McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Features

July 18, 2013

Lunchbox Tips: Make it Quick, Easy and Nutritious

StatePoint — Kids today have a lot on their plates -- getting good grades, playing in sports and music, making new friends. A nutritious breakfast gets them started for the day, and the right midday meal and snack keeps them going strong. You also want to keep them from becoming “day traders” or tossing out what you’ve carefully packed in their lunches.

Here are some winning strategies for making the best lunchbox grades:

• Sits well: Pick foods that can safely sit at room temperature for several hours, such as whole fruits, veggies, olives, nuts, cheese, whole grain crackers and peanut butter.

• Stays neat: Pack lunch items and snacks that won’t leak in lunchboxes or paper bags. For example, Pearls Olives to Go! are single serving, liquid-free cups of tasty, California-grown black ripe olives. Olives are a much better choice than chips and are a good source of healthful, cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fat.

• Be colorful: Keep kids interested in their lunches by adding the surprise and variety of naturally healthful colors and textures. Try adding crunchy orange carrots, bright red cherry tomatoes, shiny black olives, crisp green beans and other colorful fruits and veggies.

• Gets good results: Lunches will fuel kids for the rest of their school day. Be sure to pick options that will keep them alert, satisfied and motivated. Whole grain breads, lightly salted or unsalted nuts, black olives, and fresh berries are all great choices, as well as hummus and veggie sticks.

• Ask questions: While no one wants to encourage a child’s picky eating habits, asking a few questions can help you ensure that the lunches you pack are actually eaten. Requests for a dessert can be honored on occasion, but keep portions of refined sugar and highly processed carbohydrates at a minimum.

• Be positive: If your child isn’t too old to be embarrassed, consider sending the occasional note in lunchbox note. The sentiment, “I love you!,” nestled between a sandwich and an apple, can really brighten an afternoon.

• Ask for help when needed: Parents are busy, too, and you can make the lunch-packing process into quality time with help from your little sous chef. Having kids help in the kitchen is a great opportunity for learning about food, nutrition, making good choices and daily planning. It’s also a good time to talk about the week ahead and check in about homework and activities.

With a little creativity, you can keep school lunches easy, fun and mess-free.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.