HOW TO MAKE IT
- Make organic peanut butter* sandwich wedges with jelly or honey. Add raisins, sliced bananas, strawberries, applesauce, grated carrots, or zucchini to the peanut butter.
- Bake a chicken in the beginning of the week, shred and slice it to use for lunches the rest of the week. This is a lot healthier than using processed lunchmeats.
- Add chopped spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a favorite dressing for a cold pasta salad. Tortellini filled with spinach and a touch of olive oil or flaxseed oil.
- Create a cold rice salad by chopping up vegetables, pineapples, apples, chicken or fish.
- Utilize leftovers from dinner. Hopefully you have some nutritious combinations you can put together. Plan to make extra servings of healthy dinners to pack for lunches the next day.
- Try to limit the frequency of using processed luncheon meats because of the nitrates in them. (Nitrates are preservatives found in many cooked and cured meats and should be given sparingly to young children.)
- Toss in pretzels, instead of potato chips.
- Pack 100% juice boxes.
- Choose to include graham crackers, fat-free fig bars, oatmeal raisin cookies, cupcakes, or brownies.
- Pack fruit-flavored yogurt. Avoid aspartame and sugary sprinkles.
- Toss in any fresh fruits.
- Spread peanut butter or cream cheese on carrots or celery.
- Include whole wheat pita breads filled with turkey, chicken, beans, grated vegetables, and rice.
- Make hard-boiled eggs or egg salad sandwiches. Add grated vegetables to the egg salad.
- Create rolled up tortillas filled with a thin layer of cream cheese and chicken or fish or filled with rice, beans and cheese.
- Pack a sticker, friendly picture, or note in their lunch to let them know you love them!
LITTLE KITCHEN HELPER HINTS
- Your kids will be more interested in healthy eating if they get involved in the preparation.
- Try making as much of the lunch as possible the night before and give your child a job. For example:
- After spreading peanut butter* on the bread, let your child sprinkle the raisins, sliced bananas or strawberries on before closing the sandwich.
- If you are using pita pockets, set out all of the ingredients and let them help you stuff the pockets.
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* Note: Peanut butter may cause an allergic reaction in young children.
For more helpful tips by Dr. Christine Wood, visit www.kidseatgreat.com