(BPT) - Heading back to school means a ramp up in routine for lots of families. One of the best ways to not only support their learning, but also show kids you care — even when you’re not there — is to pack a wholesome, balanced lunch.
These tips and tricks will help any parent whip up something tasty in mere minutes so kids can stay fueled throughout the day. Plus, with a few touches of creativity, mom and dad can look forward to the return of empty lunch boxes because their kids won’t be able to resist gobbling up the goodies inside.
School day smoothies
Smoothies are a great way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your child’s diet, plus it’s a special treat that will have them grinning ear to ear when they open their lunch box. The trick is to make smoothies ahead of time then freeze them in silicon or insulated containers. Add them to a lunchbox in the morning and by lunchtime it will thaw enough to enjoy. Bonus: it keep will other foods cool so there’s no need to add a freezer pack.
DIY shape sandwiches
Sandwiches are an easy go-to that kids love, and with a few simple switches, you can create a more nutritious option that’s also fun to eat. Start by swapping traditional white bread for Nature’s Harvest bread. With 8 grams or more of whole grains per serving in every delicious variety, Nature’s Harvest bread packs a powerful punch in every bite. For example, use Honey Wheat or Butterwheat to create your child’s favorite sandwich. Then use a cookie cutter to create an unexpected shape. It’s a fun and delicious way to get whole grains in their diet and meet the 32-48 grams of whole grains recommended per day. Visit Entenmann's YouTube page to check out these cute DIY’s.
Fun fruit faces
Want to get a chuckle out of your child on a tough Monday? Cheer them up during test day? Encourage them to eat more fresh foods? Fun fruit faces should do the trick. Grab any fruit with a thick impermeable skin such as bananas or oranges and then use a nontoxic marker to make a face. A few fun squiggles and you have a silly fruit friend that will make lunchtime special.
Perfectly portable treats
If your child is asking for a tasty treat, but you’re low on time and energy, give them something they’ll love without spending any time in the kitchen when you pack Entenmann’s Little Bites snacks. These delicious prepackaged, portable snacks include soft and moist flavors like Chocolate Chip and Blueberry Muffins. Made with real ingredients, these A+ lunchbox solutions for balanced back-to-school meals will leave kids smiling at lunch or after school.
Kids love to dip food for a hands-on eating experience. Start by adding a small container of low-fat dressing or yogurt. Then, cut up fruit, veggies, cheese and meat into long bite-size sticks that kids can easily grab and dip to their hearts’ desire. Include a rainbow of options to tantalize the eyes and taste buds, plus the more colors the more vitamins they’ll be eating. For many fruits and veggies, you can cut up a week’s worth on Sunday and then simply pack each day before school.
Win a $10,000 Savings Bond
Support your kids' learning now, and take steps to help ensure success down the road by entering to win a Savings Bond. From July 15 to September 15, visit www.LifeofaLunchbox.com to enter the Life of a Lunchbox sweepstakes for a chance to win a $10,000 Savings Bond for your child. An additional 100 2nd prize winners will receive a Lunchbox Bundle that includes Entenmann’s Little Bites snacks, Nature’s Harvest bread and a $50 gift card for school supplies.