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Finally, the day has arrived that exhausted parents have been anticipating for weeks. August is National Back to School Month, and you probably could not be happier. Now is a splendid time to gather unique recipes to create healthy lunches to pack, because your kids may not like the school food. Your school district might not serve meals. Even with finicky eaters and a conservative budget, you can pack lunches that will satisfy both. Consider these handy lunch packing tips and recipes:
- Get feedback: If you pack food that your children detest, they will give them away or pitch them in the trash. Brainstorm with the kids and make a list of their favorite food combinations. Choose foods from the list to add to your weekly grocery list. When you make your own packed lunches and snacks, your ingredients can be fresher and healthier than processed junk food.
- Think inside the box: One of the reasons those prepacked lunch kits in the supermarket are so appealing to kids all the little compartments in one package. If your kids like them, consider buying them a traditional Japanese bento box. These durable, reusable boxes have small compartments for packing different foods. They are inexpensive and a great way to serve healthy food groups for lunch.
- Variety is key: Children can become bored with the same old food choices even quicker than adults can. While they may not tolerate extremely spicy dishes, they still crave abundant flavor. Introduce your kids to international cuisines in their lunches. Many global recipes are kid-friendly and are easy to pack for school.
- Packable recipes: You would be amazed at the creative and healthy recipes you can create for school lunches. Choose simple ones that use fresh ingredients and will be easy to pack and transport. Find delicious alternatives to some of your kids’ favorite snacks. Salads, sandwiches, fruit, finger foods, and even a thermos of homemade soup are yummy ideas.
- Assembly line: Teach your children basic kitchen skills by allowing them to help you pack lunches for the next morning. Even little ones can assist with making sandwiches and packing finger food. Older ones can help with chopping and cooking on the stove, with adult supervision.
- Up the fun factor: Since we feast with our eyes first, have some fun with the kid’s school lunches. Cut the sandwiches into whimsical shapes and use fruits and veggies to make humorous “food monsters.” Let your imagination guide to present food in a way that your kids will enjoy eating it.
- Always be prepared: The best recipes for school lunches are those that you can make in advance. Some can be prepared a week ahead, while others can be made the night before school. Here are some of my delicious school lunch recipes to try. Your kids will enjoy, them and you can feel good about serving healthy lunches.
Making a fresh meal, shouldn’t be the most difficult part of your day – this is a time to bond with your child, and teach them valuable life lessons – about healthy & fresh food and how simple it can be to cook your own meals. These are lessons that will pay dividends for years!
Here are some fantastic ideas for kid friendly lunches, that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters – that you can feel good about giving to your kids.
For a creative main dish, I would recommend my Homemade Chicken Style Italian Meatball Sliders or Quick Chicken Katsu Fingers, what kid doesn’t love chicken! For a modern sandwich, how about my Easy BLT Lavash Wraps – it is a fun spin on a classic sandwich. And for a sweet treat, I am suggesting a homemade fruit leather – this recipe takes some time, but it is worth the effort – you can easily control the amount of sugar in your kids diet while saving some money by not purchasing those expensive boxes of premade fruit leather (that are also packed with tons of preservatives)!
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