Why I don’t buy “organic” eggs at the store

I LOVE to eat eggs. They’re fast, delicious, versatile and a powerhouse of nutrition. Up until a few years ago I would spend the extra buck or two at the grocery store to buy organic eggs. That was until I experienced farm fresh eggs.

My omelettes were transformed into something way tastier, things I baked, using the same old recipes, tasted better and, even though I was eating more eggs, my cholesterol numbers were perfect.

Once you experience farm fresh eggs, it’s hard to go back.


What ARE the differences between store bought organic and farm fresh eggs?

Not only is the color of the yolk different, but farm fresh eggs are actually better for you than store bought eggs (even the organic ones). Farm fresh eggs, that come from hens with free roaming access to worms, insects, grass, alfalfa, etc., are known to have less cholesterol, less fat, more omega 3, more vitamin E and D and more beta carotene (you can actually see it in those orange yolks!)

Many years ago when I lived in Spain and I was shocked that eggs were not refrigerated. It turns out that one main reason we refrigerate eggs in the US is because store eggs are OLD (often at least several weeks old). The US also uses a process to wash off the protective layer of the egg, which would otherwise prevent contamination. When you purchase eggs directly from a farmer, you can ask them how they’ve been treated as well as the farm conditions where the eggs came from (most local, family-run farms are cleaner and more sanitary than bigger factory farms where many “organic” eggs come from). You may also be able to visit the farm and see for yourself.

Avoiding the egg aisle at the grocery store also saves me a lot of time too. Who has time to decipher all of those labels? I always wondered why I couldn’t buy cage free AND organic eggs at the store (it felt like a hard choice every time I went!)

What do those labels mean anyway?

“vegetarian fed” eggs Chickens are NOT meant to have a vegetarian diet, so this is a big red flag for me. Chickens should eat bugs, worms, and grass.

“organic” eggs While it’s a good thing that that the organic standard prevents them from being fed antibiotics or pesticides, most commercial organic chickens are kept in cramped, unsanitary, unnatural conditions with little to no access to outdoors or natural sources of food.

“cage free” eggs According to the USDA, “cage free” means “the flock was able to freely roam a building, room, or enclosed area with unlimited access to food and fresh water during their production cycle.” So technically no cages, but still indoors or outdoors on concrete. These hens are often given antibiotics to prevent disease and their “food” is not regulated.

“natural” eggs This is another marketing term that actually means nothing. The USDA says “the natural label does not include any standards regarding farm practices and only applies to processing of meat and egg products.”

So there you have it. more expensive eggs but not much more bang for your buck.

Reasons to buy from a local farmer:

Buying eggs (and other foods) from a farmer is the only way to truly know where your food comes from. Small family farming is an art form that I strongly support and I’ve found that having a relationship with the people who grow my family’s food is one of the best ways to support my family’s health. Being able to ask questions and visit the farm allows for a trust that no label can provide. And the food is so incredibly yummy.

Finding high-quality organic eggs locally is getting easier and more common. If you don’t know of a farm co-op nearby it may be time to start one. Different co-ops work differently. For the one I belong to, we place our orders with the farmer directly and they deliver to one location every other week.

Resources for connecting to a local farmer or setting up a co-op with your neighbors:




Surviving Junk Food Season

I mentioned previously that I have one child with a particularly “discerning” palate. Although she loves me and is very attached, I’m pretty sure she wishes she lived at someone else’s house most days at dinner.

If left to her own devices, she would live on sour cream with rice and black beans; parmesan cheese with a little pasta and cakes, doughnuts, cookies and ice cream. The problem is, if she ate this way all the time, she would be missing essential vitamins and nutrients that she needs (and her mood would be so difficult, I may just have to send her to someone else’s house for dinner!) Fortunately for her, she isn’t left to her own devices.

I try to keep a balance and practice moderation, but during “junk food season” the scale can easily tip towards junk. There are so many “opportunities” to eat doughnuts, candy, cake, etc., that most people – let alone “discerning” children – have a hard time making the healthy choice. Who could blame them? This time of year it takes extra planning and commitment to find balance.

Instead of battling, I set clear guidelines for family and try to be flexible beyond that. Below are some of the guidelines we use in our home when it comes to food. I hope it will inspire you to create your own.

