Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Meanderings - Pack a School Lunch

Some choices are not easy to make. You can send your child to school to eat what is probably heavily processed food, high in fat, calories and sodium or you can get up early every day and pack a lunch for him.

The first option is depressing, as kids need energy to learn and most school cafeterias serve food that has been processed far beyond it's natural state. The second option can be healthier, but it can also be time consuming.

Here are some great ideas for packing school lunches.

First we have This Lunch Rox with some healthy recipes and beautiful lunches. She does take an extra minute to make them decorative. In this case she sliced a piece of cheese to resemble Pac-Man and laid it on top of the sandwich. Check out her website for some great lunches, recipes and snacks.

Next we have Wendolonia. She does a weekly recap of lunches and snacks that she packs for her young children. Some of the pictures look delicious and I love that she does a week at a time in her posting.

Kat's Bento Love shows how to re-use leftovers for an appetizing lunch. The meals are for adults but they are healthy and tempting.

One thing that can get expensive and wasteful for packing a lunch is plastic bags to store sandwiches or snacks. We try to use bowls or reusable bags. There is a great tutorial for making your own sandwich bags at We Wilsons Blog. You can make them in a variety of sizes and just pick out your favorite material at the store and you are ready to go.

If you start packing lunches there are some small things you can do that will make it more pleasant for your kids. First, get some cookie cutters! A shaped sandwich can be lots more fun than plain. You can use the cutters for just about anything you put in the lunch box. Second, buy some small stickers or write a short note to your child. They will be so excited to see it in the lunch box that they may even eat all of the vegetables you packed.

Another neat trick: Banana writing! Take a toothpick and write on the skin of your banana without going through the skin to the fruit. It takes a little bit, but by lunch time your message will show clearly on the banana peel.

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