Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What's In The Box?

Filling a lunch box with healthy, hearty and wholesome foods is a task that requires persistent energy, creative solutions, and careful planning. Or does it?
Packing a lunch to take to the office is quite easy. It’s simple to make a quick sandwich, salad or wrap with what’s on hand. Adding a piece of fruit or yogurt to a container of a favorite leftover meal is a thrifty habit. Including a special sweet gives the meal a little sparkle and becomes something to look forward to while working.
However, when one is packing a school lunch, things can get complicated. A successful lunch is one that gets eaten. Many a school lunches are thrown away each day, and the time and love spent packing them goes to waste. Involving the child in the process of making the lunch helps to ensure it’s edibility. Don’t complicate things by packing new foods or too many items into your children’s lunch box. For most kids, the golden rule is “Keep It Simple” - a sandwich, a fruit or vegetable, a healthy snack item and water or milk (no juice, no soda!). That’s it, nothing more.
Make a sandwich your child enjoys. Don’t make it too fancy. Giving your child a few basic choices each day will help simplify things. Turkey or Ham? PB&THKJ or Tuna? Egg Salad or Avocado, Sprouts and Tomato?
Pack a fruit or vegetable you know will be eaten and that travels well. Bananas, citrus and apples are fine whole. Berries, stone fruits, and grapes do well when portioned into reusable containers. Vegetables may be more appealing if packed with a favorite dipping sauce or sprinkled with a bit of seasoned rice vinegar.
Including a third item balances out the meal. A container of yogurt, a cheese stick, some crackers, a few almonds or walnuts, a piece of beef jerky, a hard boiled egg, fruit leather, a handful of savory Farmer’s Market kettle corn, or a rice cake are all fun choices.
Save the sweets for after school. Not including the tempting dessert makes healthy eating the only choice. Saving the sweet reward for the afterschool homework hour, creates a wholesome habit the whole family can enjoy!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

she makes good, healthy lunches. take it from me, im her son.