For your kids, back to school means summer is over. For you, it means the daily routine of coming up with portable lunches that are nutritious as well as delicious has once again begun. To make your busy schedule a little less hectic, we’ve pulled together some tasty suggestions to help you fill those lunchboxes and bags with healthy surprises. Check out these ideas to make lunchtime something any hungry student can look forward to.
With a little kitchen creativity, even picky eaters can enjoy a healthy helping of veggie goodness in their school lunches. A slice or two of pizza, prepared with some fresh veggies on top, can satisfy those cravings and provide extra nutrition too. Or instead of making a traditional sandwich, make a wrap with Eat Smart Sweet Kale Salad Kit plus your favorite protein. You can also add Eat Smart Superfood Salad Blends to soups and pasta salads to boost their nutritional value. And a bag of small veggie pieces, accompanied by a container of your child’s favorite dressing or dip, can make healthier eating seem like snack time.
Prepping Like a Pro
Whipping up healthy school lunches to go doesn’t have to be stressful. Simply using Eat Smart’s convenient, trimmed and washed vegetables makes everything faster and easier. And here’s another way to speed up the process, too. Reusable containers for your child’s lunch box or bag can be huge time savers. They make it simple to set up portions of healthy veggies and fruits, hummus or yogurt dips, or other tasty treats. Pick up a number of containers, and you can prepare the night before, or even several days ahead. You can also use convenient bento boxes with individual compartments to store a variety of delectables in one container. However you package it all up, you can ensure everything is ready to go in your fridge every morning, when everyone’s rushing to get out the door.
Planning for Success
And while we’re talking about preparation, let’s not forget about the value of a little advance planning. Consult with your local experts—the kids who’ll be enjoying your lunches. If they’re interested, involve them in the process by inviting them to choose from a variety of suggestions for healthy ingredients before you visit the grocery store. Perhaps even let them help prepare part of the lunch. Giving kids a choice and making them participants in the lunch-making experience will often whet their appetites to ensure they’ll eat what they’ve helped create. Needless to say, keeping kids involved can also provide the feedback you need to vary the menu so they don’t get tired of the same old same old.
Lovin’ Those Leftovers
What was on your family’s dinner menu last night? Did it get good reviews from your youngest food critics? If so, consider turning the leftovers into an equally satisfying lunch by mixing in some nutritious veggies or other tempting ingredients for a fresh twist. It’s a creative way to get extra value from your food budget, and ensure delicious dishes don’t linger in your fridge till they’re past their prime. Of course your enhanced leftovers could be a perfect fit for those handy serving containers we were just talking about, too. With a little imagination and pre-planning, plus some involvement by your kids, this year’s school lunches can be deliciously and nutritiously in a class of their own.