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Health at Every Size - these are the buzz words around the internet these days. Are you healthy? Do you want to be healthier?

What is health? The World Health Organization defined health in its broader sense in 1946 as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". Being healthier doesn't mean losing weight. To you it might mean:

We are very happy to announce that we have a Registered Dietician on staff who will be writing our Health At Every Size series as well as answering a reader's question each month. You can read about Shari's philosophy and experience on our staff page. If you have a question for Shari, please email us at

Disclaimer: This advice is not intended to be a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical, health or nutritional advice.

Back to School Healthy Lunch Guide

It's that time of the year again: students are heading back to classrooms and you're probably back to business. Yeah, we're all getting busy after a relaxing summer but this doesn't mean we have to sacrifice eating healthy. Before you start stressing out because you're on lunch box duty again, check out these tips.

1.Plan in advance: this will ensure you pack a healthy lunch.

Sure, you know you should include some veggies and a fruit in your kids' lunchbox and your own but with the maddening morning rush, who has time to cut up veggie sticks or saute some greens?

So, on Sunday, jot down what salads or veggie combo you'd like so that you can prepare your veggies one day ahead. You can also boil some eggs, pre-portion yogurts; fill in the water bottles and pack healthy snacks in advance.

2.Involve your kid when planning: that's a great way to inculcate healthy eating habits.

What's the point of packing the healthiest lunch ever if your kid won't eat it? To avoid seeing an untouched lunch box when you get back home, discuss with your little one what she'd like to eat. And if it's plain unhealthy, don't just say NO, explain that she needs healthy foods in order to perform at school.

3.Cook in bulk to save time and add variety to lunches.

Got some extra time this weekend? Make a big batch of oat cookies; whole grain muffins; oven baked chicken, roasted meat or grilled fish and freeze in small daily portions in the freezer. You can also make some extra homemade vinaigrette for your salad and some trail mix or hummus for your snacks.

4.Use leftovers.

Don't know what to pack for lunch tomorrow? Why not have what's left of your evening meal? And if you don't feel like having the same roast beef and salad, turn it into a tortilla.

5.Don't forget food safety!

Cold Food: Keep it cold by using an insulated lunch bag or ice packs.

Hot Food: Having chilli or soups for lunch? Remember to heat both the food and the thermos you'll be using.

Discard perishable food: Junior didn't eat yesterday's leftovers or his scrambled eggs? Throw it away: the last thing you want is a kid with food poisoning!

Quick and easy lunch ideas

1.Burritos, tortillas, whole grain buns & sandwiches

Vegetarian options:

Non-vegetarian options:

2.Whole grain pasta (decrease your pasta portion by using more veggies)

Vegetarian options:

Non-vegetarian options:

3.Pizza (make your own to cut down on chemical additives and trans fats)

Vegetarian options:

Non-vegetarian options:

The list of healthy, easy lunches is endless: you can refer to this guide from the Dietitians of Canada to help you pack healthy lunches everybody will love.

Submitted by: Shari

Feel free to post about your own journey with Health At Every Size on our Facebook page or our Forums.

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