Healthy School Lunches: Sneaky Treats That Seem Sinful (page 2)

Healthy School Lunches: Sneaky Treats That Seem Sinful

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based on 21 ratings
Updated on Mar 31, 2014


Gojilania Goji and Mangosteen Goji is revered for its health benefits, yet it's often a tough sell for kids. This drink, mixed with the pear- like fruit mangosteen, is a sweet way to get your goji on. It has 120 calories and 27 grams of sugar, so while it's certainly not sugar-free, it's also a kid-friendly source of vitamins and antioxidants.

Vita CoCo Coconut Water with Tangerine Coconut water is naturally loaded with good-for-you properties, but it's not exactly a kid-magnet. This version is flavored, making it a nice option for the lunchbox. Our favorite, the tangerine flavor, looks like fruit juice in the glass, but it's light, refreshing, and not nearly as sweet. This baby packs more electrolytes than a sports drink, with the potassium of two bananas, only 70 calories, and no fat. It has about 1/5 less sugar than a typical juice box, but it still contains about 17 grams of the sweet stuff. So make this an ocassional treat, not a daily addition.

Honest Tea Black Forest Berry All we can say is...yum! Considering that a serving of this stuff contains a mere 30 calories, way less than the 130-calorie-wallop of most kids' drink pouches, this drink tastes darn good. Honest Tea has a line made specifically for kids, but this bottle isn't one of them. Still, it's caffeine-free and just sweet enough to get the sweetie in your life interested. Plus, there's no high fructose corn syrup, just organic cane sugar. The drink is a fruit-infusion, or tisane, according to the package. But forget the fancy talk, this is just a long, thirst-quenching swallow of berry-licious goodness. And it's got 1/3 the sugar of a standard iced tea.

Honest Kids Most kid’s drink pouches pack more sugar than a can of soda. We’re talking as much as 130 calories and 31 grams of sugar per serving. Honest Kids, the makers of the very popular adult Honest Tea line, have just come out with a version that has 40 calories and 10 grams of sugar. We all dream that our kids will beg for nothing but nutrition, but when the need for a lesser evil arrives, this is a good choice. 

Bossa Nova Acai Juice A few steps up on the sugar scale, these drinks ring in at about 90 calories each, but their main ingredient is wild acai berries, which contain more antioxidants than any other fruit on the planet. Antioxidants are all the rage in the health community because they reduce free-radicals, which have been shown to cause everything from cancer to aging, and the acai berry sports a knockout punch five times more powerful than blueberries, and a third stronger than the previous antioxidant darling, pomegranate. While this drink is "lightly sweetened" according to the package, we found it very sweet, so you might consider watering it down a bit in a thermos. All the flavors were mighty tasty, but raspberry and passion fruit were particularly popular with our taste-testers. The Bossa Nova has too many calories to make it a daily lunchbox staple, but for those times you're planning on packing juice, this Brazilian bottle is sure to add a little samba to your kid's step.

Metromint Everyone knows you're supposed to drink 8 glasses of water a day. But for most kids, that can get, well... boring. Curb their whining by tucking one of these bottles into their lunch. From peppermint and spearmint, to citrus-y flavors that incorporate lemon or orange, to a new chocolate addition sure to be a hit with Junior Mints fanatics, there are lots of minty incarnations to keep H2O interesting. Our favorite by far was the peppermint version, but all the flavors, except cherry, had their fans. Whatever bottle you choose, this stuff has no artificial flavorings and not a hint of sugar or sweeteners, just purified water and pesticide-free essential oils steamed out of the leaves in question, in a mysterious double-distillation process. How do they do it? Who cares! This is a drink you can feel good about. And research shows that mint may even increase motivation. So beyond better breath, your kid may just put in a few more hours hitting the books... 

Michael Season's Baked Cheddar Cheese Puffs Looking for a healthy take on Cheetos? These Baked Cheddar Cheese Puffs from Michael Season's line of "feel good snacks" fit the bill. Light and crispy and super cheesey, these puffs are all natural and low in fat. And they're wheat and gluten free to boot! A serving size is a whopping 2 cups—decidely more than most servings of sinful snacks —and the calorie count is delciously satisfying, with only 130 calories per serving and only 40 of those calories from fat. And these puffs are delicious and nutritious with zero transfats, no cholesterol, and a good amount of fiber and protein. The best part is, you'll still get the satisfaction of licking that delectably orange cheese dust off your fingers when all is said and done!


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