Back to School – Preparing Lunches!

Well it’s that time again, children and parents throughout the province are preparing for back to school. For most, while it’s been a great break from school for the children, summer has been quite busy. By now most of your back to school shopping for clothing, supplies and other necessities have already been done…but what about back to school grocery shopping?

When the normal routine of school begins again, you’ll want to make sure that you are well prepared for school snacks and lunches. As we all know, not knowing want to pack for lunches or packing last minute can be a real chore and time consuming….so start today and plan ahead!

You want to ensure your child’s foods are healthy and safe, here are some tips to consider when preparing for back to school lunches:

  • Pick up bulk fruits and veggies: prep them when you return from the grocery store and put them in small baggies or containers so that they are ready to go
  • If you’re picking up yogurt, you can save money by buying in bulk, but don’t forgot to look at the expiration date so you know that they will be eaten well before that time.
  • When buying crackers and other grains, choose whole grains. Try to choose grains that are a good source of fibre (15% daily value or more) and low in sodium (5% daily value or less).
  • When making pastas, soups, stews and casseroles make extra and freeze the extras in portion size containers for lunches for the next few weeks.
  • Purchase an insulated lunch bag that keeps cold foods cold until they are ready to eat or warmed in a microwave. You may want to add an ice pack to be safe!
  • Buy your child an insulated drinking bottle or thermos that keep drinks nice and cold. It could also be used to keep soups and stews nice and warm until lunch time.

Being prepared and trying these suggestions will make the first weeks of school and the rest of the school year a little easier when it comes to packing a healthy and safe lunch for your child.

Janel Genge is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.

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