The end of summer brings the start of another school year. Parents can keep kids excited about school instead of sad about the end of summer by making their bagged lunches anything but boring. While packed school lunches need to be healthy and satisfying, a little creativity can ensure kids will not only eat them but that they will actually look forward to them every day! Here are some of our favorite tips and ideas for healthy, kid-friendly lunches that will never get traded.
Think outside the bread. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional PB&J, but sandwiches every single day can quickly become boring. Mix it up a bit with some healthy alternatives like veggie-loaded pita pizzas and thermoses full of hearty, homemade soups once the weather turns cooler. If your child enjoys a sandwich but you want to keep it interesting, use cookie cutters to press out fun shapes. You can also do this with fruits and cheeses.
Remember that kids love dips, so pack a small container of ranch dressing for the veggies or a yummy sauce for the chicken cubes and slices of summer sausage. Apple slices taste even better dipped in caramel. You can also make a lunch kabob out of sandwich fixings like pickle chips, cherry tomatoes, meats and cheeses.
Get their input. Build lunches around your child’s favorite foods, as long as you can still achieve a healthy balance. Give them the opportunity to help you pack their lunch so they can choose tasty foods they’ll look forward to eating. Surprise them with an occasional treat like a couple of homemade chocolate chip cookies tucked behind celery sticks and carrots. You can even include a little note with something that will make them giggle or with a few words of encouragement if it’s test day. Just make sure it’s not too embarrassing, of course.
Just like you, Hickory Farms is committed to providing families with healthy and delicious foods for the table and the lunchbox. Order from our selection of meats, cheese, fruits and nuts online year-round. And for those really hectic mornings, you can always pack your kids a Hickory Farms GoPicnic Ready-to-Eat Meal. Kids love them, and parents love knowing they are getting a well-balanced meal.