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Jazz Up Your Child’s Lunchbox with 6 New Recipes

Elaine Magee, MPH, RD Wellness Services Corporate Dietitian

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Apr 6th, 2018

Charcuterie For Kids

Who is counting down the weeks until summer vacation more; the parents or the kiddos? By April, parents have packed over 125 lunches for their school-aged children. At that point, even a classic like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches can get old!

Keep reading for five fun, healthful ways to jazz up your child’s lunchbox for the remainder of the school year!

Spring into New Fruits and Vegetables

Along with warmer weather, spring brings a welcome array of new fruits and veggies to the produce section! In the vegetable department, look for asparagus, sugar snap peas, green beans, snow peas, broccoli, butter lettuce and spinach. Lightly cooked asparagus spears can be a fun finger food and uncooked sugar snap peas and broccoli florets are awesome dippers for hummus and other dips and spreads. When it comes to fruit, look to strawberries, apricots, honeydew melon, oranges, mango and pineapple to add color and flavor to any spring lunchbox.

Think Outside the Lunchbox

Think of some of the unique but healthful foods your child enjoys at home, like Chinese chicken salad for example. With a little forethought and a reusable cold pack, you can pack some of these fun foods in their lunchbox too. Does your child like the flavor and crunch of taco salad? With this recipe for To-Go Chicken Taco Salad, you’ll turn last night’s leftovers into a tasty salad for today!

To Go Taco Salad

Switch it Up with Sandwiches

If bread is becoming a bit boring in your house, switch up your sandwiches by using whole wheat tortillas for wraps or whole wheat bagels, flatbreads or English muffins for elevated sandwiches. For a fun sandwich that’s self-contained in a pita pocket, try this recipe for Easy Turkey BLT Pocket Pitas.

Easy Turkey BLT Pita Pocket

For a simple, healthy and unique alternative, try your favorite sandwich fillings between two apple slices, like in the recipe for Apple-Wiches!

Apple Wiches

Customize Your Kiddo’s Lunchbox

When you buy the packaged snack packs or lunch kits in the store, they may have one or two items that your child doesn’t like or that you aren’t crazy about them eating. However, when you put these together at home using reusable containers found at your local Albertsons, you can be sure that everything is packed to perfection. With this Make Your Own Dip Kit, your child can craft their own dip with their choice of dippers and sprinkles.

Make your own dip kit

Pack a customized kid-friendly charcuterie in your child’s lunchbox by pairing meats, cheese, fruits and crackers for your kiddo to enjoy. For inspiration, check out our Charcuterie for Kids  recipe.

Charcuterie for Kids

Add Apples!

Is it true an apple a day helps keep the doctor away? For less than 100 calories, a medium apple provides a dose of vitamin C, fiber, potassium and a healthful assortment of phytonutrients. But don’t even think about peeling your apples! Most of the antioxidant phytonutrients and fiber is found in the skin. Several studies have found that the phytonutrients in the apple’s flesh work better to prevent oxidation of free radicals (believed to contribute to many diseases) when eaten with the phytonutrients in the apple skin. Apples may even provide some protection against certain types of cancers, according to recent studies, including breast, ovary, colon, prostate and lung cancer. Amped with antioxidants and soluble fiber, apples appear to help lower cholesterol levels and other markers associated with inflammation and plaques in artery walls. To add these nutritional benefits and a whole lot of fun to your child’s lunchbox, try this Apple Bowl with Chicken Salad recipe.

Apple Bowl with Chicken Salad

For more lunchbox inspo, head to our Pinterest page!

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