(09/05/13) - What to pack and what not to pack for lunch - Hurley Medical Center is on a mission to help parents cut back on carbs, fats, and sugars for the new school year.
"It's really important to pack healthy, nutritious foods in their lunch, because that'll help kids concentrate more throughout the day and learn better," said Dawn Scott, Hurley dietician.
Executive chef Steve Dunn says to make a few simple and healthy substitutions. Step 1 - cut out the white bread.
"We have our flat breads, we have our whole wheat wraps, and our mini-slider buns. That is definitely what you want to go," he said.
When it comes to those sandwiches, he says to lighten everything up.
"Go to your low fat cream cheeses. You can add a coleslaw with a light coleslaw dressing instead of laying down heavy mayo," he said.
As for drinks, Chef Steve recommends that parents avoid juice packs and boxes altogether.
"It's not 100 percent juice. That ties you in to your sodas, which are loaded with sugar, and then you have your energy drinks, which is exactly what they are. It brings you up, and knocks you down, but then you have your water, which is what you want to end up with. We added fresh fruit and berries to it, and that'll give you a little bit of flavor," Dunn said.
Speaking of flavor, snacks and deserts need to be addressed as well.
"Get rid of the quick sweets, and the heavy, loaded down bars that have a lot of sugar, and go with your natural dried fruits. We even have some semi-sweet chocolate chips that you can add in to make a little medley," Dunn said.
Chef Steve believes these healthier lunches taste great, won't take any longer to make, and won't cost parents any more money.
"The key is to buy in bulk. Stretch it out, and make it last throughout the week, and everyone will be happy in your house," Dunn said.
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