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Consumer Reports: Lunchables other snack kits ‘should not be considered healthy or eaten regularly’

The classic Lunchables may offer convenience for packing school lunches, but a new Consumer Reports investigation reveals these pre-packaged meals raise several health concerns, especially for children.

Most troubling was the finding that lead and cadmium were present in the lunch kits, which are a go-to staple for quick snacks for children.

“Every kit we tested contained lead, cadmium or both,” said a Consumer Reports spokesman in a TikTok/YouTube clip. “While the amount of heavy metals in teh kits did not exceed any regulatory or legal limits, regularly consuming heavy metals can increase health risks over time.”

The consumer advocacy group recommends the USDA discontinue Lunchables within the National School Lunch Program.

The report found that many Lunchables varieties contain high levels of sodium, often reaching nearly half a child’s recommended daily intake. Excess sodium in childhood can contribute to high blood pressure and other health risks later in life.

The popular lunch kits also rely heavily on processed meats, artificial ingredients, and added sugars, lacking the whole-food nutrition essential for growing kids. Consumer Reports warns that labels such as “made with real cheese” can be misleading, sometimes obscuring the use of heavily processed cheese products with lower nutritional value.

“Bottom line, these highly processed lunch and snack kits should not be considered healthy or eaten regularly,” said a Consumer Reports spokesperson on in videos on TikTok and YouTube.

Consumer Reports encourages parents to explore alternatives like packing homemade meals made in advance, offering a variety of whole-food snacks like fruits and vegetables, and opting for unsweetened beverages.

For the full Consumer Reports article and additional lunch preparation tips, visit https://www.consumerreports.org/health/lunch-and-snack-packs/should-you-pack-lunchables-for-your-kids-school-lunch-a1165583878/

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