LaLa Lunchbox Teams Up with Applegate!

We are so excited to feature Applegate on the newest version of LaLa Lunchbox!

Applegate products now available in the LaLa Lunchbox Food Library!

Applegate products now available in the LaLa Lunchbox Food Library!

As a person with life threatening food allergies, I've always been a label reader. My mom is a cookbook author and food writer so food played an enormous part of my childhood. While I would never call myself a picky eater (I have enough restrictions because of my allergies!), I learned early about being picky when it comes to certain ingredients and meat was one of them.  
At some point in my adult life, the food world opened up to me in a whole new, magical way. I became more aware of what grows where, which nutrients help the body and in what way, what's potentially harmful and how to pay attention to my body's signals and pursue the foods that made me feel good. As they say, knowledge is power. I like to know about what I'm eating and now as a mom, I'm deeply invested in what I'm feeding my children. 

Along the way, I made the conscious decision to choose meats that are high quality, organic and humanely raised whenever possible. I believe in sound, safe, hygienic farming practices, respect for animals and the earth. For us, these choices are not a diet or a fad. These are issues that we have prioritized in our family. I reserve no judgement for the choices of others on this matter. But because of the choices that we've made for our family, we have long been fans of Applegate products

Applegate produces delicious, high quality natural and organic meats, sausages and cheeses that are free of antibiotics, artificial ingredients and chemical nitrates. I support this wholeheartedly. This is why I'm so excited to team up with Applegate and feature their meats and cheeses by name in our LaLa Lunchbox Food Library. Now you and your hungry little monsters have Applegate's delicious products available right at your fingertips and they can be easily added to your grocery list!

For those of you who already have LaLa Lunchbox, simply update the app and the items will appear in your Food Library - along with the 12 new adorable LaLa Monsters! For those of you who are new to the LaLa family, welcome! 

Why Organic?

My daughter and I were at the grocery store the other day when she told me "Mommy, all of the kids bring (that brand) of yogurt drink to school with their lunch. Can we get it too?" You know the type... it has some famous cartoon character and about six pounds of added sugar in forms that are unpronounceable. "I know it's not organic, Mom. But can we just try it?" 

img courtesy of fanpop

img courtesy of fanpop

The thing is, at that moment I wasn't thinking about how I didn't want her consuming non-organic dairy. I wasn't thinking about how I didn't feel comfortable with all of that processed sugar. I was thinking about how we fill our fridge and pantry with mostly healthy fare, and how our produce, our dairy and our meat is pretty much always organic but I've missed great opportunities to explain why. What good are principles without understanding? What good are values without explanation? 

And so right there in the dairy aisle, my daughter and I paused to chat about cows and farmers, hormones, chemicals and antibiotics. I told her that in our family, we think cows should be able to be cows. They don't need anything artificial, they don't need to grow at a faster pace than they were meant to grow. We didn't want those antibiotics or hormones in our bodies, as a result of drinking that milk. And so on. "But Mom," she asked, "Why would the farmer want to give the cows something just to grow faster? And why would the farmer take away the cow's favorite food (grass)?" She concluded that she didn't want those things in her body and so "we should keep buying the organic farmer milk." But despite the conclusion, there was a sadness to her answer -- she really wanted to try that yogurt drink. Friends are a powerful thing. And so I bought it. I knew she understood it was a one-off and I didn't want to be rigid. It's all part of the lunch drama that families deal with. Mine is no exception. 

You know what? This is tough stuff. I really had no idea what to say and so, as with all things parenting, I just did my best.  I'm certain that much of it went over her head. But I'm also certain that it won't be the last time we speak of this. Today I came across this eye-opening article about the meat industry's antibiotic consumption. I welcome any tips and suggestions for talking to kids about these important issues...