I have mentioned that I am very interested in giving my daughter healthy lunches, and no matter what the labels may scream at you in the grocery store, I don’t think many of the foods marketed toward kids are really “healthy”, nor are they cost effective.
Take Lunchables Cracker Stackers. At my grocery store this past weekend, I noticed they were $2.49 each. You get 8 crackers or so (of the “butter cracker” variety, although I doubt there is anything close to real butter in them), 4 slices of ham (or turkey, or chicken), and 4 slices of cheese (or maybe a “cheese food product”, which isn’t cheese). Ooh, and cookies, mustn’t forget the cookies (full of . . . well, “SUGAR, ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), HIGH OLEIC CANOLA OIL AND/OR PALM OIL AND/OR CANOLA OIL, COCOA (PROCESSED WITH ALKALI), HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, BAKING SODA, CORNSTARCH, SALT, SOY LECITHIN (EMULSIFIER), VANILLIN-AN ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, CHOCOLATE”). And as for the taste, well, not even kids thought they tasted that great when Slate did a taste test a couple of years ago.
And for a homemade version? The box of Wheat Thins has 9 servings in it for 31 cents each. The package of honey ham had 10 servings in it for 25 cents each. And the package of muenster cheese has 8 servings in it for 21 cents each. So, a neat homemade version (with heart shaped cheese) costs 77 cents. And I even have a neat little lunchbox with four square sections to put the crackers and toppings in (and one for fruit or carrots or a treat) – which is reusable.
So, $2.49 with questionable ingredients and a bunch of plastic to go in a landfill. Or less than a dollar for higher quality food, some kind of fruit or veggie, and reusable container which will get lots of use before getting tossed (or hopefully I can find a place that will recycle it). Hmmm, seems like a no brainer to me.