Healthy Eating Guidelines:

1) Something is NOT better than nothing. I hear this on a regular basis from the parents I work with: “She had to eat something so I let her have the (fill in the blank with nutrient-void food).” This is NOT the case in our house. I’d rather my children be hungry than fill up on low- or no-nutritional value foods at mealtime. Nobody wants to see their child “go hungry” but when we allow them to fill up on muffins, cakes, bread, doughnuts, waffles, plain pasta, etc., instead of real food we are filling their bellies with calories but starving their bodies of nutrition. Please don’t report me, nobody is ever deprived of food in my home but I AM willing to let my kids complain or refuse what I am serving without feeling like I have to jump up and find a suitable alternative. I also find that when they are truly hungry, they eventually eat what I am offering.

2) Offer Choices. When I serve a meal I only include foods that I feel good about my kids eating. Each member of the family is entitled to take what they like and season it to their own taste with condiments and spices. I encourage them to taste new things but I don’t take it personally if they don’t (see #4)

3) Walk your talk. I didn’t always have a positive relationship with food and the most important thing I ever did was the inner work necessary to understand how food affects my body. I now enjoy and appreciate foods and I know that there are no “bad” foods, just better choices for my own individual body. I also If I notice that my kids haven’t been eating enough veggies, I start eating more myself. They notice.

4) Don’t take it personally. It can be downright infuriating when your child refuses to eat when you’ve made and it can quickly turn into a battle of wills. (FYI: my children always win these battles!) I find it helpful if I don’t take their refusal personally and simply (haha, I know it’s not “simple”) step away from engaging in a battle over food. If my child refuses to eat the meal I simply allow her to make that choice.

5) Don’t buy it. My children eat processed foods at friends’ homes, birthday parties, and even school, but they know that I don’t buy it. They aren’t deprived and they understand what our family values are when it comes to food. I also make it a habit to try to feed them before we leave the house for games, play dates, parties, etc. so I know that they’ve eaten something healthy already and they don’t arrive at those places starving.

Good Food, FAST

So far, every stage of motherhood that I’ve experienced, I’ve had this notion that once that particular stage was over, things would become infinitely easier. This has turned out to be a completely false premise with most things, and cooking dinner is no different.

For me, and most of the mamas I coach, it doesn’t matter if you have a newborn or an eleven year old (or both!), putting something that resembles a nutritionally balanced meal on the table (on a regular basis, let alone multiple times a week) is HARD. Do add to this challenge, many of us (ME!) have a child with a particularly discerning palate. Mine discerns against pretty much anything that isn’t pasta or smothered in sour cream. I do have some successful strategies to help with that too (I’ll share some in next month’s newsletter) but for today, I want to focus on some (hopefully) inspirational ideas for what to put on the table on those nights when take-out feels like your only option.

I also want to be clear that these are my quick, go-to dinners, for nights when I have either forgotten to plan something in advance or simply don’t have time. A few times a week (usually 2-3 times), I do cook and I always plan leftovers that I will either use later in the week or freeze for future meals. This type of planning and food prep is skill I’ve developed over time and is vitally important.

broccoliTop five fast dinners:

1) Breakfast for dinner. Scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage (if I’m feeling really extravagant, and we happen to have some in the freezer) with sautéed greens or salad.

2) Rice and beans with greens. Even if I don’t have leftover rice in the fridge (which I often do), I can cook a pot of rice in about 40 minutes. In that amount of time, I also open a can of black or red beans and steam some frozen broccoli.

3) Quesadillas. I try to keep a variety of tortillas in my freezer because if we’re lucky enough to have some cheese and sour cream, we’ve got the makings for quesadilla night.Quesadillas are a wonderful way to make use of those tiny little containers of leftover you would normally let go to waste. I like to add veggies I have in my fridge (I have used chopped, artichokes, brussel sprouts, kale, spinach, arugula, peppers, and even eggplant) along with protein (beans, chicken, pork, leftover steak, etc) to make a crowd pleasing dinner.

