As you get the kids ready to go back to school, have you thought about what you will back in their lunch box? You want to pack a healthy lunch, but you also want them to enjoy it and not bring it back home untouched.
So let’s take a look at each section of the lunch box
Main entrée: This typically where the sandwich is place in that little plastic box that holds a sandwich perfectly. Have sandwiches come back to you completely uneaten? Why do that to your child, or yourself? Compromise and find a happy medium.
- Do they like chicken salad or egg salad? Why not put that in the sandwich holder with a baggie of crackers to go with it?
- If their favorite sandwich is pb&j, but you are worried about the excess sugar, shop smarter. Use a low fat pb and an allfruit spread.
- For whatever sandwich you make, instead of regular bread, use tortilla and roll them up for a stack of sandwich rounds.
Side item: This is the veggie option that gets neglected the most, so make it fun.
- Make a small salad with a little container of dressing for them
- Instead of a little container of ranch or pb to dunk veggies, use pimento cheese or cottage cheese
- Dice up carrots, celery, cucumbers and green bell pepper until they are in a chunky salsa consistency. Drizzle with some zesty Italian dressing and give a side of crackers for this “veggie salsa”
Junk side item: this is the potato chip side item that is the most coveted item in the bag. Instead of those little individual bags, control the portions by using your own plastic baggies.
- You can make fresh potato chips by slicing a potato thinly and baking until crispy
- If you have a dehydrator, get it out and make banana chips
- There are some great veggie chips on the market that will be healthier that regular prepackaged chips
Dessert item: Everyone loves the sweet treat at the end, but it doesn't have to a sugar laden repackaged snack cake.
- Vanilla yogurt is sneaky, because it tastes good and can be disguised as a sweet pudding in a little parfait. Layer vanilla yogurt and cookie crumbs with some fruit mixed in and your kid will be the envy of all their friends at the lunch table
- Cookies are fine. Just make sure of the serving size and pack them yourself in a baggie
- If your kid likes fruit, jump on it and make a little container of fresh sliced fruit. Don’t use the cans that are filled with syrup or juice, too much sugar for anyone’s good!
So have you been inspired to try something new in the kiddos lunchbox this year? Lunch bags don’t have to be what you had growing up, so talk to your kids and asked what they would like. The may actually prefer a peach to a snack cake!
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