School is back in session … and that means planning lunches and snacks for the kids.
I called my friend Leslie Schilling for some advice on making school lunches and snacks healthy and fun. Leslie has been a nutrition expert for over 15 years and recently penned the book Born to Eat: Whole, Healthy Foods from Baby’s First Bite.
Her first piece of advice is to get your kids involved with snack and meal planning for back to school.
“When kids are involved, they take more ownership of the food and are more likely to try new things.”
And kid-friendly, doesn’t mean have to mean unhealthy.
“Remember – you are the nutritional gatekeeper. Which means you decide the meal and snack options, keeping your kids preferences in mind.”
“I don’t like to serve “kid food.” It really doesn’t exist. Food is food. Kids can eat what us adults eat.”
Leslie had some great tips about the logistics of making brown bag lunches.
“Packing lunches immediately after dinner can be a great time saver – especially with a busy school morning. I like to pack with three things in mind: a protein rich entrée, a crunchy or creamy side, and a fruit or veggie side. This could be as simple as leftover grilled chicken with guacamole in a tortilla with Greek yogurt and berries. You’ve got all your bases covered for a satisfying afternoon. And … don’t forget to pack your own lunch!”
And healthy afterschool snacks can be put together in a jiffy.
“Try a fresh fruit and cheese plate for an afterschool snack. It’s something you can enjoy together.”
This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Bon Appetit!
For more information about Leslie Schilling, her nutrition serves, and her new book Born to Eat: Whole, Healthy Foods from Baby’s First Bite, visit www.leslieschilling.com.