4) Taco night. About once a week we have a taco night at the Wagner home. In my mind it’s pretty much the same deal as the quesadilla night but, for some reason, the family thinks it’s a whole new ballgame. Just like the quesadillas, the tacos are a great way to use up little leftover protein and veggies, only this time it goes into a hard shell, and (if you do dairy) sprinkled some grated cheese on top.

greens5) Stir fry. Again, this is all about using up leftovers in a new and creative way. I sauté whatever veggies I have (carrots, onions, bok choy, kale, zucchini, eggplant, etc.) with whatever protein I have left over from earlier in the week (cooked chicken, pork or beef are perfect) with some ginger (which I store in my freezer) and tamari sauce (a pantry staple) and serve it over noodles (which take about 2 minutes to boil and rinse) or any leftover grains. Voila!

Nuggets of Wisdom from My Eight Year Old

One of the things that I absolutely love about coaching is that it provides a space for your own infinite wisdom and knowledge to come through. Recently my son had a lot of questions about why different families make different food choices and these were some of his observations:

  1. “Parents don’t know everything and sometimes kids know more than their adults. It’s cool when kids can teach their parents things about nature and health and we all learn from each other.”
  2. “When parents say yes to unhealthy foods because they want to be nice to their kids, they aren’t really being nice. Sometimes saying no is also being nice because the kid doesn’t really understand which foods are healthy.”
  3. “Ice cream before dinner is ok sometimes, as a special treat, but I’m glad we don’t do that all the time.”
  4. “Moms who don’t know how to cook still love their kids and can be really nice, good moms.”
  5. “Teaching someone about food and eating it yourself is better than forcing them to eat it.”
  6. “I want to help my friends and family eat more healthy foods so they can feel healthy like I do.”

Just to be clear, this is the same kid who would eat ice cream three meals a day, if I let him and still gags at the sight of zucchini. And still, it reminds me that the effort of teaching my family about nutrition and taking care of our bodies, and the effort it takes to walk my talk, are well worth it.

Understanding Water Purification

Many of my clients ask about water purification and I’m excited to share my interview with Antonio Cernuto, water expert and founder of www.pur20.com with you today. Antonio has become a very trusted resource when it comes to water, and I hope you’ll find answers so some of your own water questions here.

AW: Antonio, when I first met you I was excited by your passion for water, where does this passion come from?

AC: Water is one of the essential elements of life, as we all know. In 1988, when the bottled water business started its invasion, the first question was WHY?

Tap water quality is clearly not to people’s standards anymore and someone is capitalizing on it. The huge multinational corporations, clearly.

But are they solving the problem? Do we really have to buy water in bottles? The answer was and still is NO!

The number one problem are the plastic bottles, not only are they polluting our Earth, (as you can see here) they are also contaminating our Health. Plastic leaches into the water, BPA is a big issue to ours and our children’s well being and if this water is as pure as they say it is are we going to be able to afford to cook with it as well? The answer was NO and is still much the same Today!

We must ask ourselves “What is the most viable, affordable and most effective way to solve the problem?”

Filtering and purifying our Tap water was, and still is the answer. We’ve come long way in achieving the best results in water quality after purification and we are now able not only to drink the best water but also to cook with it, to bathe and shower, etc.

AW: What is the number one reason why someone should consider filtering their own tap water?

AC: To avoid impurities and contaminants affecting our health. Whether we’re drinking it or cooking with it, brewing tea and coffee, ice-making, mixing baby formula, vitamin supplements, bathing, etc.

AW: Do you believe that drinking un-filtered tap water poses a health risk?

AC: No doubt about it! And let’s not forget cooking, coffee and tea. Boiling water does not eliminate chemicals, on the contrary, boiling it makes a higher concentration of chemicals and they contaminate our foods, spoiling their nutritional values.

AW: For people that are drinking bottled water, what are your biggest concerns, and what do you want them to be aware of in terms of health risks?


#1- BPA leaching and water quality: bottled water industry is not regulated therefore purity is not guaranteed.

#2- Most bottled waters are from Tap and when they are from springs the same impurities are found such as pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals runoffs, etc.

AW: There are so many different water filtration systems on the market, all claiming to be the best. Most people who ARE filtering their tap water are using a pitcher system or one that they’ve connected to the faucet (Brita and Pur are common brands). Can you talk about this type of water filtration, and share your thoughts about pros & cons?

AC: As everything else (T.V.’s, cars, computers, etc.) even water filters come in various types and qualities. When we are deciding on the right water filtration system for our family:

1- We first need to find out what type of water quality is coming to our home. This information is, and should be available through your water supply company but since they’re an interested party you might want to check the national tap water data base at www.ewg.org as a valuable alternative.

