Tampa Bay mom keeps school lunches healthy - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa Bay mom keeps school lunches healthy

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

When you're a busy parent, keeping lunch fun and healthy for your kids isn't always your first priority. But, Seminole Heights mother of four Marissa Langford has it down to a science. Ask her kids their favorite foods? And you might be surprised. "Fried" doesn't make the list.

"I love apples, grapes, strawberries, GoGo Squeez (organic applesauce), string cheese," 7-year-old Mia said.

Her 8-year-old brother, Jake, loves grapes, water, and his favorite food is red peppers. These healthy choices aren't by chance. Langford, a kids health advocate, started her tots early.

"We've been talking about healthy food for a long time," Langford said. "Three of my kids have medical conditions so it's important that they're healthy."

Langford says kids are all about how the food looks. She doesn't have time to spend hours preparing their food but she does give a little extra.

"I love to make it look nice I do make it look nice it helps if I'm presenting it if I give him dips with Chocolate Chip sprinkles," Langford said.

Langford says she tries to buy on a budget by shopping at several different stores to find the best prices. She also says most parents buy more than they need, and that kids really don't eat a lot. To save time, she makes everything she can Sunday night. She admits that she's ambitious. The mom packs soups for one, sandwiches for another, and dips for someone else. It's a lot. But for her it's worth it.

She leaves the science out of healthy eating when she talks to her kids.

"I use words they understand," Langford said. "We eat from the rainbow; red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and, purple."

Because the kids know why they're eating healthy, Langford thinks they'll continue the habits when they get older.

"You have more energy," Mia said. "If you're tired, you don't have to lay down when everyone else is playing."

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