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Published: Saturday, 8/17/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

TO THE NINES

How to pack an A+ lunch

BY RONEISHA MULLEN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

BLADE ILLUSTRATION BY WES BOOHER Enlarge

School time is nearing once again, and for parents of picky eaters, nothing can be more mind-boggling than the pursuit of packing a lunch that is both nutritious and appetizing for kids.

Let’s face it, most kids would much rather have an ice cream cone than a carrot stick. And with all the advertisements for sweet treats and unhealthy eats, it can be even harder to get your little ones to enjoy the right foods.

So how do parents ensure their children are getting the nutrients they need from a meal they’ll actually want to eat?

As you get ready to send your kids back to school, keep in mind these tips for packing a lunch that’s both healthy and fun.

1. Make lunches enjoyable. Even your child’s favorite sandwich can get boring after eating it a few days in a row. Whip it into shape with cookie cutters in fun shapes and different sizes.

2. Roll it up. Instead of bread, make a sandwich on a whole grain tortilla. Choose the colorful ones (green, orange, red) to brighten up the meal.

3. Mask it. Sneak bite sized veggies into their lunch boxes by covering them in fun dips like peanut butter, honey, or hummus.

4. Kids only get the nutrients if they eat the meals. Conquer lunch box boredom by switching it up. Add some variety by offering a new meal or snack daily or weekly.

5. Leftovers. If you’re child loved dinner, let them eat it again for lunch. Invest in food trays with lids for convenience and easy access.

6. Kabobs. Whether it’s meat and veggies or veggies and fruit, kabobs are fun and will lighten up any lunch box. Add some yogurt or dressing for dipping fun.

7. Keep it fresh. Packing a winning lunch is not only about nutrition, but also about keeping food safe for eating. Invest in food containers, ice packs, and lunch bags that will keep foods at appropriate temperatures.

8. If your kids love potato chips, offer them something different, but with that same satisfying crunch, such as cucumber slices, baby carrots, fresh peppers, whole wheat pretzels, or baked sweet potato chips.

9. A little water never hurt anyone. A cool thermos or water bottle is sure to get your child’s attention. Add some fresh fruit, such as strawberries, lemons, oranges, or limes, to the water for extra flavor.

Contact RoNeisha Mullen at: rmullen@theblade.com or 419-724-6133.



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