Posted on Aug 09, 2018
School is back in session! Does your student take their lunch to school? If so, finding the right balance of health, fun and preparation time can be a challenge. No matter what grade your children are starting this year, make lunchtime a highlight of their (and your) day with these four lunchbox tips.
Every meal of the day counts! MyPlate suggests that building a healthy eating style is important for long-term health. Helping your student pack their lunchbox is a great way to teach them the components of a balanced lunch, even when they are eating away from home. Incorporating the five major food groups – fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy – into lunchtime also helps them get the daily nutrients they need. You can even find healthy alternatives to some of their favorite, but perhaps not so healthy foods! Take their favorite sandwich and turn it into a salad like this BLT Sorghum Salad. For something sweeter, prepare a fruit and yogurt parfait with a popped sorghum topping for a nice crunch.
Weekdays often become busy and mealtime can be a challenge. Choosing lunchbox recipes that allow you to meal prep ahead can help in a time crunch. Find ingredients, like whole grain sorghum, that are versatile and can be used in a number of recipes. Whole grain sorghum can be prepared in a large batch at the beginning of the week and used in salads, in place of pasta and more. Also look for meals that can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator or freezer for easy use later. You can also look for recipes or ingredients that are easy to make in a pressure cooker or slow cooker to help save time in the kitchen.
While planning ahead seems like an obvious inclusion to our list, it is important for a back-to-school lunchbox win. Spending time on sites like Pinterest is a great way to find new, exciting recipes and lunch ideas for your student. Here are some of our favorite back-to-school recipes. Once you have a good list of new recipe ideas, share them with your kiddo to see which ones they are most excited to try. Before heading to the grocery store, consider utilizing a grocery list app to ensure you get everything on your list for the week. Some grocery store apps can even pull the ingredients from an online recipe you plan to make and add them to your list for you!
Meal time doesn’t have to be routine. You can make mealtime fun by writing little notes or drawing doodles and putting them in your student’s lunchbox for a lunchtime surprise. This little gesture can go a long way in brightening your child’s day! To celebrate special occasions, add your student’s favorite treat to their lunchbox.