Family Matters: Streamline the School Lunch Routine
Friday, August 26, 2011
Now that school is around the corner, I am thinking about our school lunch routine; how to make it healthy, easy to prepare, and trash-free as possible.
Thanks to trial and error and advice from other parents here are helpful lunch tips:
Involve kids in the process
This helps them learn about foods—what makes a balanced meal—and makes my grocery shopping easier and less wasteful by not buying unwanted foods. Share a list (or pictures) of foods from the different food groups with your children and have them select their favorites. As they get older, have them pick out recipes and help prepare the lunches.
I shop on the weekend, stocking up on staples like soup, bread, granola bars, fruits and veggies easily packed for lunches. Whenever possible, I divide up dinner leftovers and put in lunch sized containers ready for the morning rush.
Make a trash-free lunch (or close to trash-free as possible)
I keep sandwich-size containers on-hand, and several other small-sized reusable Tupperware containers, utensils and water bottles to reduce unnecessary trash at lunchtime. Far from perfect, there are still days I opt for convenience and use pre-packed applesauce and yogurts.
Lunch can be more than just a PB&J or turkey sandwich. Katy Killilea, Kidoinfo food expert asked parents about some of their favorite things to pack for lunch including: Triscuits with whipped cream cheese, Mini bagel with hummus and shredded carrot, nut butter sandwiched between rice cakes, cucumber maki with a side of soy sauce, black beans and rice, frozen cups or tubes of yogurt. For more great lunch ideas, go to Kidoinfo, here.
Water bottles and lunchboxes can cost a small fortune. So once you have a collection that works, label all the parts with a sharpie marker or waterproof labels.
Find more lunch menu ideas and cool storage containers, visit Kidoinfo here.
Kidoinfo, the parents' guide for Rhode Island and beyond.
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