Full Belly Sisters: Brain-Boosting School Lunch #PureLifeRippleEffect

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Brain-Boosting School Lunch #PureLifeRippleEffect

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As a mom and a certified health coach, I know the importance of hydration—especially for school-aged kids. Our brains' neurons (which drive thinking and learning) need good fats, protein, complex carbohydrates, micronutrients, and water. If we expect our kids to do their best in school, we must provide them with the proper fuel for their growing bodies and brains!

But what’s the best way to do that? Well, according to a survey conducted by Nestlé® Pure Life®*, a majority (57%) of kids say they prefer a homemade lunch over a school-bought lunch. This preference for packed lunches offers moms a fantastic opportunity: packing a bottle of water and a healthy, hydrating lunch can help increase our kids’ water intake each day.

So, how do I fuel my seven-year-old son’s school day? With a Brain-Boosting School Lunch full of kid-friendly foods and water to feed those neurons!


My son is a grazer and loves to munch different finger foods. It’s actually a great way to get a variety of nutrients into one meal. In this lunchbox, I’ve got some tuna salad with cucumber slices for scooping; red ants on a log: celery sticks with nut butter and dried cranberries (it’s my take on the classic with raisins); a hard-boiled egg; grape tomatoes; and some dried blueberries. And, of course, lunch always includes a bottle of water.

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This Brain-Boosting School Lunch provides a variety of colors and textures, lots of protein and omega-3 fats, and plenty of hydration. It nourishes my son’s body and his brain.


Is your child more of a sandwich lover? That’s great, too. My son loves when I pack him an AB&J (almond butter and jam). But instead of potato chips or a sugary granola bar to go with it, just pack some hydrating fruits or veggies on the side. Carrots, cucumbers, grapes, and apples are all simple to prep and pack and most kids love them. Toss in a Nestlé® Pure Life® Water—they’ve got fun labels that my son thinks are super cool—and you’re good to go.


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My son also brings a morning snack to eat in his classroom, a couple hours before lunchtime.  I always include hydrating fruits or veggies, some protein, and definitely water! Here’s one of my son’s favorite packed snacks: red grapes and snap pea crisps.


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I also pack extra water in his backpack, so he has a drink ready after recess or when we stay after school to play in the playground.


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This means I’ve got three opportunities to pack water for my son each day. And all those bottles—in his morning snack, in his lunchbox, and in his backpack—act as reminders. Even when I’m not with my son, he’s getting my message: “Don’t forget to drink your water!” Reminders are a crucial part of building healthy hydration habits. But it turns out that only about half of moms (52%) surveyed by Nestlé® Pure Life® said they regularly remind their child to drink water.

Of course, one of the best ways to remind your kids to drink water is to lead by example. Every time you grab a drink of water, offer one to your kids, too. As registered dietician and hydration expert Robin Plotkin notes: soon, it will be the kids asking the parents to join them for a water break!


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I got my 12-pack of Nestlé® Pure Life® Water Juniors at Walmart; you can find it in the bottled water aisle (of course!).


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In fact, Nestlé® Pure Life® is committed to helping all families make healthier choices, starting with hydration—that’s why they proudly support the Partnership for a Healthier America's Drink Up initiative.

We know that establishing healthy habits in early childhood has lifelong benefits. We call this The Ripple Effect. At PureLifeRippleEffect.com, moms can share tips and tricks that they use to teach their kids about the importance of staying healthy and hydrated. With this movement, moms will be empowered to send their kids off to school each day fueled and hydrated.

To ignite The Ripple Effect movement and encourage kids to get the water they need throughout their day, Nestlé® Pure Life® is providing water to kids this school year through After-School All-Stars, an organization that strives to keep children safe and healthy through after-school programming. Nestlé® Pure Life® has committed to provide nearly one million 8 ounce servings of water to kids this school year at over 20 participating schools in select markets across the country through After-School All-Stars.

Do you want to become a part of the Ripple Effect? Visit PureLifeRippleEffect.com and share your tips for healthy hydration using the hashtag #pureliferippleeffect.

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For more great tips, follow Nestlé® Pure Life® on Facebook!

