Hot Tips for Cool Kid Lunches

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Tips for Packing Healthy Lunches by Emi

It’s the second week of school for us and the boys are coming to terms with homework and new routines. The one thing that won’t change is that they will be bringing their lunch to school most days. I haven’t eaten the school food in our district, but the reports I have heard from my kids and many of their friends is that it leave a lot to be desired. And all of us still aren’t sure how pizza sauce is counted as a vegetable according to the Federal government, but that is a story for a different time.
It had taken time for the boys and I to refine what foods should be in their lunchboxes and which should not. Here are a few tips that can help ditch the chips and get kids eating more nutrient dense foods.  Americans in general don’t consume enough fruits and veggies so anywhere you can fit them into what they are eating the better.

1.       Let your kids pick what they want to eat. Kids like having choices as to what they can pick from and that can lessen the frustration of them not wanting to eat a particular food or having the “I don’t knows”.  Keep choices limited to 2 or 3 options. The guideline at our house it to aim for both a vegetable and a fruit in their lunch box, in addition to whatever “mini” entrée they choose from.

2.      If your kids aren’t big vegetable eaters, try adding something for them to dip their vegetables into. Hummus, salsa or even vinaigrette can make getting those veggies in a little more fun.

3.     Deconstruct Lunch.  Sometimes my guys don’t feeling like having a sandwich, wrap, soup, etc. so they will pack several individual things like a boiled egg, apple with peanut butter, carrots, nuts and raisins, etc.

4.     Make it fun.  Use colorful containers, cut things up into cool shapes or use cookie cutters. Try adding frozen fruit to water bottles instead of ice cubes.

A few suggestions to make lunch more interesting when good old peanut butter and jelly isn’t cutting it anymore.

  • Use almond butter or sunflower butter
  • Make a wrap
  • Corn, black bean and tomato quesadillas
  • Hummus and veggies
  • Boiled Eggs
  • Use leftovers, I will cook extra chicken or turkey for dinner, slice it up and the boys can make chicken salad, a wrap etc. This is a great way to reduce sodium and nitrite intake, both of which are usually found in deli meat.
  • Pasta salad with veggies
  • Brown rice and veggies
  • Soup

Meet Emi

My passion is cooking and eating unprocessed, mostly organic, and mostly healthy food. I want to share that with you. Eating Real doesn’t have to be complicated, time consuming or costly. I hope to inspire you to try new flavors, varieties of food and techniques.

Upcoming Events:

Taming Your Sugar Shrew

Are you constantly craving sweets or tired? If you experience a 4pm slump or are raiding the freezer at 10pm, this class is for you. This is being held through the Chester County Night School. Please click  to register
When: Tuesday September 18th 6-8pm
Where: Owen J. Roberts Middle School 130

Women’s Wellness Day at Lionville YMCA

Come and check out this free event at the Lionville YMCA.
When: Sunday, September 23rd 11:00 – 14:30

BOOST Your Immune System

Tired of catching colds and the flu during the winter? Learn 6 ways to build your immune system and reduce or even eliminate colds from your life.
When: Wednesday September 26th 6-8pm
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Mini-Wellness Event
Learn how to strengthen your immune system, increase your strength and be your healthy best
When: Saturday, September 29 10am – noon
Where: Fetters-White Schoolhouse, 723 N. Pottstown Pike, Exton, PA
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Taming Your Sugar Shrew

Are you constantly craving sweets or tired? If you experience a 4pm slump or are raiding the freezer at 10pm, this class is for you.
When: Tuesday October 9th 6-8pm
Where: Fieldhouse Wellness, 255 Great Valley Pk, Malvern PA
email to register
Meghan Kelly

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