Lunch Box Blues

pbjsandwichThe Outdoor Epicurean knows it is difficult to remain enthusiastic when it comes to take from home lunches or an office lunch.  As a former teacher, I would bring the leftover dinner from the night before and heat it in the teacher’s lounge.  Most students do not have this option.

While we make our children’s lunch, there is of course no way to monitor if they actually eat it unless you are a cafeteria volunteer.  My children never wanted me to volunteer as a lunch monitor.  They said it was time of freedom and they did not want to feel inhibited.  Maybe they were trading my healthy lunches with a fellow student’s.  Being creative does help with the lunch box blues.

Here are a few simple tips and suggestions.

It might sound obvious, but freeze the juice packs and water bottles.  This will help keep the contents of the lunch boxes cold and provide refreshing drinks. There is nothing worse than warm juice.  Children need to stay hydrated during the day but they will throw it out if it does not taste good.

Instead of traditional peanut butter and jelly substitute the jelly with bananas and raisins or dates.  This nutritional snack will hold them steady until they come home from school.

Cheese sticks are an easy lunch and accompanied by an apple and whole wheat crackers. It is fast lunch to assemble and eat.  Students have a time schedule to adhere to and complicated lunches are cumbersome. Students use lunch time to socialize and keeping it simple is a good idea.

Celery sticks stuffed with cream cheese of peanut butter is another easy to make lunch and can be stored in an insulated thermos to keep it from getting crush in the lunch container.

Our other recommendation is to let the children make their own lunch from a selection of nutritional ingredients.

We will have more suggestions tomorrow so keep in touch.  If you have any suggestions for healthy lunches, please join in the conversation.  We would love to hear from you.

Margaret

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