WEST NYACK, N.Y. -- School's about to start, and that means thinking lunch!
We went to West Nyack resident Taylor D’Anna, a dietitian at Northern Manor Multicare Center. in Nanuet and creator of @taylor.made.nutrition for ideas on how to pack healthy meals your kids won't swap with someone else's in the cafeteria.
Keep It Colorful: We eat with our eyes and kids are no different. Packing a lunch with vibrantly colored fruits and veggies creates a visually appealing meal. (Not to mention, they will be getting a variety of essential vitamins and minerals!). Try packing their lunches in a container from the Sistema Plastics line. It provides separate sections for fruits, veggies, dip, and even a wrap, sandwich, or salad – plus it’s BPA free!
Let Them Shop: Involving kids in the process of picking out their lunch foods can keep them interested. Take your youngsters to the store to explore and choose new and stimulating foods. Remember to shop around the outside of the store to avoid processed foods that are high in fat, calories, sugar, and sodium. Have you tried cotton candy grapes from the Grapery? They are non-GMO and sustainably grown. And yes, they taste like cotton candy!
Banish Boring Bread: Get rid of the soggy PBJ sandwich! Try a whole grain wrap with hummus, veggies, or lean meats for an interesting culinary adventure. A whole grain flat bread with sliced banana and almond butter makes for a great alternative to PBJ on white bread. Or, try a Mason Jar salad. These popular Pinterest-worthy creations create a portable salad with layers to avoid a dull lunch. Layer a light vinaigrette with greens, veggies, dried fruits or nuts.
Avoid the After-Lunch Crash: With a packed schedule, today’s kids are running off the school bus and into the minivan to get to practice, rehearsal and tutoring. After the sugar high of processed foods and soda, kids often cannot concentrate and are lethargic after lunch. Packing foods high in fiber and protein, and low in sugar, can help your child ace that last period exam and perform well at after school activities. Pack some homemade trail mix in a bag for a high protein after school snack to curb the urge to run to the vending machine.
For more information, contact D'Anna at firstname.lastname@example.org.