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Beyond PB&J: Smart Foods for Back-to-School
One mother’s hunt for brain, energy, and mood boosting lunches and snacks

09/22/2014 by Michelle Lee
For parents (like me), the busy months between Labor Day and Memorial Day require hectic juggling of school, work, and 101 daily activities. 

Amidst all this, you're striving to prepare healthy lunches and snacks for your smaller people ... and for yourself. 

Fortunately, I've found that Vital Choice offers some great solutions to an age-old question … “What's for lunch?” 

They offer a great selection of healthy, kid-friendly options that can help change stressed-out school “daze” to happy school days.

Beyond PB&J
My children are currently staging a PB&J revolt! And I can't blame them.

At VitalChoice.com, I discovered an array of convenient, satisfying, healthy alternatives. 
About the author
Michelle Lee is a writer and avid home chef, with 20 years of experience focusing on healthy lifestyle, diet and the home kitchen.
 
When not playing around with words, she loves to cook, spend time with her two children, play cribbage with her husband, and tackle The New York Times crossword puzzle.

Tuna may be an old standby, but their Albacore Tuna (canned and pouched) is a astonishingly fresh-tasting version of this versatile, protein-rich staple ... one that's perfect for sandwiches and salads.
 
Custom-harveting and processing of this hand-caught treat also give it a much firmer texture and many more omega-3s than national brands.

The possibilities include tuna packed in water or organic olive oil, with no added salt, super-succulent Ventresca (tuna belly meat), and flavors like Alder-Smoked and Jalapeño. 

Vital Choice Pacific Albacore is sustainably harvested by their neighbor Paul Hill, who flash-freezes it on his small boat to preserve the fish at its peak of freshness. 

Canned salmon is another great way to get more omega-3s and vitamin D (sockeye is the best food source, by far) into growing bodies.

Standard canned salmon rarely finds favor with kids, because of its fishy aroma, skin, and edible, calcium-rich bones.

But many kids take a shine to the decidedly non-fishy, skinless-boneless Vital Choice Sockeye (canned or pouched) that's a perennially popular (and very uncommon) feature of their selection. 

Savory snacks to nourish and satisfy
I try to give my kids snacks that are nutritious, tasty, and convenient. 

That can be tall order, even in natural food stores. But I've found some very good options at Vital Choice. 

Smart choices include their 5-star-rated Wild Salmon Jerky Strips … the perfect snack to pack with lunch and to stock in the pantry for after-school munching. 

Vital Choice Wild Salmon Jerky Strips are made from sustainably harvested wild salmon, seasoned with touches of sugar, spices, and herbs. Better yet, each jerky strip is individually vacuum-packed for maximum convenience and shelf-life, and features subtle, kid-friendly seasoning with a hint of smoky goodness. 

Their Organic Super Antioxidant Trail Mix is not your old-fashioned GORP. Each bag contains a gorgeous mix of organic walnuts, hazelnuts and pecans blended with organic dried raisins, cranberries, blueberries, cherries, and goji berries.

Not only is this blend colorful and delicious, every handful is packed with antioxidants and fibers that help safeguard kids' (and adults') health. What doesn't Vital Choice Trail Mix have? Added sulfur, artificial additives, or preservatives. 

I also find Vital Choice individually quick-frozen Organic Berries a cut above other organic brands for flavor, texture, and overall quality. Keep some on hand to serve in smoothies and unsweetened yogurt.
 
Choose from Wild Organic Blueberries (with lots more antioxidants than cultivated blueberries), Organic Strawberries, Organic Raspberries, or Organic Blackberries. Can't pick just one? Try their Organic Berry Quartet!

Better bacon and burgers
Many Americans think that everything – from chocolate and muffins to cocktails and candles – is better with bacon!

Bacon is hard to resist, but Vital Choice offers an alternative far superior to pork or poultry strips. 
 
Uncommon Vital Choice Wild Alaskan Salmon Bacon easily enlivens an ordinary breakfast, sandwich, or salad, or lunch.

This small-batch alternative is crafted from Wild Alaskan Salmon with a hint of organic maple syrup and birch smoke, and delivers an impressive 13 grams of protein and 334 mg of omega-3s per serving. 
 
In our house, we fry some up on Sunday and keep it in the fridge as a flavorful upgrade to sandwiches and salads.

Speaking of alternatives to popular kid fare, Vital Choice Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Burgers cook from frozen to finished in just 10 minutes ... they're actually better if they're never thawed.

Made from Alaskan Sockeye and organic seasonings, each burger is individually vacuum-sealed and has over 1200mg of brain-boosting omega-3s, abundant vitamin D, and pack a whopping 25 grams of healthy protein. 

Health insurance
Finally, don't forget to ensure a basic building block of good health and exceptional performance at work or school. 

Vital Choice offers and array of omega-3 supplements, from virgin Salmon Oil to High-Potency Omega-3 Therapy capsules that provide concentrated amounts. 

Omega-3s support optimally healthy hearts, brains, joints, skin, and hair ... and supplements are the perfect solution for kids who resist seafood.

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