Rachel Colchamiro, Department of Public Health
Rachel is the Director of Nutrition Services for the Masscausetts WIC Program
I don’t know about you, but I find myself struggling this summer every time I begin the process of packing my kids’ lunchboxes for camp. It probably doesn’t help that I am exhausted for this nightly ritual; it’s usually the last thing I do before I go to bed.
With the start of the school year right around the corner, I am making a pact with myself to make prepping lunches simpler and more organized. First, I am going to stock up on things that are easy to pack, nutritious AND make my kids happy. I like to buy frozen mango…it’s precut and defrosts by lunchtime. Sticking tubes of lowfat yogurt in the freezer is also a snap; they’ll be back to their squeezable state by noon. Another favorite of ours are whole wheat mini-bagels. They’re kid-sized and go great with cheese slices, egg salad, turkey breast, hummus or even old-fashioned PB&J.
Second, I am going to invest in a better inventory of small reusable containers to hold all of the goodies I am sending to school. They stack easily and I find that kids like having a variety of things to open, explore and eat. Plus, there’s less trash to throw away…and it can’t hurt to be more “green”.
Lastly, I am going to schedule lunch assembly for a little earlier in the evening, before I’ve gotten too comfortable on the couch. I’ve convinced my husband that he needs to pack his lunch the night before as well (rather than like a crazy person at 6:30 AM). We’ll get into a groove that makes things for all of us a little less stressful.
What are your lunch packing rituals? We’d love to hear your ideas for sending off meals that are healthy, yummy and easy to make.