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(ARA) - It's that time of year again: back-to-school season. Amidst the jam-packed schedule of a child's school day, it's nice to know there is one area where parents make a difference - lunchtime.
The mission is to create a nutritious lunch that your hungry kids will look forward to eating. To help, here are five creative tips to selecting healthier options.
1. Color, color, color: Kids love color so make it a point to pick a different color for each day/week (or better yet, let them pick) and add it to your child's lunch in fun ways. For example, on a purple day pack a small plum or handful of grapes. Red is fun if you pair raspberries and strawberry yogurt for dipping, and peaches or baby carrots make delicious orange options. It's not only a fun way to get them excited about lunch, it helps introduce new fruits and vegetables they might have been uninterested in trying before.
2. Portion control: Finding pre-portioned snacks can help save both time and calories. Instead of reaching for bags of chips that can be higher in fat, try low-fat pretzels or 100-calorie snacks instead. For example, Snyder's of Hanover offers a wide variety of items in its 100-Calorie Lunch Pack line, including Minis, Sticks and Snaps Pretzels as well as Eatsmart Naturals Veggie Crisps. Snyder's also offers a variety pack of Peanut Butter and Cheddar Cheese Pretzel Sandwiches available in compostable outer packaging. Single serving snacks are perfect for on-the-go parents who appreciate the simplicity of putting a bag in a lunch bo. For more information and snack ideas, visit www.snydersofhanover.com.
3. Fun surprises: Yes, some kids are content with the same lunch day after day after day, but for the ones who need variety, make it fun. Change it up and do something unexpected. For example, ever thought of making breakfast for lunch? Why not? Pack two or three small whole-grain pancakes with fruit and yogurt for toppings. To replace sugary juice, pack homemade fruit-flavored water in a reusable bottle. Jazz up a typical sandwich by cutting it with a cookie cutter, and wrapping it in wax paper tied with a bow. A knock-knock joke or little stickers can add even more fun.
4. Choose a theme: For example, create a picnic theme with turkey tortilla roll-ups and fruit kabobs. For a tea party theme, make miniature sandwiches and include sliced cucumbers with fruity-tea. The possibilities are endless, so get your kids involved and asked them what fun lunch themes they would enjoy.
5. Plan ahead and save: While packing lunches might seem too time-consuming, it doesn't have to be. Make Sunday a preparation day for the week ahead and get the whole family involved to help out. Pick colors (see tip No. 1) you might include or prepare little note cards with jokes. By planning ahead, you're less tempted to give in to packing more expensive, quicker options and instead you can save money by looking for deals and using coupons. Snyder's of Hanover, for its part, is placing a special coupon book in 1 million Lunch Packs. The coupon book includes $6 in coupons from a variety of brands, as well as its own Snyder's of Hanover products, along with a $10 subscription offer for one year of Sports Illustrated Kids magazine. For more details visit Snyderofhanover.com.
Courtesy of ARAcontent