Back To School

Try it—You’ll Like It While sitting at dinner the other night with a group of friends, the conversation turned to talk about our children and the fun summer they have all had so far. We quickly realized, staring us straight in the face… it’s that time again. Yes, I am talking about back to school. We need to go shopping and buy all those supplies that are on the list, but the one thing that is never on the list is healthy lunch and snack ideas for our kids. “I vow that this year it’s going to be different!” One of our friends stated. “How is that?” I asked. “The kids will have a healthy breakfast and lunch every day!” A conversation began to ensue. What was quickly realized is that as parents, we have the good intention of feeding our children a healthy nutritious meal. Reality however, is that after fighting with our children a week and a half in, there seems to be a shift in parental balance of power and we… well, we give up. Yes, I understand the ease that comes with putting a box of sugar sweetened cereal or some pastries on the breakfast table. Throwing some Lunchables in a bag and calling it a day. But, what if I told you I can give you a few easy breakfast and lunch items that your kids will actually love and won’t break the bank. You’re probably saying… “Gary, you’re crazy!” So, here it goes... try these and see what happens.  You will enjoy these too. Breakfast: Blueberry Oat Pancakes – Make these gems in advance in silver dollar size and freeze them. Pop them in the toaster for a quick, easy breakfast Frittata with Spinach and Asparagus – Bake these ahead of time in a muffin tin. Freeze and pop in the microwave to reheat. Banana Mango Smoothie with Spinach – Add in some fresh berries and it will mask the green color and you get your kids to drink some green juice. Lunch: Cauliflower Fried Rice – Make sure to add in some chicken or shrimp to get your little ones some extra added protein. (This works great with leftover chicken or even a store bought rotisserie chicken.) Buffalo Chicken Meatballs – These are great for dinner and lunch box friendly during the week. Butternut Squash Mac ’n Cheese – Need I say more? It’s mac ’n cheese. Snack: Everyday Snacking Granola – Also great on your morning oatmeal or mixed into a yogurt parfait with berries. Creamy Hummus – Send this along with your little one’s favorite snackable veggies. By: Gary Appelsies, MS, CHHC, AADP Director of Healthy Eating