Pack A Powerful Punch With Lunch
Contributed by: News Canada
(NC) - Packing snacks or lunches that won't be traded with friends or even thrown-away can present a challenge to any parent. Yet healthy snacks and lunches, like breakfasts, provide kids with the energy they need throughout the day. What's the magical recipe for spicing up your child's lunchbox while keeping preparation time to a minimum? Mix one part child involvement with a teaspoon of planning and a pinch of creativity and your child will thank you.
Children are more likely to eat their lunch when they've had some say in what goes in their lunch box - whether that means helping to prepare and pack it or submitting a weekly list to post on the refrigerator of foods they'd like to have for lunch.
To turn your child's lunch and snack-time into a delicious adventure, try some of these quick and easy tips:
- Top a celery stick with spreadable cheese and include some raisins for kids to sprinkle on the cheese. Or for dessert, spread cream cheese on apples and sprinkle with a little cinnamon.
- Kids love to dip - pack a small, portable container of your child's favourite salad dressing with veggies (ranch is a big hit with kids). Or dip fruit slices - apples, bananas, pears - in cream cheese or fruit yogurt.
- Cut sandwiches into shapes using cookie cutters the night before.
- Yogurt in squeezable packages and string cheese are fun to eat and easy to pack. Or include a trail mix of dried fruits, wholegrain cereals and sunflower seeds to sprinkle over yogurt.
- Unbuttered, unsalted popcorn and wholegrain cereals are healthy snacks that pack easily and are handy to munch on during the day.
Remember to mix it up. The same old lunch routine can get boring pretty quickly, but even the smallest changes can bring a new twist to an old idea. Try pitas instead of sandwich bread, substitute a jam sandwich for cucumbers or bananas or make a trail mix of pretzels, dried fruits and whole-grain cereals instead of crackers. Remember kids often enjoy food combinations that may sound strange to you.