Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back to School Lunches

Since school has just gotten back in session it's important to remember how important nutritious lunches are. Of course, it helps when they taste great too! I asked some of the moms that work in the library to tell some of their go-to lunch secrets. All of them are concerned with nutrition, but every child has different likes and dislikes. Try some of their tips with you child.

Joanie's kids really wanted Yo-Go's, and since they started making some flavors without high fructose corn syrup or artificial colors and flavors, she's started getting them. She puts them in the freezer as a special cool treat for when they get home from school.

Heather's child will only eat a peanut butter sandwich, and only if it's in the shape of a heart. She's had some creative ways to combat her picky eater: bento boxes, making wrap sandwiches, and cutting veggies into fun shapes. Even though her child wouldn't fall for that last year she's hoping this year will be different.

Lynne's children are younger, so she's involved in making lunch for them at home. Her complaint is they never seem to like the same things at the same time. One thing they do like is to have their lunch be like a sampler plate. Lynn serves whole grain crackers, cheese, lean lunch meat, fresh fruit, veggies and dip. That way the kids can pick and choose what they would like to eat without Lynne having to prepare 4 different meals.

What other things can you do to make lunch special? Jazz up their lunches by having them pick out their own lunch bag. Occasionally do special things like put stickers inside, or write them a little note just to say hi. I still remember the notes my mom would leave in my lunch box. Courtney has a great idea from her childhood too. Make your children a theme lunch. Courtney remembers eating an "all orange" lunch: cheese sandwich, Cheetos (always the puffy ones), carrots, and a clementine.

The Youth Services Department has plenty of great books that will make packing school lunches a snap. Check out some of these titles the next time you're in the library!

Make and Eat Sandwiches & Snacks by Susannah Blake

Emeril's There's a Chef in My Family! by Emeril Lagasse

Cool Lunches to Make & Take by Lisa Wagner

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