PB & J? B-o-r-i-n-g! Time to give your child’s lunchbox an overhaul. Elizabeth Ward, registered dietitian and author of MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better, gave us four nutrient-packed meals kids can chow down on at noon, complete with snacks and an element of fun. Mmm! Maybe we’ll start packing our own lunches for work.
Banana Boat: Spread 2 to 3 tablespoons peanut butter or sunflower seed butter on a whole grain hot dog bug and wrap. Add a banana to the bag and have your child peel the banana and place in the bun when ready to eat. Pair with 8 ounces milk.
Stuffed Pita Pocket. Fill a 6-inch whole wheat pita with 2 tablespoons each: hummus, tabooli, and chopped cucumber or olives. Top with 2 tablespoons crumbed feta cheese. Serve with a mixture of green and red grapes and 8 ounces of low-fat fruit yogurt. And to drink: 100% fruit juice fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
That’s a Wrap: On an 8-inch whole grain sandwich wrap, place 2 to 3 ounces shredded cooked chicken, 1 ounce shredded cheddar cheese, and two leaves of shredded romaine lettuce. Roll up, cut in half and wrap tightly in foil or plastic wrap. Put 1 tablespoon low-fat ranch dressing in a plastic container for your child to add to the sandwich. Serve with carrot sticks and 8 ounces milk.
Egg ‘Em On: For kids who don’t like traditional lunch foods, send two, peeled hard cooked eggs (I use Eggland’s Best because they have more nutrition), whole grain crackers, a pear or apple, and 8 ounces milk.
Trail Mix: 2 teaspoons dark chocolate chips, 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup whole grain cereal, 2 tablespoons California raisins
Small bag (1 ounce) baked chips
Small bag of pistachios in the shell
Carton of yogurt with cut up fruit for dipping