Thursday, September 10, 2015

Back to School Lunchs and Snacks Ideas

I've been thinking about lunch and snacks for the kids now that school is back in session. I'm sharing a few of my thoughts  below.
  • There are some incredibly talented parents out there that can create amazing bento box lunches. I'm not one of them - no time, no talent. I want healthy, easy to prepare food that my kids will actually EAT - not just a bite. I want it gone. Let me tell you, it doesn't happen often. Having said that, I do find that my kids often like little bits and bites of things for lunch - a few veggies sticks, a few crackers, a couple pieces of meat and a piece of fruit often sees great results. But of course, they go through phases - sandwiches and only sandwiches, absolutely no sandwiches, only hot dishes, o ly cold dishes...blah blah blah. If they make it themselves, they can go for it. If I make it..well, sometimes they get what they want and sometimes they don't.
  • Don't forget that left overs are some of your best friends! Any casserole can make a hot lunch the next day. BBQ chicken (or most other meats) can be transformed into a pasta salad, sandwich or fried rice for a relatively easy next day lunch.
  • Kids usually eat fast...they want to get out and play. Keep it simple, easy to eat. Most importantly give them things they will actually eat - who loves finding a lunch full of uneaten food??? If they are coming home with 1/2 of it eaten - give them less for a week and see if they are satisfied.
  • Try to have things they can choose from - feeling they have control over what goes in their lunch box may decrease the amount of uneaten food that comes back home.
  • This will also free up a bit of time for you in the morning - and who doesn't need a couple of extra minutes! Of course this depends on the age of your children and their level of maturity.

  • I'm always on the look out for new products the kids might enjoy. Over the summer, I was fortunate enough to be sent Litehouse's new Opadipity dips to try. They come in sweet and savory flavours including creamy ranch, cucumber dill, spinach parmesan, creamy cheesecake, strawberry delight and vanilla almond. We love them - they are also gluten free and have no preservatives! 
  • If you're kids like to dip fruits and veggies, I recommend giving them a try. I portion the dips out into small containers so the kids can pick their favorite dip, precut veggies/fruit or breadsticks for a school snack or lunch.

I'm always looking for new lunch and snack ideas, here are a few of mine:

  • Peanut free ideas - look here.
  • no nut granola
  • hard boiled eggs
  • homemade muffins
  • cereal and yogurt (separate containers)
  • Fruit - our favorites
    • canteloupe
    • apples
    • apple sauce
    • grapes (cut if required)
    • strawberries
  • Veggies - our favorites
    • carrots
    • celery
    • fennel
    • peppers
    • broccoli
    • cauliflower
  • chicken
  • tuna
  • salmon
  • hardboiled eggs
  • rice
  • seaweed
  • leftovers including cold pizza and pasta
  • pita
  • bagels
  • breadsticks
  • cheesesticks
  • pre portioned dips
  • granola bars
  • wagon wheels
  • fish crackers
  • homemade rice krispies

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