Back-to-School Lunches

Jewel/Osco dietician Kim Kirchherr
August 18, 2009 11:00:54 AM PDT
Tips for packing healthy lunches for kids.Peanut Butter

Challenge ? the texture is in question for the trans fat free type products and/or less sugar/sodium/added ingredients

Solution ? the "no stir" products, other fun packaging, or pour off the oil (and save for use in stir fry dinners!), or simply monitor portions of regular and pair it with healthier options to balance the meal (whole grain crackers with peanut butter and apple slices that the kids could "assemble" themselves at school)

Products:
Justin's organic squeeze pack (individual servings in a cute squeeze pack)
classic peanut butter
cinnamon peanut butter
maple almond butter
Natural Jif (no stir)
Jif to go (portion controlled classic type)
Wild Harvest Natural peanut butter

Wheat/whole grain breads.

If texture/color of whole grain breads are an issue ? offer other alternatives
Find a softer whole grain bread (look for the whole grain stamp)
From white bread, next step would be the whole grain white bread, next step a higher level of whole grains per serving OR encourage whole grains at other meals if child unwilling to have an unfamiliar item at lunch
Think outside the sandwich ? pair up unique breads and/or other forms of whole grains

Products:
Thomas' whole wheat mini bagels with fiber
Jewel Whole grain white hamburger buns
Fiber one toaster pastry (with whole grain stamp ? beats a donut as a good next step!)
Minute ready to serve brown rice
TLC cracker packs

Fruit and fruit related options

It's easy to sneak in a fruit or veggie with a kid friendly package or interesting presentation (fruit chips, etc) ? key is to make healthier choices fun!

100% Fruit spread ? (this is great in place of sugary options, or offer applesauce on the sandwich in place of jelly!); sliced fruit on a sandwich is fun too ? Mott's Healthy Harvest no sugar added apple sauce (no sweeteners ? read labels to see what no sugar added means for each type of product)

Products, including fresh fruit ? bananas, etc

Mott's for tots low sugar juice (no sweeteners)
Apple & Eve 100% juice (with calcium)
Wild Harvest organic raisins individual boxes
Bare fruit bake dried mango chips
Stretch Island Fruit company original fruit leather
Fruitabu organic "smooshed" fruit ? fruit flats
Wild Harvest original applesauce
Sensible foods crunch dried snacks (equivalent to a ½ cup fruit or veggie serving ? comes in bag like chips but it's fruits and veg)
Chi Chi snackers salsa
Smucker's reduced sugar spread with no artificial sweeteners
Chiquita apple bites
Chiquita apple bites with caramel
Chiquita carrot bites with ranch
Chiquita pineapple bites

Presentation/Packaging

Presentation can be half the battle!

Wateroos water
Annie's honey bunny grahams
Cookie cutters
Add a joke, game, note or comic strip!

Snacks and on the go options

Sneak health into snacks ? look for whole grains, fiber, fruits, protein, the right kind of carbs

Products:
Wild Harvest mini vanilla wafer packs (has fiber; portion controlled treat food)
Clif kid bars
Smartfood popcorn clusters
Jewel Fiber max bars
Horizon organic aseptically packaged reduced fat milk (safe in a locker or after school as a pre-sport drink)
Kind fruit and nut bar
St Dalfour gourmet on the go pasta and vegetables
Orville redenbacher's 100 calorie mini bags
kettle corn
94% fat free butter popcorn
Kraft 2% milk natural sting cheese


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