Back to the Lunch Sack
Sep 16, 2011
For many of us, back to school time means to back to the lunch packing grind. But before you start singing the lunch box blues, here are some ways to keep the fun (and nutrition) in your kids’ midday meals:
Beyond PB&J – While some kids prefer the same thing everyday, others may be up for a sandwich switch up. Mix it up by using different breads like flatbreads or whole wheat wraps like these Green Wheels and Ham Sammies. Try shredded carrots or avocado slices instead of the basic lettuce. Upgrade American cheese to Muenster, havarti or fresh mozzarella slices.
All In One – Think about one-dish dinner leftovers rolling over into a fulfilling next day lunch. Items such as hearty soups, chilis, leftover casseroles, or pasta salads make for easy packing and lunchtime satisfaction like Kicked-Up Mac & Cheese or Tortilla Chip Macaroni & Bean Soup.
Be a Green Packer – Say goodbye to those plastic baggies. Instead, get some hip, reusable sandwich bags like Lunchskins or WasteNot Saks – they come in a variety of cool colors and designs and are dishwasher safe. Visit www.resuseit.com for a wide selection of eco-friendly packing solutions – get your kids to pick out their favorites.
Go Bento– A longtime lunch packing staple in Japan, bento boxes are becoming more popular here and are a terrific way to pack a fun and well-balanced meal. Some bento “friendly” foods include cut up fruit, raw veggies, bean dips, whole grain crackers, cubed cheese and mixed nuts.
Keep the Treat–As a dietitian, I’m all about packing each of the food groups but there’s always room for a small dessert – and it doesn’t have to be a prepackaged or overly processed sweet. On weekends, I like to bake with my daughter so whether it’s a simple chocolate chip cookie or one of these fun Carrot Cake Bites – the whole family can enjoy a little homemade goodness in their lunches during the week.