IT’S BACK TO SCHOOL TIME!
It’s that time of year again! Summer sure does fly by. Now that the kiddos are heading back to school, it’s time to start thinking about lunch time. Below are some ideas for packing a pail that will make your kids drool….and thrive!
Today, lunch times are crunched and kids are encouraged to eat quickly then get outside so the next wave of children can come in to eat. This is unfortunate, but I haven’t quite yet cleared my schedule to make time to take on the system. So in the meantime, let’s consider this situation when we pack the lunch. If we send salty snacks or sweet treats, our kids are more likely to start with those because they are rushed, and they may leave the protein or produce un-touched. To balance this, consider smaller portions of snack foods and offering one or the other (sweet or savory) but not both.
Another important thing to consider: food safety. It’s a good idea to purchase a few small ice packs that can be tucked into the lunch box to keep perishables cold. Foods like milk, luncheon meats and cheese need to be refrigerated or kept on ice. Items needing to be kept cold are marked with an * below.
LUNCH BOX IDEAS:
Wraps and Sandwiches: Use a high fiber bread or wrap.
Let the kids choose what goes in! Set parameters such as, “what veggies would you like in it?”
“None” isn’t an option but they can absolutely choose which ones they’d like. Get creative!
Use cream cheese*, hummus*, or avocado* instead of mayo* on occasion, add pumpkin and
sunflower seeds for crunch, raisins and craisins for sweet, and vary the protein with chicken
breast*, tuna fish*, cheese*, and nitrate free lunch meats*. Water, milk*, or sun tea to drink.
Left overs: Send last night’s casserole, soup, stew, or pasta reheated in a small thermos.
Serve with a side of veggies and dip*, whole fruit, and milk* to drink.
Make-Your-Own Lunchables: use whole wheat crackers (triscuit, wheat thin), thinly slice nitrate free lunch
meats and cheese. Serve with fruit cup canned in juice, a few veggie sticks, and milk to drink.
Mini Bagel with natural peanut butter and sliced apple or banana
Serve with a side of veggies and dip*, pickle spear*, and milk or water.
Ants on a log w/ natural peanut butter or cream cheese* and raisins or craisins.
Serve with a small piece of fruit, a small bag of natural potato chips, and milk* or water.
Kabobs: On a skewer layer cubes of cheese*, organic grape tomatoes, cucumber, and basil
Optional add chicken breast* cubes.
Serve with a hard boiled egg*, few whole wheat French bread pieces and hummus*, sun tea.
Kabobs: On a skewer or rounded toothpick for younger kiddos layer berries, grapes and melon.
Serve with vanilla yogurt* for dip, ½ sandwich on wheat made with turkey* or tuna*, water.
Muffins: Make ahead applesauce oatmeal muffins with blueberries. Send with natural nut butter.
Serve with side of veggies and dip*, and milk* to drink.
Trail Mix with nuts, pretzels, raisins, small amount of dark chocolate chips
Serve with meat and veggie roll-ups* (ants on a log w/ cream cheese rolled in nitrate free lunch meat), single serving fruit canned in juice, and milk to drink.
Like these? Great---Enjoy! Please share your other lunch suggestions in the comments.
RanDee Anshutz is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Massage Therapist practicing in Bend, Oregon. As a Health at Every Size (HAES) provider she strives to help EVERYONE in EVERY BODY achieve optimal health.