Junk food or not junk food, that is the question. What is the true definition of "Junk Food?" There are many of them out there, most of them refer to "food that has low nutritional value, typically produced in the form of packaged snacks needing little to no preparation." Would you then consider a pizza, made with homemade dough, sauce made from crushed tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, oregano, and low fat skim mozzarella cheese "Junk Food?" How about a fresh ground, low fat, black angus beef patty on a whole grain bun? Is that Junk Food?
As the owner of a restaurant based school and camp lunch management company, from time to time I hear a parent refer to the food on our menu's as junk food because it comes from a restaurant. We do offer pizza and burgers among the many other menu options families can choose from including salads, chicken breast sandwiches, homemade soups, etc. We only work with restaurants that make all the kids entrees from scratch. Isn't the better question, what kind of ingredients are used and is the food prepared from scratch from fresh ingredients every day? and to that I say YES!
I have previously written about making sure our kids eat a balanced diet containing lean protein, fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains. Ideally, that is the goal, but here's the wrinkle, it doesn't matter what we pack them for lunch or what we order them for lunch, they will only eat what they like, what they are used to eating and what tastes good to them. I often hear parents say, well at least if there are cucumber slices or fresh fruit in front of them, they are more likely to eat it then if it wasn't there. My question is, is that the risk you want to take when your child is at school and needs to be sure they fill their belly so they are able to focus and concentrate for the balance of the school day? Wouldn't you rather make sure to pack or order food that you know your child will eat, knowing that it is made using fresh ingredients and made from scratch? Something to think about...