Tips for Packing Natural Back-to-School Lunch Snacks

school lunchWhile school lunch cafeterias may have improved over the years, many parents like to encourage healthy meals for their children by packing lunch. Also, some parents struggle with a child who is unwilling to try new foods or has a food allergy. According to a 2010 study from the United States National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, 13-22 percent of 2-11-year-olds are picky eaters.

Ensuring a child has natural and safe food choices they enjoy can help prevent a skipped meal.

Parents should feel good about preparing a healthy school lunch for their children. Consistent meals with natural ingredients help:

  • Instill life-long healthy food choices and eating habits
  • Improve students’ focus on schoolwork
  • Establish a reliable routine when schoolwork and social demands may be distracting

In between stocking up on notebooks, pencils, binders and other back-to-school supplies, add some grocery shopping to include natural school lunch snacks:

  1. Pop of color. Instead of a plain turkey and cheese sandwich, add some fiber, antioxidants and vitamins with a few spinach leaves, slice of apple, avocado, or bell pepper. Or turn the sandwich into a wrap. Some brands offer whole grain options as well as spinach or sun-dried tomato wraps.
  2. oatmeal cookiesSweet and salty. To help boost variety, add snacks with differing tastes. For sweet, prepare home-baked cookies with ingredients you know and trust, or buy cookies from brands who are dedicated to natural ingredients. (All of Walkers products are made with natural ingredients and real butter.) Kids are usually attracted to fun food shapes. Walkers Shortbread Mini-Bags offer multiple flavors and shapes, including the popular Scottie Dogs. For extra fiber, Walkers Mini Crunchy Oatmeal cookies are made with whole wheat flour and whole grain oats. To balance out the sweet snack, pack popcorn (a whole-grain snack!) or pretzels for a salty crunchy complement.
  3. after school snackAfter school. The school day can be especially long for busy students who stay for sports, clubs, music, or theater practice. Add a snack with natural ingredients to keep them fueled until dinner. Walkers Shortbread Snack Packs are individually sealed and also come in gluten-free.

Are your children’s and grandchildren’s favorite school snacks the same as yours were? Tell us on Facebook and Twitter @Shortbread.

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