The week before school starts, here are the things that I’ll be stocking up on as a last line of defense against that sinking “I’ve-got-nothing-to-go-along-with-this-sandwich” feeling.
Sweeten things up naturally with dried fruits such as (clockwise from top) unsulfured apricots, cherries, dates, and golden raisins. The larger fruits can be chopped up and mixed with nut butter or cream cheese to make a quick pinwheel sandwich. Or you can throw together a quick trail mix with some cereal and some candy coated sunflower seeds for color and a hint of chocolate.
I usually top a small container of applesauce with rainbow sprinkles just to give my kid’s lunch a fighting chance against all the slick, highly processed foods that some of her classmates are nibbling on.
There are a bazillion quick ways to turn a cup of plain yogurt into a healthy snack (see Yogurt 101).
An instant companion for lonely carrot sticks.
Trader Joe’s Marinated Bean Salad
This is probably a reach for most kids, but my oldest loves these. I’ll probably save them for the second month of school because last year she got all kinds of comments from her classmates about the salads and other non-typical fare they spied in her lunchbox.
Snack container with dip well
I picked this up at Target last week for $1.00. We already had one, but it was such a hit that I decided I needed one in reserve.
Lollipop sticks or bamboo skewers with the tip cut off
There are lots of healthy foods that are instantly made exciting once they are on a stick. It seems ridiculous, but if your kids are anything like mine, they will flip for this simple tweak in presentation. Think sandwich-on-a-stick, rainbow-on-a-stick, pizza-on-a stick…and so on.
I hope I’ve been able to provide you with a few good ideas/reminders and your lunch packing is stress-free this year. Feel free to chime in with a comment about any secret weapons you have planned for your kids’ lunchbox(es).