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Fresh Ideas for Lunches

Posted: Oct 15 in Recipes, Weight Management Strategies by

Fall is a great time to rethink your lunchtime habits. Are you getting fast food or chain restaurant food for most mid-day meals? Sending kids to school with commercial pre-packaged “lunch boxes?” Making lunch at home with whole foods can save money and provides better nutrition for you and your family. A little preplanning makes a big difference!

Take some time on the weekend to solicit ideas from family members for weekday lunches and dinners. Kids are more likely to eat foods that were “their idea” and that they’ve helped to plan and prepare. Flexibility on Mom and Dad’s part is a bonus.

  • Adults and children enjoy trying new foods when they’re pre-prepped: Spend a few minutes peeling, sectioning and packaging to help entice your family.
  • Cut sandwiches into triangles or squares for little fingers.
  • Try to make all your crackers and breads lowfat and 100% whole grain.
  • Enlist your family’s help in the preparation and packing whenever possible:
  • How about a fun after-dinner family activity? Lunchbag brigade!
  • Whenever possible, put a cold pack into insultated bags to keep food safe.

Remember that meat and egg products need to be kept cold. Most plant products will be OK without refrigeration

  • Wraps: Have the kids scour the fridge for proteins and the pantry for beans; add some veggies and you have a healthy wrap. Dried fruit can be a nice addition too. Whole grain tortillas bump up the fiber.
  • Instead of snack cakes or chips, try all kinds of crunchy veggies with hummus for dipping, or peanut butter for smearing. Yum!
  • Lunch-making can become a pleasure instead of a dull chore!

-Tracy Boykin, R.D.

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