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Back-to-school Lunches

Healthy lunch or snack to go
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Healthy lunch or snack to go with tortilla wraps, eggs, cottage cheese, fruits and vegetables

The kids have been in school about a month now. When mine were little, this was about the time when they started complaining about the school lunches and snacks I was packing for them.

So how do you make school lunches and snacks healthy AND fun?

Here are five tried-and-true tips to make school lunches an easy task.

Involve Your Children

Picky eaters, and children in general, are more likely to eat something if they helped to make it. Have your kids pick what they want as well as help assemble their lunch.

They won't be able to complain about what's in their lunchbox because they put it there!

Make a snack station for your kids

Set aside a shelf in your pantry and one in your fridge for grab-and-go snacks.

In the pantry, set out pre-portioned bags of goldfish, pretzels or chips. Granola bars and individual packs of applesauce are also healthy snacks that kids love.

In the fridge, have snack size bags of carrots and grapes, cheese sticks and individual containers of yogurt.

Make it fun

Little kids will love having their sandwiches in fun shapes. Use a large cookie cutter to cut out sandwiches. It’s fun and removes the crust that so many kids dislike.

Also use cookie cutters to cut out fruit and cheese into fun shapes.

Think beyond sandwiches

If your kids don’t like sandwiches, try skewers or tortilla wraps. Letting your kids dip veggies and crackers in hummus or peanut butter is another non-sandwich option.

Plan ahead

Take the stress out of the mornings by making your lunches the night before.

And remember! The most important thing is packing the lunch your kids will actually eat, rather than the one you want them to eat.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Bon Appetit!

Jennifer Chandler graduated at the top of her class from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She is a full-time mom to two daughters in Memphis, Tennessee, and is a freelance food writer, restaurant consultant, and author of four cookbooks The Southern Pantry Cookbook, Simply Salads, Simply Suppers, and Simply Grilling.