2- Once you know what is coming out of your tap, then it’s time to decide and inform yourself on your possible choices for a good water filtration and purification system.

3- As a rule of thumb always remember…you get what you pay for…

4- A water filtration system should be bought through a water treatment professional who can address your questions and concerns and help you protect your family’s health.

5- Brita or Pur filters are very popular because they are economical and easy to use. Are they as good and efficient at doing what you believe they should be doing? If you are expecting removal of the pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, nitrates, radioactivity and more elements allowed by your municipality in your tap water, then it is NOT the right system.

If you are just content with removing chlorine taste and odor, then it may be the right system for you, but be sure to replace the tiny and expensive filters on time and as often as suggested by the manufacturer otherwise you could be drinking water of even lesser quality than your original tap.

AW: What are the most important things someone should look for in a filtration system? Can you speak about what components the systems you build have, the purpose they serve, and how health can be affected?

AC: First of all I’d like to distinguish Filtration and Purification. Water filtration by definition simply means to strain out the impurities from a water source. The larger the impurity particulate, the easier it is to filter. The opposite is true when it comes to purification: the smaller the impurity particulate, the harder it is to remove.

Some of the better purification methods include the activated carbon and reverse osmosis. The best contribution that carbon makes to filtration technology is its ability to reduce chemical quantities, poor taste, odors and many pollutants. Because carbon is only mildly effective in filtering out particulates and microorganisms, it is mostly used as a second or third stage filter in home and portable water use. It is seldom used as a stand-alone filtering, and often times, used in conjunction with reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis, which uses a semipermeable membrane filter to separate the water from contaminants.

Reverse osmosis is highly effective in removing several impurities from water such as total dissolved solids,turbidity, asbestos, lead and other toxic heavy metals, radium, and many dissolved organics. The process will also remove chlorine, and can also remove nuclear radiation such as radioactive plutonium or strontium in the drinking water. Therefore, reverse osmosis combined with activated carbon seems to be the most advanced water purification method developed so far.

PUR2o developed a high quality system that first Filters (Sediment and Carbon filters) then Purifies (reverse osmosis membrane) and to make it not only Safe but most importantly Healthy. It also re-mineralizes the water with essential minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, etc. in order to elevate the water’s PH to Alkaline levels, improving our metabolism. But Pur2o went another step over re-mineralization. Pur2o also Ionizes water in order to improve its absorption and make it anti-oxidant. In fact, through Ionization we are breaking the water into smaller clusters in order to hydrate our body at cellular level therefore also helping us in detoxifying from within way more efficiently.

AW: Once people invest in an adequate filtration system, what do you recommend that they do when they travel or go away on vacation, to bring their water with them? Are there portable filtration systems you can recommend?

AC: If they’re going to a vacation home where they have access to a kitchen, they could purchase a portable system usually a countertop type (there are various types available) or if they need to purchase bottled water, always choose purified vs. spring water and they could then squeeze lemon juice to elevate its PH and make it healthier.

AW: If people are interested in connecting with you, how should they contact you?

AC: antonio@pur2o.com or 973-647-2939

It’s Just Food

While I am thrilled that we are finally beginning to make the connection between what you eat and your health, it makes me very uncomfortable (seriously, it drives me nuts!) when I hear moms talking about “being good” or “being bad” based on something that she ate.

Food is fuel for your body, it can be a social experience, it can be a way of showing love or even a way of expressing your creativity, but food has no moral value. Your eating cake (even if it has gluten, artificial colors, msg AND genetically modified ingredients) does not make you a bad person, just as eating steamed, organically grown kale doesn’t do anything to make you a “good person.”

When I work with moms we invest a lot of time together discovering which foods make you feel healthy, vibrant, energized, and balanced. Through this process we also discover foods that aren’t ideal for your body. However, none of these foods make you “good” or “bad”.

Having struggled with body image issues and an eating disorder from around age 7 to my early 20′s, I feel very strongly about focusing on the ways that food nourishes the body and supports health, rather than judging ourselves or feeling guilty about it. One exercise that I encourage clients to try is, when you eat foods that aren’t ideal for your health, appreciate that they taste good and send them into your body with positive intention and energy.

