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100 Lunch Box Ideas

100 Lunch Box IdeasProtein Rich Foods

  1. Lean turkey, roast beef, ham and/or cheese rolled up around a pickle spear
  2. Lean turkey, roast beef, ham and/or cheese cut into squares or with mini cookie cutter for a DIY “lunchable”. Put into muffin wrappers to divide
  3. Lean turkey, roast beef, ham and/or cheese slices in lettuce wraps
  4. Lean turkey, roast beef, ham and/or cheese rolled up in whole wheat tortilla, or sliced into pinwheels
  5. Cheese cubes or string cheese
  6. Hummus, refried beans, or any bean dip
  7. Hard-boiled eggs
  8. Cottage cheese 
  9. Yogurt
  10. Chicken salad
  11. Tuna salad
  12. Egg salad
  13. Ham salad
  14. Chicken, beef, black bean and/or veggie  quesadilla
  15. Build-Your-Own-Taco (whole wheat tortilla + cheese + tomatoes + meat + avocado + onion + peppers + shredded lettuce + salsa/sourcream etc.)
  16. Build-Your-Own-Pizza (whole wheat English muffin, whole wheat pita or tortilla shell + sauce + cheese + mushroom + meat + chopped broccoli + onion + peppers etc.)
  17. Burritos 
  18. Egg Frittatas
  19. Nuts 
  20. Nut butters (peanut, almond, soynut, cashew) on celery, apples, bread, crackers etc.
  21. Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hempseeds
  22. Leftover rotisserie chicken, shredded pork, roast etc.
  23. Grilled cheese
  24. Quinoa salads

Thermos Ready

  1. Anything leftover!
  2. Spaghetti
  3. Soups
  4. Stews
  5. Beans and rice
  6. Refried beans and cheese
  7. Homemade mini meatballs (can be pre-made and frozen)
  8. Whole wheat pasta with shredded cheese and steamed veggie
  9. Lentils 
  10. Pesto over whole wheat noodles
  11. Stir fry
  12. Oatmeal 

Grains/Starch

  1. Mini whole wheat bagels
  2. Whole wheat pita pockets
  3. Whole grain crackers (Triscuit, wheat thins)
  4. Baked tortilla chips
  5. Soba noodle salads
  6. Whole wheat pasta salad
  7. Quinoa or couscous salads
  8. Mini whole wheat pancakes or waffles
  9. Rice cakes
  10. Whole wheat French toast

Fruit

  1. Grapes, fresh or frozen
  2. Strawberries, raspberry, blueberries, blackberries
  3. Mandarin oranges, fresh orange, grapefruit or tangerine
  4. Pears, fresh or canned in juice
  5. Cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew
  6. Frozen fruit slushy in reusable pouch 
  7. Applesauce
  8. Dried fruit, boxed raisins/Craisins  
  9. Freeze dried fruit
  10. Fruit leather
  11. Avocado slices or guacamole

Veggies

  1. Celery sticks
  2. Carrot sticks, baby carrots
  3. Sweet bell peppers
  4. Broccoli/cauliflower
  5. Olives, Pickles
  6. Pickled beets
  7. Edamame
  8. Sugar snap peas
  9. Grape tomatoes
  10. Sweet potato/potato wedges
  11. Homemade sweet potato/potato chips
  12. Mixed greens salad
  13. Frozen peas
  14. Fresh green beans
  15. Cucumber slices
  16. Radishes 
  17. Kale chips

Savory Snacks

  1. Pita chips baked with favorite seasonings
  2. Homemade tortilla chips baked with favorite seasonings
  3. Popcorn
  4. Trail mix
  5. Jerky
  6. Blue corn chips
  7. Rice crackers
  8. Cottage cheese dip for veggies
  9. Cream cheese or sour cream dip for veggies

Sweets

  1. No bake cookies/bars
  2. Fortune cookie
  3. Homemade mini muffins
  4. Waffle sandwiches 
  5. Hershey kiss, or a few chocolate chips
  6. Granola bar
  7. Graham crackers
  8. Yogurt cream cheese dip for fruit
  9. Banana chips
  10. Chocolate covered nuts or raisins
  11. Pudding cup/homemade pudding

Fun Extras

  1. Colorful/decorative napkin
  2. Sticky note
  3. Sticker
  4. Joke written on napkin, answer inside
  5. Cloth napkin so they feel fancy
  6. Silly drawing

Source: realmomnutrition.com


Back to School Priority
Back to SchoolDecades of research demonstrate the benefits of breakfast, especially for school age children. “Time” is the number one reason given for skipping breakfast, but with good planning, a healthy and delicious meal can be prepared and eaten in under 10 minutes. A high protein breakfast (about 14g for children and 21g for teenagers) promotes longer periods of fullness. This in return prevents growling stomachs and enhances alertness at school. Protein-packed breakfast ideas include eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, nuts/ nut butters, and lean meats (ham, Canadian bacon etc.).

Eggs are my go-to food for any meal. They taste great and go well with anything, are super quick and easy to prepare, inexpensive and offer a lot of nutrition. In addition to protein, eggs (the whole egg that is, yolk included!) contain two important nutrients: choline and lutein, which play a critical role in brain development and cognition. One large egg contains 147 milligrams of choline, more than half of the choline most 4-8 year old’s need. Choline is an important nutrient involved in mood and learning. Lutein plays an important role in brain function for infants and toddlers.

