Back to school is coming up soon around here and you know what that means – back to school lunches! If your kids are anything like mine, it can be quite a challenge to come up with something that’s delicious, nutritious, AND appeals to their sense of fun. My daughter was always so distracted by chatting and laughing with her friends that not just any lunch would hold her attention long enough for her to actually consume it! So I had to find creative ideas for lunches that she would eat.
So, when fixing lunches for the little ones, ages 4 and 5 1/2, I decided to apply some of the ideas I used back when my daughter Sam, age 25, was young. I started by making their favorite sandwiches (peanut free too so safe for the classroom!) – egg salad. (With Sam, it was tuna). I cut those sandwiches using cute cookie cutters – in this case, dinosaurs. For a quick and easy but fun extra touch, I cut up some bits of cheese and added some stripes and spots to the dinosaurs. My daughter and her fiance found those adorable little Lego containers (a passion of theirs) and so I filled those with blackberries. It’s amazing how much appeal a container can have in enticing kids to eat what’s in it (not that they needed enticement with blackberries!).
For many kids, the big challenge though is getting them to eat their veggies. One of the things that can help with some is to give them a delicious healthy dip to go along with their vegetables. I like to make my dip by starting with a base of cottage cheese. I whip it up in the blender until it’s smooth. If you want to make it more like sour cream, you can add a bit of vinegar to this but I often just leave it as is and then add some seasoning to it depending on your taste. You could stir in a bit of powdered Ranch dressing mix or just pick and choose herbs and spices that you know your child loves. This is also a good place to work in some “hidden” veggies or other nutrients – puree some cauliflower, sweet potatoes, or even some white beans. An easy way to “package” the veggies and dip is by putting some dip down in the bottom of a cup or container and then stick the veggies in on top of it. This is a great way of giving it to them for a snack too – all in one container so they don’t have two of them to juggle and perhaps make a mess with!
Another fantastic way of incorporating more veggies into your child’s lunch is with new Mott’s Fruitsations +Veggie snacks. They are gluten-free, dairy-free, fat-free and nut-free, making them ideal for school lunches. They come in two flavors: assorted fruits and berry and are made from fruit and vegetable concentrates. Each serving provides Vitamins A and C and is only 80 calories. It’s a great way for your kids to have a treat they’ll love while providing them with the fruits, vegetables, and nutrients you want for them!
As you can see, the little ones just loved their fun, delicious, and nutritious lunches. The adults enjoyed the new Mott’s Fruitsations +Veggie too! And right now you can get a 50 cents off coupon for Mott’s Fruitsations +Veggie on Facebook while supplies last! Not only that, but if you visit the Life Made Delicious Facebook Page by September 8th, you’ll be able to enter a contest to win one of three $500 gift cards that could sure go a long way in making your back to school purchases!