School is back in session-tis the season for on-the-go meals for the kids! Is it not true that we are far more organized for school at this moment than we will sometimes care to be all year! Right now we have checked our lists-twice. Lots of money has been spent. The kids are weening themselves back onto a normal bedtime and we are to now stock our cupboards with breakfast and lunch items!
I have a son entering Kindergarten and one in 10th grade this year and mornings are split up per child. The oldest has eaten and left before the youngest wakes up and with that, I have 2 separate breakfast regimens! Then one packs a lunch for school and the other one is home by lunch to eat here-yes! 2 lunch regimens! I know I am not alone am I? So, I started meal planning and researching ways to give them what they like, but can be grabbed at anytime. Breakfast needs to be nourishing, but quick and for lunch-as the oldest is preparing his, I can prepare the youngest to be ready when he gets home from Kindergarten! Let me share what I have in mind…..
- Refuel Roll Ups: Just add shredded cheese to a tortilla-heat in microwave and roll up. Can add tomatoes, corn, left over veggies from last night and they can eat it on the go! Best cheeses for lowest calories and less sodium: Sargento reduced Fat and Kraft Skim Mozzarella.
- Everything Sandwiches: Throw some Thomas Hearty Grains english muffins in the toaster while you break an egg and scramble in a cup and microwave about 30 seconds,. Scoop onto muffin-top with leftover meat from last night and they can take this to go!
- Granola Bars: Consider these Bars for the best ingredients without the sugar & empty calories and great on the fiber! Clif Kid ZBars, Quaker Simple Harvest Bars, Kashi Go Lean Bars, Nutri Grain Fruit & Nut Bars (NOT Nutri grain regular bars-these have too much high-fructose corn syrup)
- Cereal: Consider these for the best fiber and low-sugar needs! Frosted Mini Wheat’s, Cheerios, Kashi, Quaker Oatmeal Squares (avoid the corn and filler cereals like Frosted Flakes, Raisin Nut Bran and Rice Krispies)
- Breads: My absolute favorite as far as truly natural and without the fillers is Dave’s Killer Bread. Yes! It can be twice as much, but if you make one change in your grocery needs on an item you can use 3 meals a day, I would choose to switch your bread! Kids don’t like all the seeds? Find the “pink” bag. It is their wheat variety with the least amount of seeds and if my teen will eat it, then it suffices!
- Meats: Oscar Meyer Fat Free Bologna or Oscar Meyer deli fresh Ham for low calories & low saturated fats. Also Hormel Natural Choice or Hillshire Farms Deli Selects are best options as well. Avoid high sodium choices such as Salamis of any brand, Oscar Meyer Turkey Balogna or Butterball Turkey breast & Budding Deli Cuts.
- Snacks packed with power (for the after school activities): Grab a snack baggie and throw in some Planters Trail Mix Nuts & Raisins variety, Emerald Mixed Nuts, Sun Maid ‘mixed fruit’ (did you know that Sun Maid Raisins and yogurt Raisins are high in fat and sugars? Really! Read the label and compare it to the other options I mentioned!)
- To throw in the lunch sack: you can use the Granola Bar options from the breakfast ideas, Jell-O puddings (not Hunts or Kraft-sugar-filled), Goldfish pretzels, Rold Gold Pretzels, Rice Krispie Treats, Austin Vanilla Creme packs (not the higher calorie and sodium Peanut Butter variety), Ritz Bits or if you really want to do chips-choose baked lays or chex mix over high calorie sun chips or mega-sodium Cheetos.
- Beverages: Horizon milks, Gatorade G2, Minute Maid Kids, Honest Teas or Honest Kids pouches or Mott’s boxes. Stay away from high sugar juicy juices, minute maid apple juices or high calorie capri suns. These are not horrible, but there are simply better options than capri suns!