I’ve also found that as we learn to detach moral stigma from food, it becomes easier to make choices that really serve your body. Have you ever eaten an entire carton of ice cream because you felt like being “bad”? What if ice cream wasn’t bad at all, but just another food choice? Once you get beyond the ice cream, you may even discover a more productive way to express your needs. And that’s really what being healthy is all about.

The truth is, guilt, fear, and stress can be just as detrimental to your health as poor food choices. As important as food can be for so many things, the truth is, it’s JUST food.

Essential Tip: Lavender

If I absolutely HAD to choose only one essential oil for my desert island, it probably would be Lavender. The name lavender comes from the Latin root lavare, which means “to wash.”

Lavender has such a wide range of uses, it is sometimes called the Swiss Army Knife of essential oils. It is definitely one that I would never be without in my own first-aid kit.

The following is a list of just a few ways I personally use Lavender essential oil for my own family. I hope this list will give you an idea of how benefical this oil can be, and give it a try!

  • Relief from a burn
  • Rubbed on my temples for a headache
  • Calming for an anxious child (and their mommy)
  • Sleep aid
  • A few drops in the bath to aid in relaxation
  • On irritated skin from a diaper rash
  • In a capsule to relieve seasonal allergies
  • Massaged on an ankle to reduce swelling and inflammation
  • Around (never in) the eye for pink eye
  • On an insect bite, to help take the sting out
  • And check out this recent study about the amazing healing powers of lavender essential oil.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

If you have questions about any other Young Living product, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am here and available to support you and answer your questions.

The other F word

Very confident, holistic-minded, mamas often reveal to me that fevers are the one thing that frighten them the most, and I can relate. I will never forget the first time my son had a fever. He was about two years old at the time and went to bed feeling slightly warm. I nursed him to sleep, but was concerned about him and didn’t sleep much myself. At around 3am (of course!) he woke up crying and clearly uncomfortable. My husband got the thermometer and his temperature read over 105. In my exhausted/semi-delirious state I had a moment of panic, and my husband, who saw it all over my face, freaked out. He wanted to run to the drugstore for tylenol and he was questioning if we should call 911. His hysteria snapped me back to reality. I know intellectually that fevers themselves are not dangerous and I also had the tools to help my little guy. I got to work and, by the next day he was much better.

The truth is, fevers are an immune response (symptom) not an illness. Most people don’t think twice about giving an over the counter fever suppressant. It is a horrible feeling to see your child in pain or uncomfortable and our instinct is to want to help them. Unfortunately, all medications come with risks and, while they may help your child feel better in the moment, they don’t help the body heal or recover from the underlying cause of the fever. The good news is that there is plenty we can do to support our children while they have fever.

As a side note, something that my clients often fear is febrile seizure. I always recommend that my moms speak to their pediatrician about your family history and risks. My research and experience leads me to believe that a seizure has more to do with temperature fluctuation and spikes, rather than the specific number.

Here is what I DO when one of my children has a fever:

1) Look at the whole child. How is their disposition? Are they weak and listless or a sick version of himself? A weak, listless child with a low grade temperature is more concerning to me than a child with a higher fever who is playful. In our family we don’t worry about the number on the thermometer, in fact, we rarely take a temperature anymore.

2) Hydration is key. When the body temperature rises, one of the risks is dehydration. If the fever accompanies a stomach virus, the risk increases. We offer clear broth soup, room temperature water, warm herbal teas, and ice pops every few minutes to make sure that the child is well hydrated.

3) I increase my immune boosting essential oils, supplements and herbal remedies. Fever means that the body is fighting something. Offering specific remedies like garlic, miso, oregano essential oil, and vitamin D help support the overall immune system.

4) Snuggle time. Whenever possible, I crawl into bed with my little one and give some extra cuddle time. Snuggles and physical affection lowers stress and lower stress means better functioning immune system. If possible, skin-to-skin contact helps regulate body temperature.

5) Keep comfortable. One of the best things I have found to keep my feverish child more comfortable is a single drop of peppermint essential oil on the soles of their feet. It helps cool them down just enough to rest.

In addition to all of these things, we keep in contact with our pediatrician. If fever lasts more than a few days with no explanation, we’d want to get to the bottom of it. For more information, check out this article from our pediatrician.

The information shared is based on personal experience and intended solely for general information. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any health problem or to take the place of professional medical care. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.

