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Packing Lunches? Don’t Let it Be a Chore!

 

It may seem like a struggle to plan meals for your entire family while also cooking for yourself. The trick is to feed your family the same meals that you are eating. When packing lunches for your kids, try to incorporate something from each of the major food groups in your child’s lunch. Sound difficult? Sometimes you can get all of these into one wrap or sandwich!

Vegetables
Here are great tips to use when packing your kids’ lunches: Add grated zucchini to chicken and tuna salads. Sneak finely-chopped peppers, tomatoes and even steamed broccoli into wraps and sandwiches. You can even puree bell peppers and tomatoes to make a healthy tomato sauce.

Fruits
Sometimes the easiest fruits to pack can get thrown away in the lunchroom. Many times, apples and oranges get tossed in the trash. Try slicing your kids’ apples and packing fruits like strawberries or blueberries that can easily be eaten by busy students.

Whole Grains
The key point to remember when choosing a whole grain is to read the nutritional label. Check the ingredient list and choose breads and wraps that list one of the following items first: Whole Grain, Whole Wheat, 100% Whole Grain, 100% Whole Wheat, Sprouted Grain or 100% Stone-Ground Whole Grain. Want an alternative to bread? Try serving brown rice or oatmeal. Breakfast for lunch can be quite delicious!

Proteins
If you’re packing your children peanut butter and jelly every school day, they may not be getting enough daily protein. Try other alternatives like canned tuna packed in water, chicken, Greek yogurt and eggs.

Dairy
Try to avoid flavored milks. Some chocolate and strawberry milk contain more sugar than one can of soda. Instead, drink delicious non-fat milk.

Water
It is essential to your children’s health that they drink enough water. Instead of sugary juices and sodas, pack your child water. You can let them choose a cool, reusable water bottle at the store to get them motivated to fill it up every day.

 

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