CENTSABLE HEALTH: Healthy back-to-school lunches that your kids - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

CENTSABLE HEALTH: Healthy back-to-school lunches that your kids can make themselves


It's time to start to think about kids going back to school. Many of those kids will take a lunch to school, or need a snack when they get home.

Fareway Foods Registered Dietitian Whitney Hemer has a handful of meals that are based around recipes that kids can make themselves.

"They may not be in school yet, so they can be practicing right now," Hemer said. "I know growing up if I didn't want to eat school lunch and had to pack a lunch, I had to make it myself. These are just some different ideas that can help them out. And kids that cook are more likely to eat those things too. So you want to make sure you have a variety of foods. I always say for snacks two food groups and for meals two or more. So just making sure you're incorporating a lot of different food groups and over the course of a week or two your body really balances out the things that you're eating so if not every single meal is perfectly balanced just so long as things are balanced over the long run."

Some of the ideas?

"The first one that I have is a 'bento box' idea," said Hemer. "It's not really any cooking but pairing a bunch of easy finger foods together that when they are together they create a balanced meal. I used a lot of greek yogurt in this one. I used vanilla greek to go with my fruit. I used one of my favorite dips which is plain greek yogurt mixed with a dry-ranch packet. It's a ranch dressing that's high in protein, fat free you get the calcium and Vitamin D in there that can go with any kind of vegetable you like, a whole grain cracker, some cheese cubes and deli turkey. So all together those things kind of equal out so it doesn't have to be any real cooking to get the job done."

You can also create a sushi roll. "The second is, it kinds of looks like a sushi roll, but I assure you it is not," Hemer said. "I don't think sushi would be very kid friendly. So this is more of a turkey wrap that you can cut into a pinwheel I think is always fun. I always say you eat with your eyes first I think it's important that your food looks cute and looks fun to eat. I again used that greek yogurt and ranch as the base to stick it together -- you could use humus too -- some turkey, some brown rice and I put cucumber in there as my vegetable. If you are going to make these ahead of time, I usually leave the vegetable out because it makes the tortilla a little too soft. So if you're trying to get your kids to cook more and you want to cook all at once, you could make this ahead of time thinking of that soggy factor. And then pairing it with an orange kind of rounding everything out."

There's also a spin on the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. "I did use peanut butter," said Hemer. "If your kids go to a peanut free school, you could use sun butter or an alternative there. I did put whole apple slices on there and some dried cranberries. You could also go with peanut butter and jelly and just serve a fruit on the side would be fine on some whole wheat bread, some snap peas with some whole wheat crackers."

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