Monday, August 20, 2007

Sometimes the cool kids "bring"


…Depends on the drop-dead school culture (ah, the memories) but in many cases sending your kid with a bagged lunch won’t ruin him or her for life and can be more healthful.

…Especially these days, with some kids packing a few extra el-bees, parents can control the intake a little (not counting trading).

…The best way to make this happen, says Elena Serrano, a nutrition specialist for the Virginia Cooperative Extension at Virgina Tech, is to have the child pick out the food and even help package it in the evening.

…One expert suggests you take your children to the farmer’s market, if you have one nearby. Turn food into an adventure.

…Make lunch food easy to eat, bite size, finger food…grapes, salads in little margarine
tubs, They sell little cans of fruit, too.

…Serrano says to include a small dessert. Sweets are part of life. How about a few animal crackers, a low-fat pudding? HA’s mom used to wrap pastel-colored, sugar-coverd Jordan almonds in a twist of Saran Wrap. It was love in a bundle!

…Some other ideas? Celery with peanut butter, pita breads with fillings, bagels, a whole grain tortilla wrapped around a salad.

…For little kids, be sure the size of the pieces aren’t choking size.

…Please, no Lunchables! If the kids like crackers and cheese, add wheat crackers and string cheese or cut slices.

…For a drink, who wants to have hot sluggish soda? A juice box is the classic. So squirty! So hard to open! Very entertaining.

…And fruit leather. What’s up with that—HA’s kid used to plead for it.

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