School lunch time has returned, and most of us are staring at our children’s lunch kits (and our own), wondering what to put inside.
We open our cupboards to boxes of granola bars and fruit snacks, knowing they are not good choices for the environment or our children’s health, yet they are convenient and we know our children will eat them.
It can be daunting to find inviting foods that meet nutrition criteria, as well as our children’s taste buds and our school’s limitations (nut-free, no reheating devices). The best way to set your family up for healthy lunches is to designate some time on your day off.
Better yet, get your children to help do a little prep work for upcoming week.
Veggies can be cut and washed and stored in containers.
Yogurt can be spooned out of the tub into individual containers.
Related: Column – Mom’s most-hated question
A tub of tuna salad or hardboiled eggs can be made. Then your children will have all the tools to assemble their own lunches.
Another idea is to get into the habit of making a big pot of soup for the week.
Or, put the ingredients in your crockpot, and have it cook overnight.
In the morning, ladle hot soup into a thermos, and you have hot lunch ready-to-go.
-Serena Caner is a registered dietitian who works at Shuswap Lake General Hospital.