Some healthy options for back-to-school lunches

Soup and sandwich

Homemade tomato soup pairs deliciously with a grilled cheese for a comforting back-to-school lunch.

Published: Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 03:25 PM.

Lunches and snacks for back-to-school students can be very healthy and tasty. Fruits and vegetables along with nuts, raisins and dried cranberries add a nutritional value to the menu. Plastic containers help to make serving varieties of choices, and they seal in the freshness of the food.

When adding apples, pears, and/or avocado to the choices drizzle a little lemon juice over the slices so they won’t oxidize and turn brown. Thermos foods can be hot or cold, and with the newer invention of thermos containers they hold the heat and cold longer. On cold days a hot soup is a welcome food, while on other days a chicken, turkey, or tuna salad is a filling dish.

It takes a little planning and before preparation for some items, but after a while the routine of slicing carrots, peppers, string beans, cucumbers, celery, and the like can be done the night before. Mozzarella cheese sticks are a simple way to add calcium to the diet and are ready to go. Hummus, applesauce, and diced fruits are packaged in small one serving containers and can be easily added to the lunch menu. Remember to add a plastic spoon or fork and napkin to the lunch container.

Coconut water has become very popular and comes in small containers. Nutritionists say that the coconut water hydrates and gives you B vitamins at the same time.

A mixture of nuts and dried fruits, pistachios, or popcorn are handy snacks any time of day and supply many vitamins. Leftovers from dinner are good choices also. A minestrone soup is both filling and tasty. Of course when a cookie or brownie or chocolate dipped pretzels are added to the lunch it makes it a great lunch.

Here are some vitamin and protein filled choices:

- Whole grain crackers and peanut butter

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