Still, you're not reduced to serving "fruit" snacks or bleached baby carrots as your only options. Here are some fast solutions for fixing school lunches that are as easy to pack as to manage at school.
The main event doesn't have to be a boring peanut butter on plain bread sandwich. With a little flexibility you can easily shake up your "sandwich" into something more creative.
- Choose homemade breads, flat breads or crackers.
- Even serve almond butter on banana or applesauce bread for something different.
- Go 'round by creating wraps.
- Slice cooked chicken or cheeses into strips.
- Serve chicken or ham chunks, cheese and small veggie chunks as as "kabobs" on toothpicks.
- Don't forget your thermos. Just a few hot meals packed in a thermos, and you'll come out ahead of hot lunches. My daughter has enjoyed spaghetti made with homemade - and homegrown - pasta sauce, and lo mein and other dishes are easily packed for a fun menu choice.
Winter veggies and fruits
It takes mere minutes to slice carrots into coin shapes or sticks, yet it's a far better alternative than bleached baby carrots. And if you can get some locally grown carrots - yes, even in January - you're in for a better treat!
If you have a salad lover, grab some winter lettuces; just pack your salad separate from the dressing, or your child could have a soggy mess by mealtime.
For an easy dip, drop the bottled ranch dressing and substitute dressing mix mixed with plain Greek yogurt.
And dont forget your seasonal fruits, which are suprisingly hardy (good for those of us whose children routinely whip those lunchboxes around!). Think apples, oranges, tangerines, tangelos, and pears. You could even add some homemade honey-yogurt dip for a fun option. Dried fruits tossed with nuts help meet that sweet tooth too.
What other options do you like for an easy - and healthy - school lunch alternative?This post is part of the Healthy Child Network carnival on green and healthy lunch ideas.