It’s back-to-school time, the time when parents no longer have total control over what their child eats during the day. If you watched Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution program this summer, you know that the majority of schools deal in convenience, and not nutrition. But you can change that. As a parent you can make healthy and tasty lunches your child will eat and Santa Cruz Organic® products can help.
At Santa Cruz Organic®, “organic” is not just a buzzword but a commitment to environmentally sound growing methods for families, farmers and our planet.
Santa Cruz Organic® is a great line of products that lend themselves to brown bagging beautifully. Their products are certified organic, NEVER contain high fructose corn syrup, artificial ingredients, or preservatives! They’re made entirely of whole foods that are from renewable sources. Check out these labels and compare them to the peanut butter and jelly in your cupboard.
Lunch Box Helpers
- Organic Peanut Butter – Available in both dark and light roast, and creamy or crunchy. All are made with certified organic Spanish peanuts. They don’t contain any hydrogenated oils, no added sugars, and no artificial ingredients. I had to check the label twice because the peanut butter is sweet and tasty – I was sure there had to be added sugar! I’ve tried several brands of organic peanut butter and none of them were this delicious (I’ve even tossed out a few full jars because they were horrible – the Fred Meyer brand is one – yuck!). Your kids will NEVER realize this is healthy, I promise! My husband is not a fan of natural or organic peanut butter because it has to be refrigerated. That’s because unlike national brands, it doesn’t have preservatives, which is a good thing! I just scoop out the approximate amount I’ll need, put it in a microwave-save dish, and microwave it for about 10 seconds to soften it. Simple!
- Organic Fruit Spreads – This are the ultimate “jelly” for your PB&J. The fruit spreads are available in four flavors including Strawberry, Apricot, Seedless Red Raspberry, and Blackberry Pomegranate. They have this awesome texture – smooth but with hunks of fruit – just like grandma used to make and before we were convinced by manufacturers that jelly should be fruitless. My favorite so far is the blackberry pomegranate just because it’s so dark and rich.
- Organic Fruit Sauces – This is apple sauce with a kick that’s kid-friendly, but this adult loves them as well. The sauces come multi-packs of 6 with individual serving cups of 4-oz each. They’re foil sealed and perfect for the lunchbox! Each individual serving provides 100 percent of the daily value of vitamin C. I tried the new flavors – Apple Peach and Apple Tropical, but they also have Apple, Apple Cinnamon, and Apple Apricot. I’ve seen them on my grocery’s shelves but had discounted them because I don’t traditionally like applesauce. Well, it turns out I don’t like processed applesauce with fake flavoring added. This stuff is amazing.
Santa Cruz Organic Fruit Juices
Organic Juice Boxes – I shudder when I see all of the flavored, high sugar, low nutrition drinks kids are ingesting. Skip those and give your child a flavorful organic beverage that provides 100 percent of the USDA recommended daily value of vitamin C. Flavors include Lemon, Grape, Tropical and Orange. Juice boxes are 8-ounces each. I’ve not tried any of these but I’m a huge fan of their bottled juices. I pulled two from my refrigerator to share with you. My absolute favorite is their Raspberry Lemonade (I drank it all :), my next fav is the Limeade, the berry nectar is a new one for me and I haven’t tasted it yet. My favorite way to enjoy the juices is with a cup of frozen fruit, 1 cup of juice – blend until smooth. Yum!
Santa Cruz Organic® provides recipes on some of the jars and others on their website. You can also make a week or months worth of homemade Crustables and freeze them. Use cookie cutters or a round cutter to shape them, put the individual sandwiches in baggies, and the whole lot in a freezer bag. Change it up with some other sandwiches throughout the week or vegetables and dip. Make your own Lunchables but putting peanut butter, fruit spread, and Late July crackers in a container with a plastic knife.
Your store doesn’t carry Santa Cruz Organic® products? Ask them to add them, or shop amazon.com. My local Albertson’s carries some, but I’m on a mission to find Santa Cruz Organic’s certified organic chocolate syrups now!
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