Viva la Salud Blog

Back To School: How To Make A Better, Healthier Lunch

Evelyn posted on August 4, 2014, 10:45
Back To School: How To Make A Better, Healthier Lunch
Back to school for children means back to the drawing board for parents, who face long months of trying to figure out what to pack for lunch every day. Children quickly tire of boring, repetitive lunches with the same-old sandwiches or sides. The new school year presents a golden opportunity to prepare new, healthy selections for your children, and Viva La Salud is here to help!
It all starts with some brainstorming. Have a meeting a few weeks before school begins, and ask your child what he or she wants for lunch in the coming year. Experts say that involving kids in school lunch preparation increases the odds that they will eat what you send out.
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can ward off a variety of ailments, so packing those in school lunches every day is a must. Find out what fruits and vegetables your kids like most, then stock up on them.
Sandwiches have long been a school-lunch staple, but you don't have make boring PB & J’s everyday, because eventually your children will grow tired of them. Whatever sandwich you decide on, the bread is important. Try whole-grain, which digests more slowly than processed white and will help keep blood sugar levels stable. Substitute bread with whole-wheat wraps, bagels, multigrain or whole-corn tortillas.
Try Chef Pablo's tasty and kid-friendly whole-wheat recipe:
Whole Grain Pancake Tacos
Ingredients:
  • 1 box of whole grain pancake mix

  • 2 uncooked corn

  • 2 apples

  • 1 bag/box of raisins

  • 2 mangoes

  • 1 bag of pre-grated lowfat cheese

Back To School: How To Make A Better, Healthier Lunch
  • Cut corn, apples, and mangoes in cubes or strips.

  • Mix ingredients for pancake mix (see the back of bag/box for instructions). On a hot griddle, form your pancake.

  • Add corn pieces, raisins, and cubes of mango and apple onto your pancake.

  • Once the pancake is brown on the bottom, flip to cook other side.

  • When the second side is brown flip again and add shredded cheese. Let cheese melt and fold pancake into a taco.

When choosing sides, try rice cakes, pita chips, homemade kale chips, or dried fruit chips such as apple, pineapple, etc. Look for our Viva la Salud tags highlighting healthy back to school attributes like 'Whole Grain,' 'Heart Healthy,' 'Low Sodium,' 'No Sugar Added,' 'Smart Snack,' '100% Juice,' and many more!

Back To School: How To Make A Better, Healthier Lunch
Back To School: How To Make A Better, Healthier Lunch

You should look for beverages that are sugar-free and 100% juice. You can mix things up by sending a cold fruit or vegetable smoothie in a thermos. Or, freeze a bottled water overnight, and place it in your child’s lunch box. By the time lunch arrives, they’ll have an ice cold water to help refresh and rehydrate. On the hotter days of the year, include a small sports drink bottle to replace lost electrolytes.

Safety is also important. Invest in an insulated lunch container to keep perishable foods safe to eat until lunchtime.

Our Viva La Salud ™ program can make preparing and shopping for healthy school lunches a breeze! Look at our calendar of events to see all our healthy back to school events at a store near you!

Back To School: How To Make A Better, Healthier Lunch
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