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Cheryl Tallman is the founder of Fresh Baby (www.FreshBaby.com). For more than 10 years, Fresh Baby helped has helped parents foster their children.s healthy eating habits and proactively respond to the childhood obesity epidemic that plagues our nation. Cheryl is the author and designer of the company's award-winning cookbooks and nutrition education products that support many stages of family life including: pregnancy, breastfeeding, introducing solid foods, and feeding toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged children.

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Fresh Ideas for Healthy Living
by Cheryl Tallman, Healthy Eating

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Here are some great ways to incorporate fruits and veggies when taking your lunch to work or school.

Fruit Choices:
  • Whole Fruits: Some fruits turn brown quickly, so they are better whole than cut up. This includes apples, bananas and pears. Small bunches of grapes or a handful of blueberries are also good whole fruit choices.

  • Oranges may sound like a good whole fruit, but they are not. They take too much time to peel and are messy. Itís best to peel the orange or cut it into wedges before it goes into the lunchbox.

  • Dried fruits are perfect for the lunchbox - A handful of dried apricots, raisins, pears, blueberries and cherries are sweet and neat to eat.

  • Cut up fruits that are great in a container includes melon, watermelon, strawberries, peaches, plums, pineapple and mango. Don't forget a spoon or fork!

Beware of these store-bought items:
  • Fruit snacks. These are not fruit, they are candy.

  • Dried Fruits with lots of sugar added - read the labels (typical culprits are dried pineapple, bananas and mango - they are often caked with extra sugar)

Veggie Choices:
  • Sticks: carrot, celery, sugar snap or snow peas all make great choices. They'll stay crunchy in the lunch box and are easy to eat.

  • Cherry or grape tomatoes with a small container of dip is fun.

  • Cucumber circles with a dipper of Ranch dressing or tossed in Italian dressing are yummy!

  • Quick veggie salads can be made with leftover rice, couscous or pasta, chopped veggies - carrots, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, or celery. Simply toss together with your favorite low calorie, low fat salad dressing.

Check out FreshBaby.com for more tips!

@ 12:41am ET on October 9, 2012 Great post, I've been looking for ideas to add some type of vegetable to my lunchbox, so thanks for the rice and veggie idea. And to everyone else keep up the good work, your almost there!
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