Ms. Q from Fed Up With School Lunch and Liz Snyder started a challenge: to make a healthy, nutritious lunch for less than $2. The challenge was for this entire week, so I told my kids they weren't having hot lunch at school.
My son is a very picky eater, so you will see that his lunch is a little less well rounded than my daughter's, but it is food that is healthy and that he will eat.
I purchased all of the food you see at Whole Foods or got it from my Urban Acres share. It is all organic. The Urban Acres produce costs $50 for 30 pounds. I got a digital scale, weighed each item of food and multiplied it by the per ounce cost of the share to come up with the total.
The crackers (Wheat Thins) were purchased at CVS Sunday night (I was there getting the digital scale) when I realized that I didn't have bread and my son won't eat a tortilla. I could have gotten a better cracker at a better price at Whole Foods, but I was in a hurry.
My son's lunch, total $1.97:
- Crackers $0.51
- Peanut Butter (from the bulk food aisle at Whole Foods) $0.12
- Half of an organic granny smith apple $.30
- Half of an organic banana $0.27
- Sliced organic baby carrots $0.09
- Organic Popcorn (2 cups) $0.25
- The dark chocolate and strawberry yogurt covered pretzels from the bulk bin at Whole Foods $0.43
My daughter's lunch, total $1.91:
- Raw veggies (carrots, radishes, broccoli and grape tomatoes) $0.30
- Turkey and cheese rollups (tomato tortilla) $0.68
- Organic golden delicious apple $0.63
- Organic popcorn $0.25
- Ranch dressing $0.05
If I was able to send them to school with something hot, that would stay hot, that would expand the possibilities immensely. At this point, I don't think this will be that difficult.
Had they eaten lunch at school, they would have been eating this, which actually isn't that bad, but it would have cost $4.25:
Grilled Chicken Sandwich, 300 calories
Baked Beans, 176 calories
Carrot & Celery Sticks w/ Ranch, 189 calories
Fresh Sliced Apples, 36 calories
Dessert, 124 calories
TOTAL, 824 calories
Our school's food provider just recently started posting nutrition information with the menu items. In addition to posting what I pack for them, I'll post what they would have eaten at school. As far as their school goes, they are trying to make foods healthier, which is a very, very good thing.