10 'Healthy' Lunches that aren't really

I felt bad about writing this post really, I understand that most of the people presenting these options are trying their best and I'm not above the odd unhealthy option on occasion either. yet I think its important to address the misrepresentation of food as 'healthy'. Particularly when it comes to blogs and recipe sites, things are often represented as 'healthy' simply because they are not as fat filled as say a burger. This acts to skew people's views so they can no longer recognise what healthy looks like and I think this is important to address.

I actually hesitated to include this one as the meals are actually reasonably healthy, but the addition of the juice irritated me no end. Its a sponsored post and judging by the text, I'm fairly certain that she does not choose to give her children juice on a daily basis. Juice is one of the huge perpetrators of 'unhealthy hiding as healthy'. They don't need it, particularly if they're eating all of the fruit and vegetables that are packed in those lunchboxes. Its a treat.
Also, ham and cheese or Vegemite on (by appearances) white bread are mediocre lunch options not 'healthy'.


While the other images are actually lovely examples of healthy lunches, number 11 is heading from mediocre into unhealthy. Sausages wrapped in pastry and cookies for lunch. The addition of some grapes and celery sticks doesn't magically turn it into a healthy meal. She actually continues this 1 unhealthy meal (fish sticks, hash browns, hot dog, chocolate yoghurt) for three healthy ones pretty much the whole way through, which I'm sure is fine in terms of her child's diet but are hardly 'healthy' lunches.


Pancakes, maple syrup, sausages. Yes, the pancakes are whole wheat, the maple syrup is reduced sugar (which is still sugar since that's basically the only ingredient in maple syrup), the sausages are turkey. None of those factors make it a healthy meal.


This includes a list of 'healthy' lunch options. Amongst them, deli meats, jerky, southern fried tofu, hot dog, hamburger patty, crackers, muffins, macaroni and cheese, granola bars, cream cheese, olives, cheese soup, pot pie, pizza, ranch dip, thousand island dressing and cookies. I'm not really sure what her definition of healthy is.

Processed meat are high in nitrates even if you are choosing a low fat version and are linked to bowel cancers. They shouldn't be being consumed on a daily basis.

I understand that Americans are obsessed with peanut butter and jelly, for good reason, it is delicious. It is not however a 'healthy' choice, I don't care if you do wrap it up like sushi.
Further down she writes 'why not include a small treat to round off their day' before suggesting cookies etc. Well because dietary guidelines say they should have a treat once to twice a week not every day that's why.

Pizza buns - pastry, ham and cheese. Full of saturated fat and low in protein. Pretzels are simply processed white carbs and salt and marshmallows don't bare comment.


I know I already ranted about lunch meats but I'm including it again because portion sizes are important to talk about too. One section of those kebabs would be sufficient ham for a child's lunch.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, pretzels and a granola bar. This is a mediocre lunch at best, not a healthy one.

This list of 'healthy' lunches from a fairly major parenting site includes a dessert in some form in almost every example plus at least one other questionable addition. I do appreciate that they at least include reasonable serves of vegetables at least.


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