every day. Or even on a regular basis.
My plan though, this year, is to occasionally up the yogurt ante and put a Yoplait Trix in his lunch as an added treat. Because it carries the name “Trix” my kids think it’s a super special treat, but what they don’t know that it doesn’t have much more sugar than similar types of yogurt, and, after having been recently reformulated, it is made with natural flavors and colorings.
So I’m giving them all the benefits of yogurt without the artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners, and they think they’ve hit the treat jackpot. I’m going to stick with this plan until they wise up to my sinister ways. I just can’t bring myself to give them a cookie or brownie or other dessert type treat on a regular basis when yogurt is so much better for them, and they appreciate it just as much.
What about you? Do you pack your kids a sweet treat when you’re putting their lunch together in the morning?