August 5th, 2014
While it hardly seems possible, summer’s end is within sight. As the new school year begins, it’s the perfect time to start fresh with healthier eating, too. But don’t worry kids, nutrition and fun lunches can peacefully coexist. Here are a few ways to spruce up the old lunch box.
Let’s hear it for hummus! Kids love lunches they can assemble themselves. Packing carrots, cucumber slices, whole wheat pita bread or even pretzel chips to dip in Pacific hummus makes lunchtime feel like more of an activity. Keep any of our three flavors in the pantry, or refrigerate in a thermos the night before for quick packing.
Swap milk for non-dairy. Pacific 8-ounce non-dairy beverages come in four packs so they’re great to keep on hand. Stock up on Organic Almond Vanilla, Organic Almond Chocolate, Oat Milk Original or Hazelnut Chocolate, then let your kids pick out the flavor they want for lunch during breakfast. For another change of pace, pack dry cereal in a bowl and let your little ones pour the non-dairy over the cereal at lunchtime.
Shape it up. Make healthy sandwiches more enticing for kids by cutting the sandwiches into interesting shapes. Many grocery stores sell cutters shaped like dinosaurs, dolphins and butterflies. You can also fill pita pockets with chicken or egg salad for a different take on traditional sandwiches.
Soup’s on! Pacific soups are an easy way to offer tasty and healthy meals midday. For older kids with access to a microwave, pack our 8-ounce Creamy Tomato or Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato soups and let them heat them up at school. Or heat up our other soups in the morning and keep it warm in a thermos. Chicken Noodle Soup is always good for the soul!
Make it colorful. Foods that look more fun are always a big hit in the lunch room. Fill celery with natural peanut butter and top with raisins. Stuff small bell peppers with hummus and feta cheese. Hollow out a zucchini or cucumber and fill it with cream cheese. Kids will enjoy having a departure from the usual PB&J.
Bring on the beans. Pacific Baked Beans or Refried Beans can be heated in the morning and kept warm in a thermos. Have rice leftover from dinner? Add it to the thermos and top with a little cheddar cheese or our Salsa Con Queso. Pack baked corn chips and let ‘em go for a dip.
That’s a wrap. Fill tortillas with Pacific Refried Beans, rice, cheese and salsa to make tasty burritos they can warm up at lunch time. Or fill a tortilla with lunch meats, hummus, lettuce, cheese and veggies for a tasty wrap.
Pasta please. Pacific Pasta Meals are a great way to offer kids the foods they love to eat without all the added salt and preservatives. Heat up our all natural Mac & Cheese or Natural Pasta O’s in the morning and keep them warm in a thermos until lunch time. They’re easy to keep on hand and they’re always a hit.
Summer may be over, but the good times don’t have to be. Today’s school lesson: Let’s put the fun back into healthy eating all year long.