I’m a sucker for pictures dictating organization. The IKEA catalog (and store) does me in every time. However, no matter how many fun Swedish named containers I buy, I can never keep it looking neat and tidy. Yes. I know what my problem is; I buy too many things.

Anyway, so when this picture went viral on Facebook of using an inexpensive shoe holder then filling it with your kids snacks for school for only $30 for the month I was intrigued and thought I’d hit Nirvana! The comments were numerous of “this is great”, “heading to store now”, “can’t wait to start.” UNTIL I saw what those see- through holders were stuffed with:

Soda (“or Lemonade”) AND

Chips AND a

Cupcake (or Twinkie looking thing)

for EVERY SINGLE DAY OF SCHOOL for the entire month!!!!

Mom goes on to say that her child only consumes water once at home and eats a fruit and vegetable at dinner.

Umm, high five?

So instead of getting all freakishly dietitian crazy on this post, I decided to just remind us of the Dietary Guidelines that our little ones should be eating.

Don’t worry I won’t go into the growing rate of obesity, diabetes, hypertension or a slew of other diseases our children shouldn’t be exposed to until they are adults and make their own food choices on a daily basis.

Or the scary thought that the next generation’s life expectancy may be shorter than their parents.

And I promise not to mention behavior issues, learning problems or struggles those poor teachers will have controlling hyped up kids or vice versa attempting to motivate drowsy, half lethargic food coma students.

Did I mention digestion problems?

Nope I won’t cover that either.

How about Acne?

I’ll stay away from that one too.

Here are some simplified guidelines to think about when you are packing up lunches and snacks for the next 9 months.

(If you want to know more specifically how many calories, fat, protein, etc your 11 year old all star soccer playing daughter needs, there’s some dandy math equations to give you the answers OR ask a friendly dietitian. And yes, that includes me. Check out the FAQ section of my Work With Me page here).


Preschool Elementary Junior High High School
Added Sugar 3 teaspoons/d 3-4 tsp/d 5-8 tsp/d 5-8 tsp/d
Protein 13 grams/d 19 g/d 34-50 g/d 46-56 g/d
Fiber 8-19 grams/d 25-31 g/d 26-31 g/d 31-38 g/d
Sodium 1000 milligrams/d 1200 mg/d 1500 mg/d 1500-2300 mg/d
Calcium 500-800 mg/d 800-1300 mg/d 1300 mg/d 1300 mg/d


JUST those 3 innocent enough looking items in each one of those shoe holders contain a total of:

479 calories

64 grams of added sugar

1.1 gram of protein

2.1 grams of fiber

486 mg of sodium


16 TEASPOONS of added sugar and 40% of my child’s daily intake of sodium is NOT worth the convenience factor. Did you read that right??

YES!  I wrote 16 teaspoons of sugar!! (There’s 4 grams of sugar in each teaspoon.)

Some will argue that eating healthier is more expensive. I get that. There are 5 mouths in my family. I know the prices at the grocery store.

However, my OUR children are worth more than cheap food robbing their body of necessary nutrients. They are worth every extra penny it costs to give them Calcium, Fiber, Protein vital for disease PREVENTION. And trust me, you can’t make it up in one dinner meal followed with a gummy vitamin chaser.

Some healthier but still convenient options include fruit, veggies & dip, nuts or nut butters, yogurt, low fat string cheese and whole grain crackers (maybe even in the form of rabbits vs fish IF I have a coupon). So what if you have to hang a shoe holder in the fridge.

Do you have any great organizing tips or ideas for back to school snacks and lunches? I’d LOVE to hear them! Share your comments below.

Also, please share this post with your parent friends tempted by budget buys.

Education is Power! Education is Prevention!