This year Lil’ Foodie starts kindergarten, and will be in school for full day sessions. This is going to be especially challenging for me, since she is on a gluten & casein free diet (in addition to various preservative exclusions), so school lunches are out & most prepacked items don’t pass her diet requirements. I need to pack lunches and snacks that she is happy to eat, without spending a fortune.
These healthy school lunch tips from Joan Hanson, the test kitchen director for Hormel Foods, not only work for kids in general, but they also work with my daughter’s restrictive eating plan.
- Veggie sticks are always a great addition to a packed lunch. To add a bit more excitement to please your child, send a small container of hummus to dip vegetables in. For a fresh, healthful addition, try new Peloponnese® hummus spread.
- Dried fruit and nuts are a great alternative to a bag of chips or cookies. Toss a variety of nuts together with raisins or other dried fruits and make a homemade trail mix. Throw in some whole grain cereal for extra crunch. Let your child pick out their favorites and create the snack themselves.
- Many families are reluctant to send their child to school with sandwiches packed with deli meats because of the fear of added nitrates and preservatives. Luckily the Hormel® Natural Choice® line of deli meats is 100% natural meat with zero preservatives, no added nitrites or nitrates and no MSG. These meats are also gluten free! Ditch the bread and make roll-ups using your choice of deli meat.
- Make water your child’s best friend, as water is one of the most important nutrients for a growing body. Staying hydrated not only helps with physical performance, but mental as well, keeping your child on top of things in the classroom.
Visit http://www.hormelfoodsrecipes.com/videosTips/FamilyMeals/backtoschoollunch.aspx. for more healthy back-to-school meal tips.
What about you? What are the biggest challenges you face when packing school lunches for your kids? Do you have any tips or tricks of your own, to ensure healthy eating while they are at school?
I am currently a member of the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogging Program, and this post is part of my participation in this program. Throughout the program I am provided with information and products to facilitate participation. This is not a paid program, and all opinions and experiences presented here are my own.