Summer is coming to an end and students are heading back to school. Despite the improvements in the quality of school meals in recent years, some families prefer to pack their own lunches. Unfortunately, many packed lunches don’t match up to the nutrition standards of school lunches. Many common packed lunches provide too much sodium, fat, and sugar and lack enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains or dairy. To help your kids eat smart, here is a list of ideas for tasty, easy, low-cost, and healthy packed lunch ideas. Continue reading
In today’s busy world, it can be hard to make quick, low-cost meals. When you use foods you already have in your pantry that save time and money. Wraps are a great meal to eat at home or on the go. Mix and match your ingredients and follow these steps to create tasty, budget-friendly meals for you and your family!
Pick your wrap. You can choose from flour, corn, or wheat tortillas or other options like pita or a large leaf of lettuce. Whole wheat grain is a better choice than white wraps and are high in fiber.
Pick a protein. Lean proteins such as chicken, turkey, and fish are a great way to get the protein you need to power through your day. Other lean protein options include tofu, beans, pork, and beef. When choosing protein options choose those with less salt.
Add cheese. Cheese has calcium that keeps bones and teeth strong. It can be shredded or sliced. Cheese adds flavor to your wrap. Whether it is cheddar, swiss, or any cheese you like, you can choose reduced-fat options to keep the wrap lower in saturated fat while having great taste!
Add the veggies. Vegetables come in all flavors and colors. Choosing a variety of colorful veggies can help you make a tasty wrap that is packed with vitamins and minerals. Peppers give your wrap extra kick and spice. While veggies such as carrots, spinach, or cucumbers give it a crunch without adding too much extra flavor. Adding tomatoes or other juicy veggies give each bite extra moisture. Add flavors and colors to your wrap to pack it with taste and nutrients.
Add the sauce. Whether it’s your favorite salad dressing, condiment, or anything in between, adding a sauce gives your wrap flavor and helps hold it all together. Some common sauces you may have in your pantry are low-fat ranch dressing, hot sauce, Sriracha sauce, or vinaigrettes.
Sandwiches are a quick and easy meal for busy families. You can customize them to your taste preferences. They’re portable, making them a favorite item in packed lunches for both kids and adults. In fact, on any given day about half of Americans eat sandwiches (which includes burgers, hot dogs, and breakfast biscuits). Unfortunately, the researchers found that people who ate sandwiches also ate more calories overall and sandwiches were a large source of saturated fat, sodium, processed/cured meats, and refined grains. Continue reading