I've shared some of my ideas on how we use Nestlé® Pure Life® Water to create a delicious—and hydrating—back-to-school lunch. What is your favorite way make it part of your family’s routine?


* © 2015 Nestlé® Waters North America Inc. Online survey was conducted in June 2015 of 1,077 moms of kids ages 6-12 overall, including 254 Hispanic moms of kids ages 6-12. 1,077 kids ages 6-12 from the same household were also surveyed, including 254 Hispanic kids ages 6-12.


NOTE: A lot of people have been emailing me about the lunchbox in this post. It's an awesome PlanetBox and you can buy one here!

47 comments:

  1. I would totally devour this for lunch! yum! And, I always have a hard time getting enough water in the day, so these are great!

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    1. It's yummy and satisfying (as well as hydrating!) :-)

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  2. Hydration is super important for brain health. Good to know you're on top of that! :)

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    1. I hope your readers understand how many easy nutritional foods are good for the brain. Love that you're pointing this out! Fantastic! :)

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  3. I gave up soda's quite some time ago, and always reach for water. I do know that we need to drink more though!

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  4. That's a good looking lunch! The small Nestle Purelife size bottles are perfect to stash in a gym bag or purse too. So important to keep hydrated and I especially love seeing the kids grab water over anything that sugary!

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    1. You're right, they're a great size, very convenient!

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  5. You cannot enough water, thanks for the reminder!

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  6. Never can get enough of the "good stuff!" This is a perfect lunch!! I need some brain food today! ;)

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  7. My kiddos are water drinkers big time! I love those bottles, perfect sized for lunch boxes!!! The lunch looks pretty darn delicious too!

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  8. I'm loving this! My boys love water too thankfully. and LOVE the brain boosting lunch ;)

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  9. Brain boosting is the perfect term because people don't realize the importance that water has on our functionality. Great post.

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    1. Hydration really gets overlooked sometimes...

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  10. Keeping hydrated is so important for kids.

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  11. I love that bento box and the labels for the bottles is a really clever idea.

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  12. Great lunch idea! Kids always need to drink water a lot because they burn so much energy all day. :)

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  13. What a fantastic kid-friendly lunch! And the Nestle Purelife water bottles are perfect for tucking into my granddaughters' lunch boxes!

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    1. I hope she likes them as much as my son does!

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  14. This is such a great and different school lunch idea, and making sure to drink plenty of water is great as well!

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  15. Love that you included Ants on a Log!!!!

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  16. That's a great looking school lunch :) Nicely done!

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  17. I can't wait to make this lunch for my daughter!

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  18. I must show this to my son who wants to eat school food!

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  19. Great idea for school lunch!! My kids love home cooked lunch over school lunch too. Just plain water can do so many good than soda or other sugar loaded drink.So I make sure my kids drink plenty of water. :)

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  20. Homemade packed lunches really are a terrific opportunity to give kiddos so much nutrition, and so much energy to power their little bodies through the rest of the day. Also such a great chance to help them hydrate! My kids often complain about how tough it is to really drink enough throughout the school day to be well hydrated before after-school sports - a bottle of water tucked into their lunches helps us a lot! Great post! ~Shelley

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  21. Great lunch, I have water with me all the time, I try hard to get my daugther to drink more too!

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  22. Fantastic, educational post! It's so important to remember to drink water. I wish more parents would take the incentive to pack healthy , hydrating snacks and beverages! ! Kudos Mom!!

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    1. Thanks so much, really appreciate the kind note :-)

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  23. My kids will absolutely NOT eat school lunches. Both of the ones still at home eat very healthy and they bring a lot of finger foods like this. We always add water as a reminder to stay hydrated too, especially since they do after school sports!

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  24. This looks like an awesome school lunch

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  25. That looks like a jam-packed healthy lunch. Love the little water bottles for kids.

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  26. Where do you buy a lunch box like that I love it and my daughter would to

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    1. Yes. I want to know- too

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    2. it's a Planetbox lunchbox and it's awesome, we love it! Here's the link to order: http://www.planetbox.com/products/bottle-rocket#oid=1063_2

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  27. Love the lunch! Have you considered refillable water bottle or thermos?

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