Creative (and Easy) School Lunches

Back to school! Getting your kids back in the swing of things after a long summer break may be exciting, but for many it's back to the dreaded, inevitable preparation of school lunch. Prepare to pack 200 brown bags over the next year!

How do you make it tasty, nutritious and exciting for your kids as well as being easy to prepare for you?

Here are a few tips that will help:

  • Focus on packing a fruit, vegetable, protein and carbohydrate in each meal. This may seem daunting at first, but it's actually easier than you think. That could mean an apple, bagel with cream cheese and a handful of sugar snap peas.
  • Kids use all their senses when it comes to food, so shape and color can be just as important as taste and smell. Cutting foods into coins, sticks or other shapes can change a child's perception of a food.
  • Switch it up! I know it's easy to toss the same PB&J and banana in a brown bag, but in the long run if you want your kid to be good eater and enjoy a balance of different foods offering a variety nutrients, it's a plus to offer a selection of different foods.
  • Freeze everything! Any time you make muffins, cookies or have leftover bread, pop it in the freezer so you can pull one or two out at a time when you need it.
Need packed lunch ideas? Click here for a few ideas...

Banana Dog BitesBanana Dog BitesPressed for time? Try these quick, go-to items:
  • Nut butters (almond, peanut and sunflower are great choices)
  • Cream cheese
  • Cheddar, mozzarella or your favorite cheese (sticks, bricks, shredded or slices)
  • Pesto (goes great with pasta, rice, quinoa, as a sandwich spread)
  • Pasta (a variety of shapes like ziti, macaroni, rotini or more)
  • Bananas (to eat on their own, sliced and added with honey and nut butter on a sandwich or added to Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies)
  • Baby carrots, sugar snap peas, cucumbers or any of your child's favorite veggies
  • Dehydrated, freeze dried or dried fruit
  • Yogurt
  • Bread (bagels, English muffins, tortillas or your favorite sandwich bread)

Like this story? Check out: Top Chef Susan Feniger and Ming Tsai on Healthy Back-to-School Foods

For more nutritious and healthy eating tips on genConnect:

Catherine McCordAbout the author: Busy parents around the world can now rejoice. Weelicious, the brainchild of actress, model and mom Catherine McCord, provides a solution to parents' hectic lives by showing them how to cook recipes that are kid-friendly, quick and nutritious.