School day mornings are typically busy mornings. Getting the kids out of bed is one thing, but managing to whip up breakfast, pack lunches and get everyone out the door on time requires planning and preparation.
As the morning rushes by, there’s little time to pack a unique lunch or make snacks for everyone, including mom. In fact, according to a national survey commissioned by DOLE® and conducted by Wakefield Research, 73 percent of moms say they have eaten their child’s snack in a pinch.
To help save time and energy each day, check out these simple lunch-packing tips to revamp your morning routine and help create a smooth and stress-free school year.
Camouflage healthy snacks. While you may want to pack everyone a healthy snack, the kids aren’t always excited to find an apple in their lunchbox. Try a wholesome snack they won’t want to trade. DOLE Real Fruit Bites are made from real dried fruit, coated with yogurt and sprinkled with toasted whole grain oats. A single-serving pouch has 80 to 90 calories, no trans fat and are a good source of vitamin C. You can also find sneaky snack recipes online for treats baked up with healthy ingredients, like snack bars made with nuts and seeds, or brownies with pureed veggies in the mix. The kids will never know it’s good for them.
Leverage last night’s leftovers. Don’t stick to the same old sandwich, juice box and snack regimen. Try adding instant rice to leftover chicken, transforming leftover steak into a hearty chili, or boiling some pasta to add to leftover hamburger meat. These simple tricks to repurposing yesterday’s meal will save the family time and money this school year.
Share a smile. Lunch doesn’t have to be elaborate every day. But there are plenty of fun, creative ways to make a simple lunch exciting, especially for the kids. For instance, cut sandwiches into different shapes with cookie cutters (you can find animal shapes and even puzzle-shaped cookie cutters online). Make the kids smile with a simple note or googly eyes on their sandwich wrapper. Try putting contact paper inside the lid for games or dry-erase notes that the kids can leave for you, too.
Keep it cool. There are plenty of ways to preserve your lunch so it’s still tasty in the afternoon. Think outside the thermos and try freezing a yogurt cup or a juice box to keep lunches cold throughout the day.
Snack attack. With an on-the-go lifestyle, it’s important to keep snacks on hand should hunger strike. In fact, according to the DOLE survey, 77 percent of women say they can’t get through a normal day without a snack. After you pack up the family’s lunches in the morning, be sure to grab some healthy snacks for your desk drawer or your purse so you can have a quick bite when necessary. The kids always need a pick-me-up after their school sports and activities, so make sure to have some fun snacks in the car.
For more snacking tips and ideas, visit www.DOLE.com.
Finding foods that the kids will like is always a challenge - and hectic school routines don’t make it any easier. Simplify your life with these family-friendly ideas that cut down time in the kitchen and add up to smiles all around the table.
Nestle® Toll House® Morsels
Surprise your family and friends with extra rich brownies; put an unexpected twist on a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe; or make your favorite snack even tastier with Dark Chocolate Morsels from Nestle® Toll House®. Made with 53 percent cacao, these morsels are sure to delight the chocolate lovers in your life. Visit www.TOLLHOUSE.com for quick and easy recipes.
Farm Rich Queso Cheese Bites
Between carpool, homework and sports, it can be tough to fit in that much anticipated and oh-so-important after-school snack. But a plate full of new Queso Cheese Bites from Farm Rich just might do the trick. They’re quick and easy, but wholesome and delicious, too - and will help keep you and the kids happy and energized on hectic days. For information and coupons, visit www.FarmRich.com.
Pears are a delicious and fun way to pack a healthy lunch. They come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes and each has its own sweet flavor. You can pack a whole pear, or cut one into French fry shapes and serve with nut butter or yogurt for dipping. Or serve sliced pears with whole grain crackers and cheese for a stackable snack. For more ways to send pears to school, visit www.USApears.org.
Boar’s Head Ovengold® Turkey Breast
Ask any kid: not all sandwiches are created equal. But whether they like crust or no crust, mayo or mustard, Boar’s Head Ovengold Turkey Breast makes a winning sandwich every time. Ovengold is the highest quality turkey breast, roasted to perfection, and certified heart-healthy. And like all Boar’s Head Brand premium deli meats and cheeses, it is gluten-free and contains no fillers or artificial colors or flavors. Learn more at www.boarshead.com.
From Family Features