Natural Remedies for Stressful Times

Back to school, sports practice, homework, traveling for business, family functions, fund-raisers, music lessons, teacher conferences…and that’s just a regular week. Toss in a family emergency, illness or move and it’s no wonder that we’re all stressed (including our children). Next month I’ll be sharing with you an exciting program, from an incredible colleague, to help you simplify and de-stress your life. In the meantime, I wanted to offer you a few natural remedies that I find absolutely essential for survival this time of year.

1) Stress Away essential oil blend from Young Living
I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been known to refer to this oil blend as my “drug of choice”. I wear it almost every day. Somehow the combination of vanilla, lime and lavender (there are other notes in the blend as well) transport me to a tropical paradise where children don’t have tantrums and dinner is already made ;)

2) Peace & Calming essential oil blend from Young Living
A hectic lifestyle can be difficult for children too. I do my best to simplify, give them plenty of unstructured play in nature, and limit the activities, but often it isn’t enough. When my child is having a hard time decompressing at the end of the day, I give them a bath with two drops of Peace & Calming oil and it helps tremendously. And, by the way, it works for the grown-ups too!

3) Yoga
We all know that yoga is great for children and adults. It helps with both the physical and emotional effects of stress. Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible to get to a class, so I have come to rely on my Yoga Deck. I often let them choose a few cards and we do the poses together after school.

4) Rescue Remedy
Having a particularly traumatic day? Rescue remedy is a combination of five Bach flower essences, blended specifically to help you cope with stress and trauma. When my kids were babies, I’d carry a bottle of Rescue in my diaper bag because almost every day would feel traumatic.

5) Immupro
Of all of the remedies I’ve listed here, the one thing that will help you cope with stress, more than anything else, is sleep. Unfortunately, that isn’t always easy to come by. I’ve found that, for some clients, a supplement like Immupro can be game changing. It contains a small amount of melatonin and a combination of immune boosting mushrooms to give your immune system a boost and help your body get into a good sleep rhythm.

Do’s and Don’ts: Packing a Healthy and Delicious Lunch 


1) DO send them with the healthiest version of what you know they like. I’ve found that school lunch isn’t the best place to experiment. Here are a few lunches that my moms have had success with: macaroni & cheese, chili with chips, chicken soup, spaghetti with meatballs, bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, fried rice.

2) DO remember they may not eat what you send. The cafeteria can be distracting and often there isn’t enough time for slower eaters to finish their food (that’s for another newsletter topic!) The best thing you can do is to be prepared to feed them their healthiest meal AFTER SCHOOL. Most kids come home starving by 4pm. If, at this point, you offer “fillers” like crackers, cookies, ice cream, etc., you’ve missed a great opportunity to fill their hungry bellies and tired brains with nutritious foods. After school snacks might be one of the most important meals of the day for school-aged children and, since they are likely hungry, they’re more likely to eat healthier fare. Here are a few of my favorite after school snacks: hummus with cut veggies, soup, scrambled eggs, fresh guacamole with chips, oatmeal smoothie, english muffin pizza. And here’s a little secret, I actually feed my kids “dinner” around 4:30pm. Later, when we eat as a family, we can enjoy the meal together and I am less concerned with how much dinner they eat because I know they’ve already been well fed.

3) DO pack their lunch in fun, interesting and eco-friendly containers. I’m coveting one of those stainless steel boxes from www.planetbox.com but haven’t bitten the bullet yet. I use the reusable baggies from http://www.snacktaxi.com/ and http://www.lunchskins.com/ for sandwiches and when I’m packing a wrap or bigger sandwich I use a reusable wrap like this one . For hot things like soups, stews, chili, meatballs or mac & cheese, I love my Thermos!


1) DON’T assume that since school food standards have been improved that the food in your child’s cafeteria is healthy (or palatable). Many parents rely on school lunches and it is our right and responsibility to know what is being served (a copy of the menu often doesn’t reflect the real story) so ask to pay an in-person visit to get the whole truth (a wig and sunglasses may protect your child from embarrassment).

2) DON’T fall trap to pre-made lunches that are loaded with salt, MSG, sugar and other ingredients that are harmful to children (and other living things). They may be convenient in the moment but so not worth the cost of your child’s health and well-being.

3) DON’T assume that if you pack your child with a healthy lunch that they’ll be subject to ridicule or peer pressure. Several parents have actually approached me asking about what I sent for my son’s lunch because their child wanted what my kid had.