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AUSTIN, Texas - With the start of school right around the corner, Whole Foods Market is aiming to help parents build better lunchbox menus for their children by advocating new twists and alternatives that add variety, nutrition, and energy.
The Whole Foods "Cool School Fuel" lineup, which advocates avocados, blueberries, eggs, kale, nuts and seeds, beans, salmon, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and yogurt, aims to help parents guide their children toward more healthful options than typical lunch box fare in light of the nation's alarming numbers of overweight and obese children.
While some of these may not be the first choices one considers for children's lunchboxes, Whole Foods' top nutritionist and quality standards coordinator, Jody Villecco, tells parents to "start incorporating these foods into your children's diets now in fun, creative ways so they will accept them as regular staples as they get older."
Besides the Cool School Fuel recommendations, Whole Foods has done additional homework for parents, making it easier to shop for wholesome foods without trying to decipher sometimes-confusing food labels.
Traditional lunchboxes including a sandwich, chips, a sweet snack, and soda can contain nitrates, preservatives, unhealthy fats, and added sugars. "At Whole Foods Market, parents can make the same lunch with healthier alternatives: deli meats that contain no nitrates; breads with no preservatives, and even gluten-free options; soymilk for lactose-intolerant children, or organic milk without antibiotics or added growth hormones; organically grown fruits and veggies; and snacks without hydrogenated fats and artificial additives," Villecco said.