It won’t be long before kids will be heading back to school and for the parents to begin packing their lunches again. Organic food is expensive and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches only work for so long.
It’s easy to stick to a budget on school lunches if you plan and prepare the meals at home in advance. Planning a menu and shopping with a list each week helps to manage your budget because you only buy what is needed rather than going to the store each day. And if the kids are old enough, let them help you prepare their lunches. That is an excellent time to have discussions with your children about nutrition.
For a healthier snack, offer baked vegetable chips or sweet potato fries, rather than buying packaged chips. Make home-baked chicken fingers or bake chicken to create a sandwich on whole wheat bread and add lettuce. Don’t forget to include seasonal fruit such as apples, pears and strawberries in your child’s lunch as well.
Does your child have a favorite vegetable like carrot sticks or celery? You can include a hummus dip—which is offered plain or comes in several flavors—and you can add whole wheat crackers such as Wheat Thins or Breton.
Eating healthy does not need to be expensive and preparing the foods can be easier than most people think if they just prepare in advance and shop for healthy groceries.
Chef Zipora Einav (www.chefzipora.com) is an accomplished private chef who has cooked for some of Hollywood’s most notable celebrities and for professional athletes. She is the author of Recipe for a Delicious Life, which includes recipes, a classical music CD titled Music for a Delicious Life, and her anecdotes and adventures while traveling the world as a private chef. She founded her company, Chef Zipora Enterprise—Comfort Food in Harmony with Your Health—to improve people’s lives by empowering them to eat well and embrace a healthy lifestyle.