Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Back to School: Healthy Lunch Ideas

Where did it go?  That had to be the quickest summer ever!!

As local families start planning for busy school and sports schedules, and get into the routines of packing lunches and snacks for their students, we invite them to come to Pathfinder Produce held each Thursday in Edmeston from 1 to 5 p.m.  We’ve got some great items to serve to your young scholars, and it’s been proven time and again that kids need healthy meals to grow and perform well.

We look forward to seeing you this Thursday at Pathfinder Produce!
Below, my colleague Martha shares some thoughts on healthy lunches.

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It’s back to school time, and the search for answers to the age-old question: What do I pack the kids for lunch??

There are several key criteria for school lunches:
  • The first should be obvious—is it nutritious?
  • Second, will your kids eat it? If they won’t, no matter how nutritious it is, it won’t do them any good.
  • Next, is it manageable? If it’s too hard to open, too messy, or too big, it will be problematic.
  •  Also, will it keep safely until lunchtime? You want to make sure that you either use an insulated lunchbox and an ice pack, or pack items that will not spoil in a paper bag.

Here are some suggestions that I came across:

  • Finger food! String cheese, fruit, crackers, cut up veggies. Small inexpensive reusable containers are great for this. Just be sure to have some extras on hand as they might not always make it back from school.
  • Good old sandwiches. Encourage your kids to try different kinds of bread, including whole grains, and make a list of what kind of sandwiches sound good to them. The possibilities are endless!
  • Leftovers. Some dinner leftovers will pack well for lunch the next day. If it’s something that needs to be cut up, do that at home before packing it to save time and the frustration during lunchtime. Insulated containers can even keep food warm for several hours.
  • Don't be too concerned if your child wants to bring the same thing for lunch every day. As long as it's something good for them, it will actually save you from trying to think of something new and different every day. My kids used to go for weeks bringing the exact same sandwich every day, and eventually they would ask for something else and then bring that for a while
  • Finally, here's a funny piece about school lunches from a blog that I occasionally read.

Until next time, eat and be well!

Martha (and Lori)

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