6 Easy Steps to Packing a Superb School Lunch

Bloggers,Fall,For Moms,How-To
August 8, 2013

Mom blogger Katie Morford shares back-to-school lunch packing tips and tricks from her newest book.

Best Lunch Box Ever
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With back-to-school season right around the corner, it’s time to get organized. So we asked mom blogger Katie Morford, author of Best Lunch Ever: Ideas and Recipes for School Lunches Kids Will Love, to share her tips and tricks for packing a great school lunch every time.

Here are Katie’s six essential lunch-box tips:

1. Start with the main course. This means a sandwich, salad, or even a thermos of rice and beans. Be sure you’ve got some protein in there, and tailor portions to your child’s age and appetite.

2. Add a fruit. Pack cut or whole fruit, and do any preparation that will help your child reach for the healthful stuff—peel tangerines, cut melon into bite-size chunks. Aim for seasonal fruit, such as strawberries in spring and grapefruit in winter.

3. Add a vegetable. If your main course is already loaded with vegetables, this is optional. Try to mix it up by experimenting with crunchy options such as jicama or fennel. Add a container of salad dressing or other veggie dip to add interest.

4. Include a satisfying side or snack. Kids like crunchy sides, and there are plenty of options such as tamari almonds or homemade popcorn. There is more to life than little fish-shaped crack­ers. Often, the side dish becomes a mid-morning snack that tides them over until lunch.

Homemade Fruit Roll-Ups anyone? Here’s a how-to on Blueberry (or Blackberry if you prefer) Mint Lime Fruit Leather:

 

5. Don’t forget a drink. Packing an icy bottle of water or milk to keep the kiddos hydrated is a lunch-box must—unless those are provided at school, of course.

6. Surprise them with an occasional sweet or loving touch. Goodies (like a homemade cookie or handful of chocolate chips) and non-food “treats” (like a note, sticker or drawing) make school lunch some­thing to look forward to.

Katie Morford Mom BloggerKatie Morford is a food writer, registered dietitian and mom of three. For more from Katie, visit  Mom’s Kitchen Handbook, where she chronicles her recipes and adventures, “raising fresh food kids in a french-fried world.”

Blackberry Mint Lime Fruit Leather

Blackberry Mint Lime Fruit Leather

Kids love fruit leather, and by making your own, you know exactly what's in it.

Roast-Beef-Wraps-Relish-Recipe.jpg

Roast Beef Wraps

Roll up a quick (and picnic-portable) lunch from deli meat and cheese.

Turkey Cranberry Wrap

Turkey Cranberry Wrap

Our favorite deli sandwich remade into a wrap.

Cinnamon-Granola-Bars-Relish-Recipe.jpg

Cinnamon Granola Bars

These chewy bars contain whole-grain oatmeal and more than 5 grams of protein. They make the kitchen smell delicious while baking.

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Apple Chips

Apple chips make a great after school snack.

14779-peanut-butter-jelly-power-muffins-relish-spry

Peanut Butter and Jelly Power Muffins

Whole-wheat flour and rolled oats make these muffins with staying power.

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