September is here:  school lunches & snacks

brought to us by Diana Dibblee, RD

Oh the glory days of fall!  Can you believe that September is already here?  As many of us head back to school, I am reminded of the early morning rush and the haste to prepare those healthy snacks and lunches.  Here are some tips to keep you organized and on track!

 

  • Make a list and shop for your produce a few days ahead of time (local farmers markets)

  • Prepare all the fresh ingredients in advance- cut up all veggies and fruit

  • Buy and clean small and decorative lunch containers and ice packs

  • Involve your child and be creative with your food choices

  • Prepare the lunch boxes the night before- it makes the mornings easier

I believe that food is fuel for our bodies and our minds!  I want my students and family to enjoy a variety of healthy foods so that they are best able to learn and succeed in the classroom.  The fall harvest is great for this!  Keep things simple and delicious by using fresh and local produce.  Remember, most schools are now peanut or nut free and many have milk programs.  Learn ahead of time, what you are able to send to school to assist in your healthy lunch plans.  Talk to your child about the importance of eating healthy food and drinking plenty of water throughout the day.  

SNACKS: 

 

So supper is over and it’s time to prepare for school tomorrow!  What to make?  Canada’s Food Guide recommends a minimum of 5-6 daily servings of vegetables and fruits, always include these foods as part of every snack and meal.  Chose a variety of shapes, sizes, textures and flavors such as:

 

  • Sweet red peppers, bright orange carrots and juicy green peas- & hummus or yogurt dip

  • Orange or apple slices and fresh berries (frozen work well) 

  • Crunchy cucumber and celery slices

  • Ripe plums, peaches and grapes

  • Half an avocado or cherry tomatoes – the possibilities are endless!

 

 

LUNCH: 

 

Ensure you include food from 3 of the 4 food groups.  Easy choices include:

 

  • Whole grain breads like pita or wraps work well stuffed with low fat meats and lots of veggies

  • Plain greek yogurt with berries, chia and flax seeds and a whole wheat tuna sandwich

  • Hard boiled eggs and veggie pasta salad

  • Dried fruit mixture, whole grain crackers with soya butter and cheese cubes

  • Couscous salad with feta, peppers and a fruit smoothie

  • Bean salad with pumpkin muffins and fruit parfait

  • Squash or broccoli soup with 5 grain bread and fresh fruit salad

  • Leftovers from supper-the easiest choice

 

 

In our busy lives, convenience is key.  Making these foods in advance is quick and easy. To keep it interesting for your children-vary the type of bread you use, use cookie cutters to make fun shapes, buy a variety of cheeses, fruits and vegetables and sample different dips! Don’t forget to include a little lunch note!  Check out dietitians.ca for more tips and tons of recipes for your school snacks. 

 

Enjoy the fall flavors and colors!
5-6 daily servings of vegetables & fruits
3 of the 4 food groups
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© 2018 by The Dietitians Network of Nova Scotia.