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Back to School Lunches

Jewel Osco Registered Dietitians


Aug 13th, 2018

Back to school is a great time for parents to up their lunchbox game – not only is it a way to regulate what your kids are eating during the day, but by adding a variety of foods you get to add to the excitement brought by opening a lunchbox to find out what is inside!

To make sure your child isn’t trading their lunchbox items for cookies and other treats, take a few minutes to think about how you can make lunch healthy AND exciting for kids.

Here are a few tips for making lunches fun:
• Aim for color- Remember we eat with our eyes as well as our taste buds.
• Make it bite-sized – Kids love bite-sized foods. Try making a quick and easy roll-up with turkey and cheese, Cabot’s Cracker Cuts are perfect for this…then cut into small pieces for a bite-sized treat.
• Change it up – Don’t pack the same boring old sandwich every day. Try putting the contents in a pita pocket instead or pack something like a leftover quesadilla or a slice of homemade pizza from dinner the night before.
• Make a healthier treat – It’s always fun to get a treat in your lunchbox. If you rarely include sweets because you aren’t a fan of the less healthful, prepackaged options, try making a healthier version of a favorite treat you can feel good about. Homemade chocolate pudding or apple cheddar muffins are easy to whip up at home!
• Serve it bento-style – Kids love options (and most don’t want their food to touch anyway!) Bento-style lunches include small amounts of several different things in separate compartments. For younger children especially, this can help keep lunch exciting and less messy.
• Use leftovers – Pack their favorite dinners in plastic containers or thermoses for a hot meal.
• Add a dip – If you pack veggies like carrots, be sure to include a dip. Try hummus or homemade ranch dip made with Greek yogurt.
• Include a note – What’s more exciting than finding a note or joke in your lunchbox? Here’s a favorite: Q: What do cows do in their spare time? A: Listen to moooosic!

Follow these tips to get your kids excited about eating a healthy lunch! Or why not have them join you in the kitchen? A great way to inspire and challenge your small cooks is to join the fun, utilize these tips to get them cooking with you and making their own lunches in the future.

Easy Apple Cheddar Quesadilla Snacks

2 whole-wheat tortillas, 8-inch
¼ cup apple butter
6 Cabot Vermont Sharp Cheddar Cracker Cuts, or other Cheddar Cracker Cuts flavor
8 thin slices apple
Prep: 3 mins | Cook: 7 mins | Total: 10 mins
LAY tortillas on work surface. Spread apple butter over half of each tortilla. Top with Cabot Cracker Cuts and apple. Fold tortilla over, making half-moon shapes.
PLACE quesadillas in a dry non-stick or cast-iron skillet, large enough to fit both quesadillas, back to back. Set over medium heat. Cook until the quesadillas are browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Carefully flip over, and continue cooking until the other sides are browned and the cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.

Recipe Courtesy:

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