I am so sad to see that summer is already coming to an end. This means that school is just around the corner and it is already time to set new goals for another fun-filled school year. One of my goals, is to come up with some new healthy school lunch ideas because, last year, I had a hard time coming up with good school lunch ideas that Z.E.N. would eat. A friend of mine suggested that I do some meal planning for lunch.
I’ve never attempted to do a meal plan before, but I think it’s time for me to start. I have already sat down with Z.E.N. to discuss foods that he would like to eat. Some of the stuff he came up with are not really all that healthy, for instance one of the foods he requested is bacon. Nevertheless, I think it’s important to let him have some input.
Searching for school lunch ideas has proven to be such a time saver. I found lots of ideas in magazines, and on sites like Pinterest. I also found a few tips from Joan Hanson, Hormel’s test kitchen director. Aside from the tips mentioned in the article, there are lots of other great ideas that moms can use in preparing lunch for their kids. These include the following:
• Adding veggie sticks is a wonderful idea. Adding veggies is a great way to add in some nutrients. Including a dip like hummus can add some great flavor.
• Instead of junk foods, dried fruits and nuts can be a healthier alternative. Mixed nuts with fruits are packed with protein and minerals. Moms can also add cereal to the mix to add more flavor and variety. Let your child pick out the ingredients or components that he or she likes.
• Not all deli meats are bad. A lot of parents are hesitant to send packed sandwiches with deli meats due to the added nitrates and preservatives to the food. It’s important to note though that they are not present in all. The Hormel Natural Choice of deli meats, for instance, is all natural meat with no added preservatives, nitrates or MSG. The meats are also free from gluten making it appropriate for kids with celiac disease.
• Make sure to include some water. Water is very important especially in a growing body. Staying hydrated is very important since it helps improves the physical and mental performance and ability of your child. This will help your child excel in sports as well as in academics.
What are some of the challenges you face on a daily basis when packing school lunches?
Disclosure: I am currently a member of the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger #HormelFamily Program and this post is part of my involvement in the Group. While Hormel Foods provides me with materials and necessary resources to complete various activities, my opinions are 100% my own.
— Diane Nassy(@philZENdia) August 24, 2012