While breakfast is often called the ‘most important meal of the day,’ lunch runs a close second. Kids with fueled brains and satisfied tummies perform better in the classroom and after-school activities. They also have a greater chance at meeting their daily nutrient needs for growth and development.
Create a Plan
When kids help plan their lunches, they are more likely to eat them. Set aside time to map out each day’s lunch, being sure to include a grain, fruit, veggies, a protein and optional treat. Yogurt is an easily packable lunchbox food and a kid favorite. Müller® Greek 100® Yogurt is packed in a unique two-chamber cup with decadent Greek-style yogurt on one side and add-ins like delicious fruit on the other side. An excellent source of calcium and a good source of protein, this yogurt is also gluten free and contains no high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, flavors or preservatives.
Please a Picky Eater
If your picky eater doesn’t do sandwiches, use fiber-rich wraps to make mini pinwheel bites, a thin crust personal pizza or quesadillas. Fiber One® Wraps have a soft, pliable texture and pleasing flavor and can be used to make a variety of healthy, non-sandwich, lunches. With just 80 calories per serving and seven grams of fiber, you can feel good packing lunches with their Honey Wheat, Garden Vegetable and Traditional White Wraps. Try them in our easy Italian Chicken Quesadillas that your kids are sure to devour at lunchtime.
Keep ‘em Satisfied
Combat mid-afternoon hunger pangs by pairing proteins like chicken, turkey, beans, unsalted nuts and string cheese with whole grains for appetite satisfaction. Fully-cooked Perdue® Simply Smart® Chicken is made with only all-natural white meat chicken and no preservatives or fillers. Each serving supplies 17 grams of protein with less fat and fewer calories than other breaded chicken. Use them to make our Italian Chicken Quesadillas that can be eaten hot or cold straight out of the lunchbox. Look for Simply Smart® Chicken, including Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Breast Tenders, in our fresh meats department.
Fun Finger Foods
Add some fun with finger foods like apple slices, baby carrots, grapes and sugar snap peas that let kids ‘play with their food’ at lunchtime. Or try Made in Nature® Dried Fruit that’s made with only the freshest and finest organic fruit. All varieties like Dried Apples, Banana Slices and Thomson Seedless Raisins are picked at their peak and dried to capture all of the naturally sweet fruity flavor your kids crave with no added sugar.
A+ After-School Snacks
When your kids arrive at home hungry after school, offer a balanced snack to fill their tummies until dinner. Try half of a sandwich, a small fruit smoothie, or a Cracker Barrel® Snacking Cheese with veggies and whole-grain pita chips. These perfectly-portioned cheese bars are made with irresistibly rich, full-flavored cheddar cheese are available in three flavors including Extra Sharp Cheddar Made with 2% Milk, Extra Sharp White Cheddar and Sharp White Cheddar. They are the perfect fit for lunchboxes too!
Even mild dehydration can cause low energy, headaches and trouble concentrating during the school day. Encourage your child to stop by the water fountain throughout the day and sip on water, low-fat milk, 100 percent juice or unsweetened tea at lunch. Pure Leaf™ Unsweetened Iced Tea starts with fresh tea leaves that are picked at their ripest and then hand-selected by master tea blenders to give it a smooth and distinctive freshly-brewed taste in every sip.
Clean it Up
Freshen up your child’s lunchbox daily with warm soapy water or Lysol® Disinfectant Wipes before packing it. When used as directed, these wipes can kill 99.9 percent of bacteria, viruses and more. They also remove more than 95 percent of allergens. And teach kids the importance of lathering up before digging in by reinforcing good habits at home. Encourage at least 20 seconds of hand washing in warm soapy water or use of a moist towelette or hand sanitizer before eating.
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