SCHOOL LUNCHES- QUICK AND EASY
When it comes to packing lunches for school, quick and easy is the way to go. Being prepared will ensure this happens on a daily basis. Children usually do not have much time to eat. So, it is best to offer a meal they will eat and is packed with nutrients to help them get through the rest of their day.
Planning – planning your menu is a great way to start. This takes a little time, but it is worth it. Take a few minutes at the beginning of the week to discuss with your children about what they would like to eat for lunch. Children are always happier when they are involved. Take time to write your menu down; it will remind you of what you have planned and you can mark what lunch or lunches your child likes best.
When planning remember to include protein, grains – good choices include: chicken, beans, hummus, whole wheat bread and tortillas. Also, fresh fruit and vegetables, skim milk and or juice. A small snack size treat is nice too- such as a granola bar or pretzels.
Preperation – With so many single serve items available it is difficult not to reach for them. But with a little planning you can provide your own with a considerable savings. Again, let your children be involved- in snack size bags portion out carrot sticks, orange slices, celery sticks or grapes.
I have found it best to be organized by keeping my non-perishable lunch “stash” in a plastic tote in my kitchen closet. This includes:resealable plastic bags-several sizes, sandwich and snack size, napkins, handi-wipes, granola bars, trail mix, pretzels, crackers, etc. I have access to all items quickly and know for certain when I need to replenish.
Dinner time leftovers can provide a great lunch for the next day. Chicken, beef or pork can be served cut up and put into a sandwich or wrap.
Provide- A week’s worth of lunches can be provided with minimal planning and prep.
It is always a good idea to post your “menu”, so the children know what they will be eating the next day.
Lunch time was always one of the highlights in my children’s school day!