Wow, where did summer go? Already backpacks are full, buses are busy picking up kids for school, and lunches are being packed. There are certainly easy ready-made lunch items found in the grocery stores, but what you gain in convenience you lose out in good ole nutrition because they are often far too high in calories, fat, sugar and sodium.
The foundation for a packed bag lunch should be:
(1) Protein: eggs, cheese, poultry, meats, nuts & nut butters, legumes
(2) Starch: bread, rolls, tortilla, crackers, muffins, pasta, rice
(3) Vegetables and Fruits
(4) Beverage: milk or water
Three brown bag lunch ideas:
(1) leftover rice, cheese cubes and veggies combo
(2) string cheese, apple muffin and fruit cup
(3) whole-grain tortilla with hummus and avocado slices.
Treats to add to lunches: teddy grahams, simple wafer cookies, sunchips, pudding cups. And don’t forget little notes occasionally to let your children of all ages know how special they are. (Personally I think our teens really need these love-you notes).
Keep packed lunches safe – include a solidly frozen ice pack. And be sure to wash out the lunch bag or box every single night to keep bacteria at bay.