Skip to main content

Sponsored Content

6 Ways to Build a Better Lunchbox

Aug 28, 2017 04:32AM ● Published by Family Features

Coming up with fresh ideas every day to keep kids’ lunches exciting is no small task. When the goal is an empty lunchbox and a full, happy tummy, the winning combination is a blend of nutrition and flavor.

Step up your game this school year with these ideas for a better lunchbox:

Get creative. Foods that look can good taste good, too. Transform sandwiches into fun shapes using cookie cutters or make tiny heart- or star-shaped, bite-size pieces of cheese for a fun finger food. Another fun idea: thread sliced and bite-sized vegetables on a wooden stick for a no-cook kabob. For a sweet variation, use fruit instead and sprinkle with coconut for extra flavor.

Skip the packaging. Little fingers can struggle to open pre-packaged foods, so instead opt for fresh ingredients that fit into a bento-style box. Not only can kids see what tasty treats await and dig straight into their meals, less packaging means less processing, which is good for their health and the environment.

Keep it simple. Opt for delicious, flavorful foods that deliver nutrients kids need and the taste they want without any extras. An option like Hidden Valley Simply Ranch makes for a rich and creamy complement to carrot sticks, cucumber and other lunchbox staples. With no artificial preservatives, flavors or colors this ranch is perfect for encouraging kids to eat the veggies you pack. Look for Classic Ranch or for a special twist, try flavors such as Cucumber Basil or Chili Lime.

Rely on the familiar. Refueling during the day is important to keep kids focused and able to mentally and physically tackle the rest of the school day. Avoid trying out new foods at lunchtime and save experimenting with new flavors for meals at home.

Go for variety. Representing multiple foods groups isn’t only a good way to deliver good nutrition, the variety in colors and textures can make the meal more interesting and encourage kids to eat more. Include savory meats, crunchy crackers, veggies and sweet fruits.

Add a treat. Whether it’s a favorite fruit or yogurt, a single piece of candy or even a simple note that says “I love you and I’m proud of you,” find a way to add something sweet to every lunch and bring a smile to your child’s daily routine.

Look for more kid-friendly meals at hiddenvalley.com

Portable Veggie Kabobs with Tangy Veggie Dip

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6-8

  • 1          cucumber, sliced
  • 1          cup broccoli florets
  • 2          carrots, sliced
  • 8          cherry tomatoes
  • 6-8       wooden skewers
  • Hidden Valley Simply Ranch
  1. Gently thread cucumber slices, broccoli, carrot slices and cherry tomatoes on skewers, placing 2-3 pieces of each veggie on each skewer to make a rainbow of colors.
  2. Serve ranch dressing with veggies for dipping.

Tip: Add cheese cubes for protein on kabobs, if desired.

Photo courtesy of Mick Jones

Sponsored by Hidden Valley

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Cabarrus Magazine's free newsletter to catch every headline

Family Features Family Features Food
  • 25 Days of Christmas Specials

    12/13/2017
    08:00AM

    Dr. Edward Dickerson and staff will be announcing new specials on facebook EACH DAY of December l...


  • Annual Veterans Christmas Breakfast

    12/13/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    The Cabarrus County Veterans Services department invites all veterans and their families to the A...


  • Free Diabetes Clinic

    12/13/2017
    09:30AM — 12:00PM

    Better Health will offer a free diabetes clinic at the Spring Lake Senior Center, located on 301 ...


  • Art Lab

    12/13/2017
    10:00AM

    Kids 8+ will learn the forms and styles used by potters and tour the Clay exhibition, Wednesdays,...


  • CREATIVE SURFACES: The Art of Decorative Artisanal Walls December 9-29, 2017 'Pop-Up' ex...


  • Piedmont Farmers Market 2017

    12/16/2017
    08:00AM

    • Open year-round. Fresh local produce, honey, free-range eggs, antibiotic- and hormone-free beef...


  • 25 Days of Christmas Specials

    12/16/2017
    08:00AM

    Dr. Edward Dickerson and staff will be announcing new specials on facebook EACH DAY of December l...


  • Breakfast with Santa

    12/16/2017
    08:00AM — 11:00AM

    Join Historic Columbia for a holiday treat to remember! Enjoy a continental breakfast in our cozy...


  • Beginners photography workshop

    12/16/2017
    09:00AM — 02:00PM

    This will be a monthly workshop for beginner photographers to learn about their camera and to ass...


  • Frostbite 5K

    12/16/2017
    10:00AM

    The FROSTBITE 5K is a 3.1mile run through Kannapolis Greenway and surrounding communities with ch...


  • Speedway Christmas 2017

    12/16/2017
    06:00PM

    Speedway Christmas is returning to Charlotte Motor Speedway and is even bigger and better in its ...


  • Miracle on 34th Street : The Musical

    12/16/2017
    08:00PM — 10:30PM

    A holiday classic from the writer of the musical theatre classic, The Music Man!, and based on th...


  • This beloved American holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast. ...


  • The Barefoot Movement Christmas Show

    12/16/2017
    08:00PM — 11:00PM

    A holiday celebration for the whole family, The Barefoot Movement performs season favorites from ...


  • 25 Days of Christmas Specials

    12/18/2017
    08:00AM

    Dr. Edward Dickerson and staff will be announcing new specials on facebook EACH DAY of December l...


Get Cabarrus Magazine Delivered to Your Door!

Subscribe today!

Proudly Brought To You By These Community Sponsors