January 15, 2005
Parent’s Guide to Brown Bag Lunches
Variety. Try to include most of the food groups from the Food Guide Pyramid. Rotate choices to add variety and prevent boredom.
Get Them Involved. Have your kids make a list of the different foods they like in each food group…then pack those foods.
Expand Their Horizons. Try different sandwich fillings like low-fat lunchmeats, cheeses, and grilled vegetables. Try different breads like pita pockets, mini bagels, rolls, English muffins, or raisin bread. Jazz up peanut butter sandwiches by adding bananas, raisins, apple slices, shredded carrots or low-fat granola.
Beyond Sandwiches. Pack pasta salads with fun shaped, colored pasta, veggies, and low-fat mozzarella cheese. Make a quesadilla or pizza on a tortilla or pita.
Strong Bones. Kids need 3 servings of calcium each day. Send milk money to buy milk at school. Add yogurt for a sweet dessert. Low-fat cheese sticks, wedges, or cubes work too.
Produce Power. Slice up celery, bell peppers, and cucumbers and add some baby carrots and cherry tomatoes for a crunchy snack to dip in low-fat ranch dressing. Pack grapes, strawberries, cubed melon or whole apples and pears. Dried fruit and fruit cups in their own juice are good ways to get your 5-a-day too.
Go Nuts. Instead of potato chips or cheese curls, pack a handful of nuts to get a serving of healthy fats for the day.
Surprise Them. Kids love fun and surprises in their lunch. Be creative with shapes, colors and themes. For example, pack a red lunch with spaghetti, red grapes, strawberry yogurt and a red fruit leather. Cut sandwiches into puzzle pieces. Throw in a joke or a comic strip for a final touch.
Safety First. Use ice packs in insulated lunch bags to keep cold foods cold. You can also freeze water bottles, milk or yogurt the night before so that it will thaw by lunch time. Use a Thermos to keep hot food hot like soups or chili.
Posted by Lisa at January 15, 2005 11:08 AM
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