5 Secrets to a Great School Lunch
by Andrea Rose
Aug 29, 2023
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What kid doesn’t love PBJ every.single.day? While a nut butter spread on a couple pieces of bread may be a simple lunch, it’s sure not to be the most popular (and in some schools, nut butters are even prohibited due to allergies). So what’s a mom to do?

The good news is you don’t have to be a chef to come up with a healthy lunch your kids will love.

Sometimes, all it takes is a little creativity, planning and some time the night before to pack it all up and Voila!—a lunch that won’t get traded or tossed!

1. Choose your ingredients wisely.

A nutritious lunch begins with healthy food. Let’s Eat Healthy, an initiative of the Dairy Council of California (https://www.healthyeating.org/products-and-activities/games-activities/myplate) offers a fun online game, MyPlate Match Game, that you and your kids can play to learn about the food groups and what constitutes a balanced meal.

2. A Bento Box should be your BFF.

A Bento Box (www.amazon.com) is basically a divided food container with a lid. The great thing about them is they encourage variety and you can customize portion size. Start with some grapes, baby carrots and cheese cubes and add a protein (lunchmeat, leftover chicken, egg, etc) and you’ve got a healthy lunch. Add a sauce or condiment to dip in and you’re one cool mom!

3. Don't Overlook Leftovers.

Did you make a soup or casserole for dinner and have leftovers? Reheat a lunch-sized portion in the morning and put it in an insulated food container (https://www.planetbox.com/products/insulated-food-container) to keep warm.

4. Be Cool.

If you pack the kiddos something that should be kept cool (lunchmeat, etc.) make sure to include a cold pack. You can incorporate fun and colorful versions like this Penguin Fit & Fresh Shaped Slim Ice Pack (www.amazon.com).

5. Take It Day-by-Day.

Don’t stress out! Experiment! Send a sandwich, fruit and vegetable one day, but the next day could be a veritable charcuterie with crackers, cheese and some fruit. The secret isn’t about being perfect, it’s about finding what works for your kids. Give them variety and they’ll learn to look forward to lunchtime!

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