Outside the bag
Looking for a school lunch your children will happily devour? Think outside the bag with these fresh lunch bag ideas.
Let them help out
Want to make your child’s school lunch the envy of their friends? Start by including them in the decision-making—a terrific way to guide kids into making healthful food choices. Together, you both can choose easy-to-eat and easy-to-open foods.
Fruits and vegetables are a lunch bag’s best friend. Packing a few servings of both is a great way to ensure your children are getting the recommended amount every day.
- Pack fruit. Apples, grapes and oranges offer satisfying sweetness. One-half cup frozen strawberries and blueberries travel well and will be thawed by lunchtime. Dried fruits pack in a flash and are top choice for energy boost.
- Eat your veggies. Pack items like tomatoes, carrots, cooked green beans and asparagus spears, red bell pepper strips, and/or sugar snap peas. Add a vegetable dip and you’ll be ready for a feast.
Not everything in the lunch bag needs to be a sandwich.
- Save money by larger quantities of your child’s favorite snacks for guaranteed kid appeal. Then have fun together mixing and packing age-appropriate portions into re-sealable plastic bags.
- School lunches are often just 20 minutes and loaded with distractions. Smaller-size foods are more fun, easy to eat and offer more choices. Instead of whole sandwiches and an apple, think tortilla, ham or turkey and cheese wraps with baby carrots and orange sections; or a quarter-cup salsa with pita chips.
Sandwiches and beyond
It’s easy to see why sandwiches are a lunch bag classic, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to change them up or substitute them altogether.
- Add variety to the standard PB&J sandwich. Try almond butter, honey and bacon; or a chocolate-hazelnut spread with strawberry jam on sandwich bread cut in quirky shapes, such as circles, rectangles or simple triangles to make sandwiches fun to eat.
- Think beyond just sandwiches. Instead pack some crackers, yogurt, muffins or microwavable frozen meals.