Back to school? Lunch ideas for the kids!

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Schools are getting ready to reopen for the 2017/2018 school year already.  So what should we make for the kids to bring, that’s healthy, nutritious AND tasty?  It’s hard to come up with new ideas. The first suggestion is to PLAN!  It can be hard to factor in time, cost, efficiency and health benefits and create something your child will want to devour.  Try following these few tips to get you started:

Plan around your evening meals – If you know what you are planning to cook for your family in the evening, think about how you can use it (or an element of it) for lunch or a snack for the kids the next day.  For example, if you are cooking a roast chicken, keep some shavings of the chicken to put in a wrap or sandwich.  It’s not processed meat and can be mixed with cheese and/or salad.  If you are cooking pasta, keep a little for your children, mix with veggies and a little olive oil and refrigerate.

Ask your children – Sometimes we make something for our kids that we know they love but is it really suitable for school?  Children seem to have an incredible sense of smell, so if your son or daughter opens their lunchbox with their friends, overpowering them with the smell of egg salad or a tuna sandwich, they might be quick to wrap it up and put it back in their lunchbox or even worse – in the garbage!  Just ask them if there is anything in particular that they don’t want.

Trail mix – A lot of schools don’t allow nuts in lunches due to the allergy risk, and buying a pre-made bag of trail mix is expensive.  However there is the homemade healthier, nut-free option:  Use dark chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and banana chips.  You can make a huge batch at once that will do a few weeks once divided up in to daily portions.

Vegetables – If you are lucky enough to have a veggie-loving child, send a few pieces of broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and tomatoes with a hummus or dressing on the side.

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