Fueling Families With Plants & Protein

Back to School Means Pack for School

August 30, 2019
 Back to School, Nutrition By Marlo

Kids getting on bus

Back-to-school shopping signs are just about everywhere, from department stores to school supplies to supermarkets. Kids are getting excited to pick out new clothes, fill their back packs with school supplies and get ready to see their classmates. Parents on the other hand are starting to get stressed just thinking about what to pack for school lunch and how to prepare dinners that are easy, healthy and delicious.

But stress no more, with a little bit of planning before the kids even head out the door, meal-time will be a breeze! Check out some simple strategies to make back to school meals something to be excited about.

Let’s start with lunches:

  • Lunch is not just about sandwiches anymore. Mix up lunches with a potpourri of items that can include squares of cheese, turkey roll ups, crispy fruit, dehydrated veggies and other healthy items
  • Utilize temperature-controlled containers to serve up hot and cold items. What’s more enjoyable then chilled yogurt or hot Veggie Rings®?
  • Take your child’s lead and let them help you serve up their favorites. Don’t be afraid to get them involved in the lunch packing process. They might actually eat more if they helped to pick it out. Let them pack Chicken Veggie Nuggets with ketchup dipping sauce or grilled cheese and tomato soup, if that is what makes them happy!

Move on to dinner:

  • Work to create a weekly menu plan to help minimize stress when getting dinner ready. By deciding early on to reserve nights for chicken, fish, vegetarian or other meals it will help to organize your shopping and cooking needs. Veggie Mondays and Taco Tuesdays may be a hit in your house!
  • Serve balanced meals that offer all food groups when feeding your growing children. It is important to offer proteins, vegetables and carbohydrates at dinner. And don’t shy away from new foods with even the pickiest of eaters.
  • Take the time to find healthier versions of old favorites. Veggie Fries offers the crisp taste of a French fry along with the nutrition of two servings of vegetables. Veggie Tots offers the satisfaction of a crispy and delicious finger food created from sweet potatoes and broccoli.
  • Make family dinner all about your family. Let the kids help cook, set the table, choose the menu, add new dips, try new recipes, taste test and more. Make dinner a meal to look forward to rather than one to stress over.

So, before the bus passes arrive in the mail, get ready to stock up on healthy and tasty foods to make meal-time fun and easy.