bitsnbiteswithtina

School Lunches: Fun and Nutritious

Getting your kids ready to go back to school is a lot of work. So many things to think about. There’s clothes, school supplies, busing or driver scheduling, programs and then there is the dreaded school lunch routine. We want our children to eat healthy and we want to pack up a lunch they will enjoy eating.

That’s where I come in. A few ideas to help lunch be fun instead of the same old boring routine. When you like what’s on your plate (or in this case in your lunch box), you’ll eat it. So let’s get started.

The first thing to remember is that lunchtime is not the time to try and get your child to try a new food. It won’t happen and the food will be wasted. Make a list of all the foods your child likes. Start with veggies. Now these can be cleaned and cut up and saved for the week in a produce saver. Fresh and crisp all week long. Every child likes a veggie of some sort. Perhaps its carrots, broccoli, peas, celery, lettuce or cucumber. Keep it raw and slice it into finger food. It’s ready for you to take a handful and deposit into lunch. Try to stay away from dips and dressings. They are messy and they usually contain alot of fat.

Next, you want a fruit. Keep it simple. Again wash and cut up fresh fruit for the week and keep it in a produce saver. The rubbermaid produce savers are a great investment!. There are lots of finger food fruits available. Try grapes (green and red), blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherry tomatoes (yup a fruit not a veggie). Save sticky fruit like watermelon or pineapple for home. Children are more likely to eat a handful of varying fruit types than one large piece like a whole banana or an apple.

The main portion of lunch doesn’t have to be a sandwhich. Toss in a couple of chunks of cheese, 3 or 4 ritz crackers (or similiar), thin slices of meats and let them pile up or eat individually. How about a cheese stick or pepperoni stick or pizza pretzel? Make them yourself and make them lunch sized. You can find the HOW TO DO THIS  here. These freeze fabulous. Put them in lunches and keep everything cool. Instead of pretzel shaped, try making their initial instead. Tear up some pita bread and put a cheese slice in with it or a fun cheesestring or laughing cow. Perhaps you have leftover meat from the night before. Cut into chunks and add to lunch. Children like to make things and be creative and that includes their lunch. There is no need to assemble a neat and orderly lunch. The key is to provide the foods they like and they’ll take care of the rest.

Finally, we have dessert. This is a very important step for lunch and for general food habits and healthy eating. Dessert is not the enemy. We need to teach our children portion control and at the same time satisfy their sweet tooth.Add one or two cookies, break a chocolate bar into pieces and put in 2 or 3 pieces, add a handful of m&m’s or a few gummie worms. You get the idea. One chocolate bar can last the entire week. It’s fun, it’s simple and it’s what they like. Have the kids help you make simple cookies or bars on the weekend. They get to spend quality time with you and they help create their treats.

Nutritious foods are only nutritious if they are consumed.

I have placed a few easy cookie and bar recipes on my page. There is also a simple donut recipe that my mom used to make when we were kids. Simple and inexpensive.

Have a great school year!

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August 15, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Great article :). I love the line nutritious foods are only nutritious if they’re consumed – so true!

    Comment by Jaime Stephens | August 15, 2011 | Reply

  2. Wonderful tips! It’s great to have some new ideas!

    Comment by Jen Gallant | August 17, 2011 | Reply


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