Get into the Lunch Groove

Everyone is looking forward to a new year at school. Getting back into the classroom, seeing old friends and falling into that back to school routine is very exciting. For FRESH that means finding the newest and best products to pack for lunch.

Growing up, I was not one of those kids who would eat the same thing for lunch every day. My mother was always trying to be creative and keep me interested with new foods and sandwich creations. Now as I walk around FRESH, I can’t believe all the different options for packing a healthy lunch.

Here are some creative ways to keep your little FRESHIE eating healthy all year long!

Flavored Water: Instead of a juice box, take a look at all the options on the beverage aisle for flavored water. These little single serve drink mixes come in little pouches that kids can add to a bottle water and shake to mix. I remember when there was only Crystal Light. Now there are multiple brands with endless flavors.

Squeezable Smoothies: Packed with super fruits and vitamins. Single serve squeezable smoothies are available refrigerated and on the shelf. If keeping things cold until lunch is a problem, there are shelf-stable smoothies available near the dried fruit.

Fruit and Veggie Chips: On the chip aisle and also near dried fruit, look for every imaginable fruit or veggie made into chips, dried, or dipped in chocolate or yogurt. This could be a great way to sneak in an extra serving of vegetables.

Single Serve Snacks: Quick lunch packing is easy when everyone’s favorite snacks are available in single serve or 100 calorie packets. Cookies, crackers, even cereal are there for portioned munching.

Peanut Butter Ban: No problem here. There’s almond, pecan and cashew butter ready to be spread on sandwiches, celery, carrots or crackers. Available on the bread aisle and fresh ground from our nut butter machines.

More Cheese Please: I’ve always loved cheese and there were days when my mom packed my lunch with cheese, crackers and fruit. But back then there were no Lunchables and there wasn’t a great selection of individually wrapped single serve cheese. Now you can find all types of cheddar, swiss, gouda and brie.

Wraps & Pinwheels: We all get bored with sandwiches, so how about a wrap? Tortillas, flatbreads and pitas can be rolled up with whatever ingredients you favor. In the photo, we got creative with peanut butter and banana on wheat bread, FRESH bakery spinach tortillas with ham and swiss, and my favorite as a kid, cream cheese and jelly. For a pinwheel, tortillas are the obvious choice for the wrap, but they’re easy to make with regular sandwich bread. Simply flatten the bread with a rolling pin, add the filling and roll tightly. Slice and serve – your little FRESHIE foodie will love the bite size portions.

Creative Containers: Near the plastic bags and other paper products there are some clever modular containers from the Good Cook company. They are designed to nest and fit together so that lunch items can be easily added to a backpack or tote bag. With so many sizes and easy snap closure, these reusable containers seal in the freshness and keep sandwiches from being smushed. You’ll also save money and be less reliant on plastic bags.

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