For many people, the start of a new school year means a return to normalcy. Your kids are back in their accustomed routine — and so are you. For many parents, that means the daily packing of school lunches. Whether your kids buy lunch at school or you’re sending them off with a shiny new lunch box every day, nothing’s more important than making sure your children get a nutritious mid-day meal.
In 2012, the USDA unveiled new standards for school meals to make sure our children grow up happy and healthy. Some of the standards outlined by the USDA include:
- Ensuring students are offered both fruits and vegetables every day of the week
- Substantially increasing offerings of whole grain-rich foods;
- Offering only fat-free or low-fat milk varieties;
- Limiting calories based on the age of children being served to ensure proper portion size
- Increasing the focus on reducing the amounts of saturated fat, trans fats and sodium.
These might be guidelines you’re already encouraging at home. But making a nutritious school lunch that your kids will actually enjoy eating can be a challenge. Here’s a fun recipe to turn an ordinary turkey sandwich into a sweet treat your son or daughter will love.
¼ small cantaloupe (about a cup after slicing)
1 whole grain sandwich wrap
2 ounces thinly sliced deli turkey (about three or four thin slices)
2 leaves lettuce (romaine, green or red leaf are best)
2 slices low-fat Swiss cheese
- Remove rind from cantaloupe and cut fruit into quarter-inch-thick slices.
- Lay wrap out flat. Top with cheese, turkey, and lettuce to cover entire wrap, then add cantaloupe to cover half of the wrap.
- Starting from the cantaloupe end, tightly roll up the wrap. If desired, cut the roll into four or five pieces.
Add a crunchy side of carrot sticks with a small container of hummus for dipping, along with a small container of juice or low-fat milk, and there you have it — a tasty, low fat lunch loaded with whole grains, fruits and vegetables! It’s quick and easy to prepare, and you can find all the ingredients at Charlie Johns. With our full bakery, deli, and produce departments, we’re sure to inspire you to come up with plenty of fun, creative, and healthy lunch ideas of your own. At Charlie Johns, we agree that it’s important to provide our children with nutritious meals. They’ll be more productive at school and better prepared for life.