Power Lunch August 09 2011, 1 Comment

Back to school means a whole new schedule in our house and a well-planned strategy for making easy and nutritious lunches that the kids will eat. Here are a few of my tips for a successful lunch box!

1)     Follow a simple formula:  protein + 3 colors + healthy grains.

A colorful, well-balanced meal is a healthy meal. When you pack lunches, follow my simple formula:  protein + 3 colors + healthy grains. Keep a list of favorite foods by color for inspiration. Aim for two of the colors to be veggies. Steer clear of dried fruits to avoid cavities and the sugar high.

2)     Get your kids involved!

Brainstorm foods that the kids would like to eat and let them choose the menu. Take them shopping with you to pick their foods and when you can, let the kids prepare their lunches. Anything on a stick is usually a winner (consider using straws for little ones) and cookie or sandwich cutters (like the Lunch Punch) make sandwich-building fun for everyone.

3)     Gear up.

The right gear can make all of the difference. Here are my faves:

Built Neoprene Lunch Tote – washes easily which means no fear when fruit gets mushed in the bag. 

LunchBots – compact, easy to wash, and separates food nicely.

Camelbak Kids – they don’t spill, enough said.

Thermos Lava Food Jar – to keep the hot things hot.

Wax Paper Bags – to save the sea turtles. (at Mollie Stone’s and Whole Foods)

Lunch Lines – for a giggle.

This article appears in the September 2011 issue of Jen's column, Healthy Eating, that is featured in the Burlingame Mothers' Club newsletter each month. The BMC is a local mothers group in the Bay Area with over 1,700 members in Burlingame, Hillsborough and San Mateo. Jen is an active member and former President of the club.