Streamline breakfast and make it as efficient as possible by planning. Planning is huge! Next week will include “make ahead” and last-minute breakfast ideas.

Spring Peanut Pad Thai
spring peanut pad thai recpieNeed a change in cuisine? Asparagus, green peas and ginger-peanut sauce make this nutrient-dense pad thai a flavorful meal. This meatless recipe packs 25g protein per serving. Make it your own by adding additional vegetables.
Tip: Prepare all ingredients before prior to cooking, for a quick, throw together meal.
Ingredients
8 ounces flat brown rice noodles
1 tablespoon canola oil
⅓ cup chopped scallions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
8 ounces trimmed asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup frozen peas
1 large lime, juiced (about 2 tablespoons juice)
½ cup roasted peanuts, lightly salted, roughly chopped
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
Dressing:
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup hot water

Directions
Prepare rice noodles according to package instructions. Pour noodles into a colander and let drain.
Meanwhile, make sauce by whisking peanut butter, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and crushed red pepper flakes in a medium bowl.
Slowly whisk in hot water and stir until sauce is blended. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add scallions and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Pour in eggs and stir to scramble for about 2 minutes or until soft. Add asparagus and peas and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often, until asparagus is tender.
Add drained noodles and sauce and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, tossing until the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in lime juice.
Transfer cooked noodles and vegetables to a large platter or bowl and garnish with peanuts and cilantro. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 cups (350 grams)
calories 232; Total Fat 3g; sodium 227mg; Carbs 24g; Fiber 3g; Sugar 5g; Protein 25g;

Reference: http://www.foodandnutrition.org/March-April-2016/Spring-Peanut-Pad-Thai/



Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Nutrition Services
Hannibal Regional

Do your heart a favor! Part 3
salmon and quinoa recipeAlthough more than half of the population is meeting or exceeding the total grain and total protein food recommendations, they are falling short of meeting the recommendations for specific subgroups, such as whole grains and seafood. In place of the usual bread, pasta or rice dishes, opt for 100% whole grains instead. These include brown rice, oats, quinoa, wheat berries, and many more. These grains are as whole as it gets and contain an array of nutrients beneficial to your health. It is recommended that 3.5 oz serving of fish be consumed at least 2 times weekly (sorry, fried fish not included!) Fatty fish such as salmon, albacore tuna, trout, mackerel, herring and sardines are a few examples that provide heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Increasing omega-3 fatty acid consumption through foods is preferable. However, you may not get enough omega-3 by diet alone. For those people with coronary artery disease and high triglycerides, talk to your doctor about supplements*.

Quinoa Pilaf With Salmon, Spinach and Mushrooms
Ingredients:
5 ounces wild salmon filets
1 tablespoon white wine or 1 tablespoon sake
1 cup quinoa
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ large onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
7 mushrooms, sliced
3 bunches spinach, roughly chopped
salt & pepper to taste
Directions
1. Salt and pepper the salmon filets and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp of white wine or sake.
2. Wash and chop all the vegetables.
3. In a saucepan, place quinoa and 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.
4. Place the salmon filet with the skin side down, in the same saucepan as the quinoa, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook until all water is absorbed, for about 10 – 15 minutes.
5. Heat olive oil in a skillet, add onion and garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté. Finally, add spinach and sauté until the spinach is completely wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
6. When the quinoa is done, turn off the heat. Carefully remove the salmon skin and flake the salmon with a fork. Mix with the quinoa.
7. Add the vegetables and mix again. Season with salt and pepper.

Source http://www.food.com/recipe/quinoa-pilaf-with-salmon-spinach-and-mushrooms-499225

*The total number of milligrams of oil in a fish oil capsule such as 1000mg or 1200mg is not very informative. The crucial question is how much DHA and EPA each capsule contains. The label gives this information. Look for at least 250mg each DHA and EPA, and again ask your doctor if a higher dose is appropriate for you.


Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Nutrition Services
Hannibal Regional

Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
roasted chicken and vegetables

This is the perfect holiday meal as it allows for quick and easy preparation as well as very easy clean up (just one dirty pan!). You can use any veggies your family likes, or that you have on hand. Plus, if there are any leftovers you have many different meals you could make out of them. Cooking a whole chicken is really the way to go. It is often cheaper per pound, your family has their preference of white or dark meat and you can add only the seasonings/ingredients that you like. Use leftover chicken to make chicken salad or a wrap for a quick lunch or snack, chicken tacos, chicken noodle soup, chicken spaghetti, or other type of casserole.


Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
Ingredients
1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
Salt and pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs of thyme
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, cut into 8ths
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
4 potatoes cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
Olive oil


Directions
Remove chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Liberally salt and pepper the inside and outside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, lemon halves, and garlic. In a large roasting pan, rub the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Toss the veggies (whatever ones you choose) with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top. Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh (internal temperature of 165 degrees). Cover with aluminum foil and let rest for about 20 minutes. Slice chicken and serve.

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Nutrition Services
Hannibal Regional

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