Friday, August 26, 2011

School Smarts - Brown Bag It

I've written about finding ways to get your children to help pack their lunch so that they get excited about it and EAT it. But, what should you pack so that you don't get tired of the same lunch every day?

Think about variations:
- vary the bread
- vary the spread
- vary the filling

There are so many grain products available to us - think bagels, bread, naan, pitas, tortillas, mini bagels, buns, English muffins, crackers, and muffins. Depending on how adventurous you are, there are also numerous spreads - light mayo, mustard, salsa, hummus, low fat dressing, nut butter, hot sauce, chutney, teriyaki, tzaziki, and so on. The filling will likely be inspired by the spread you choose (or vise versa) but again the options are plentiful - eggs, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, canned salmon or tuna, tofu, beans, lean lunch meat (roast beef, turkey, chicken, ham), etc.

Some examples include:
- peanut butter and apple slices on a whole wheat English muffin (or melted cheese and apple slices)
- refried beans or mashed black beans and salsa in a pita
- leftover chicken stir fry and rice in a tortilla
- hardboiled egg, hummus, and whole grain crackers

You can also go beyond sandwiches and have leftover pasta, chili, pizza, etc. Aim for at least 3 of the 4 food groups (if not all 4) by including some fresh veggies or fruit and a milk product on the side.

What new combination will you come up with for your lunch bag?

Steph Wheler, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching