PCC | Getting into the groove of back to school

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Getting into the groove of back to school

PCC Taste | September 2012

school kids

Q: It's time for packing lunch again. Can you help me with some new ideas?

A: The ultimate challenge when packing school lunches is keeping them interesting, tasty and balanced. Involving your child in the process can set you up for success. Having a good thermos is also essential, and it never hurts to have a flashy bag that makes packed lunch look chic! Here are some ideas I've found successful:

Hot dishes

Soups: They're a great way to get protein, grains and veggies all in one. Go for chicken noodle, lentil or chili.

Fried Rice: Use up that leftover rice and toss in that last little piece of salmon or chicken with some frozen peas.

Pasta variations: Spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli, even pasta salad can make a satisfying lunch. One of my daughter's favorites is "Mac Chee Pea": macaroni and cheese with frozen peas. Easy and oh, so good!

Meatloaf or turkey loaf: Pick up a slice in the PCC Deli, add a roll and a side of coleslaw and you're set.

Beyond the PB&J

Other things to consider

Rotate the menu, keep it exciting. Throughout the week, try various types of grains (pasta, rice, pita) and switch up the protein. Find veggies your child will eat: carrot sticks, veggies with ranch, or veggies mixed right into the main dish. Favorite Friday! My daughter loves when I pack something special on Fridays so she can look forward to the surprise.

Featured podcast

Hear how PCC is helping to provide education and nutritious produce to local schools.

Flash Player 9 or higher is required. Download it now.

By Leika Suzumura, R.D., former PCC Nutrition Educator

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