School Lunches: Think Outside the Bag
“Nothing is pleasant that is not spiced with variety.”
Francis Bacon, (1561 – 1626) an English philosopher, statesman, scientist,
jurist, orator, and author
No one wants to eat the same tired sandwich day after day after day. If eating the same lunch day in and day out bores you, chances are good that it bores your children too.
But there’s a difference. While you may be able to successfully guilt yourself into sticking to your lunch because it’s healthier (and less expensive) than eating out, your children will have no qualms about throwing out—or trading—their sandwich for something else. To prevent this, make sure you provide your child with a variety of foods in his or her school lunch.
Many parents fail to “think outside the bag” when it comes to planning lunches. However, if you give lunch planning a little extra thought, you’ll realize you have several options other than a peanut butter sandwich (not that there’s anything wrong with that). For instance, you don’t have to limit yourself to food that doesn’t spoil. With a few handy lunchtime accessories, you can greatly expand your child’s lunch choices during the school year.
Keeping your cool
Even though it’s September, the weather can be as hot as it was during the summer—or even higher! Providing your kids with cool foods can help them feel refreshed and re-energized so that they can stay focused in school.
Eating cool foods can help decrease any agitation they feel from being hot. The cool flavors of fruit or a crisp salad are perfect for late summer, so be sure to send some sliced fruit or vegetables.
If you pack a salad, put the dressing in a separate container and have your child add it in at lunchtime. Otherwise, the greens will be limp and soggy by the time he or she sits down to eat.
Once the weather cools down for good and we settle into autumn, a hot lunch will be a welcome treat for your child. Rather than sending your kids to school with money for a greasy piece of pizza, though, pack them a lunch that will warm them up and fill their bellies.
Using a thermos will open up your range of food choices—especially on those days when you’re running late and don’t have time to make a full lunch. Soups, pastas, and other types of leftovers from last night’s dinner can be sent to school inside of this handy little canister.
Insulated lunch box: A brown paper bag isn’t going to cut it if you are trying to keep foods above or below room temperature. Help your child pick out a good insulated lunch box to keep cool things cool and hot things hot. Without this, it will be difficult to keep your child’s food at an appropriate temperature.
Ice pack: This is a must when sending your child to school with foods that are typically refrigerated. Anything that is dairy-based, such as ranch dressing, or contains cold cuts of meat, is best kept cool.
Thermos: The walls of these canisters have two or three layers to help keep the contents warm for longer periods of time. You can buy short thermoses that are easy for your child to eat out of.
Packing school lunches! See more blogs on school lunch tips and ideas, right here at CHEFS Mix.
- School Lunches: Think Outside the Bag
- School Lunches: Keep Them Nutritious
- School Lunches: Finding Middle Ground
- School Lunches: Bento Box Revolution