Lunch Box SOS 3

Think Outside the Sandwich

Ready to expand your child’s lunches beyond the standard PB&J? We have some simple, tasty alternatives to sandwich-centered lunch boxes. These items are easy to have on hand, yet offer variety for schooltime meals. Healthy, balanced and quick—a recipe every parent can follow.

Option 1: 
Sliced apples, cut into thin rounds, spread with peanut butter and topped with chocolate pieces; whole-grain or baked tortilla chips with your choice of dip; and baby carrots

Option 2: 
Whole-grain tortilla with turkey, cheese and your choice of add-ons; avocado slices and mandarin orange; and baked veggie straws with Greek yogurt dip

Option 3: Greek yogurt with honey and oat granola—let your child add the granola at lunchtime so that it doesn’t get soggy—almonds, apple slices and pretzels

Option 4: Hummus with sliced cucumbers and cheddar cheese, grapes, air-popped popcorn and fruit snack treat

Healthy Tips

Air-popped popcorn contains more antioxidant substances called polyphenols than fruits and vegetables. It is also 100 percent whole grain. Just be sure to skip the oil and butter.

Keep sliced apples from browning by letting them soak in cold lemon water for five minutes. Mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice per 1 cup of water.

Try to include foods from at least three different food groups.

When choosing tortillas or bread, make sure they are whole grain. Beware of hidden sugars, high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils. Every bite counts!

Milk and fortified 100 percent fruit juice are your child’s best drink options at lunchtime. Meeting their daily vitamin D and calcium recommendations is vital to growing kids. Make it a treat by sending low-fat chocolate milk.