The new school year is upon us and its the ideal time to take your lunch box game up to the next level. Not only can we use their mid-day meal as a tool to expand what they eat, we can use to teach our children about the health of the planet. That’s fitting 2 valuable lessons in one nifty little lunchbox.
Because our children are keenly aware of the negative impacts of climate change, they are always up for doing something to help. One very simple way they can is by eating plant based at school. Are you aware of the harmful effects factory animal farming causes the environment? How about how hard it is on the body to digest meat? Take a look at these two trailers to get a quick idea… “Cowspiracy”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vpLVA0xNME and “Forks over Knives” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7ijukNzlUg . With new found knowledge like this at our fingertips, it’s easy to commit to more plant based eating. Tell your kids their lunch is saving the planet and curb tummy aches and they will be on board.
How to make this happen?
Tip #1: Keep it easy for you!
No one has extra time in the morning as we drag the kids through the morning route. With that said, the trick begins with smart prepping. First, make pots of rice, beans and pasta- store in the frig. From there, you are ready for an easy re-heat and pack-up each morning. For example, you can make create variety from one pot of beans and rice. Think: a burrito bowl with tomatoes and avocado on Monday then beans and rice with plant based butter on Tuesday. Keep a eye on my blog for more plant based lunch box ideas. I will regularly be adding ideas for you to learn my strategies for making creative plant based lunches in a snap.
Tip #2: Educate:
Our children love to take action on saving the planet from harm. On that note, so much good comes out of eating plant based: they will be motivated to nourish their bodies with healthy food and do their part to reduce pollution at the same time. This brief clip produced by Climate Friendly School Food Program is created for kids explains it all.
- Did you know It takes 75% less land to feed someone on a plant-based (vegan) diet than it does to feed a meat-eater since the crops are consumed directly instead of being used to feed animals.
- it takes up to 10 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of meat, and in the United States alone, 56 million acres of land are used to grow feed for animals, while only 4 million acres are producing plants for humans to eat.
- More than 90 percent of all Amazon rainforest land cleared since 1970 is used for grazing livestock
- animals on U.S. factory farms produce about 500 million tons of manure each year. With no animal sewage processing plants.
- Commercial fishing methods such as bottom trawling and long-lining often clear the ocean floor of all life and destroy coral reefs.
- They also kill thousands of dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, and other “bycatch” animals.
- Coastal fish farms release feces, antibiotics, parasites, and non-native fish into sensitive marine ecosystems.
LEARN MORE WITH THIS QUICK LINK FROM PETA
Tip #3: Supplies:
Keep your kids eating more plant-based by packaging their hot lunch in an re-useable, insulated bowl. Your kids will feel the love when they open their lunch box to find a yummy, hot meal loaded with vegan goodness. My favorite shopping spot is The Container Store– they carry awesome lunchbox gear. Grab a couple of exciting hot serve containers, reusable straws, flatware, napkins etc. Your kids will be the envy of all their friends at the lunch table. They get extra bragging rights when they can claim their lunch was carbon neutral.
Because our society is becoming more aware of negative impacts of consuming meat and dairy, it is time for us to start adding in more plant based meals for our kids. In addition, we know the evils of factory farms: the harm to the animals and the environment are huge! With a little extra thought, preparation and creativity, we can use the lunchbox as a tool to take one step closer to a cleaner world and healthier bodies.You can relax knowing you have taught your kids a couple of valuable lessons: Their choices and actions can make a difference!