‘Tis the back-to-school shopping season and you’ve got a list for everything your kids need to start the year off right! Pencils: check. Notebooks: check. New pair of jeans: check. Now you’re ready to head to the grocery store. Here are a few tips for writing your list:
Everyone knows breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for kids!
- Protein in the morning is also essential to combat hunger, so be sure to get a dozen Land O Lakes® Eggs for however your kids like them – sunny side up, over-easy, or with shredded Land O Lakes® block cheese for scrambled eggs, omelets, or breakfast sandwiches.
- Make their first day go smoother by making them something a little more special than cereal and milk, like Cinnamon Sugar Pancakes.
If you didn’t use cheese at breakfast, you can incorporate it into lunch or dinner, and even snacks, because cheese makes everything taste better. Be sure to buy a variety of Land O Lakes® Deli Slices for sandwiches.
Speaking of sandwiches, it’s time to get creative!
- Instead of the same ol’ boring bread every day, mix it up with pita pockets or tortillas.
- Or, forget the bread altogether! Get an extra serving of fruit or vegetables in your kids’ diets by packing Bibb lettuce for lettuce wraps, cucumbers slices for mini sandwiches, or apple rings for a twist on peanut butter and jelly, and leave it for them to assemble at the lunch table.
Now let’s talk about what to buy to go inside your kids’ sandwich creations.
- Deli lunchmeat is convenient, but in case you want to avoid processed meats, cook boneless, skinless chicken breast using Land O Lakes® Sauté Express® Sauté Starter the night before, refrigerate, and pack it cold.
- You will need a variety of colorful, fresh vegetables like tomatoes, baby spinach, avocado, and red onion.
- Don’t forget the peanut butter and several flavors of jelly or jam. As a healthier alternative to mayonnaise, try spreading sandwiches with hummus.
When it comes to snacking, hummus is also great with carrots, celery, pretzels, or whole grain, rice, or nut crackers.
- Fresh produce makes the perfect snack as-is – apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, and sugar snap peas. For a snack that’s fun to eat and packed with fiber, try steamed, in-shell edamame (usually found frozen) sprinkled with sea salt.
- Homemade snack mixes are simple to make and nutritious – combine granola, nuts (cashews, almonds, pistachios, pecans), dried fruit (cranberries, apricots, and if you can find it, dried cantaloupe) and semisweet chocolate chips.
Land O Lakes® Sauté Express® Sauté Starter comes in handy at dinner, so be sure to memorize this equation: Sauté Express® Sauté Starter + protein + vegetables + grains/starches = dinner success without stress.
- Sauté Express® Sauté Starter works with much more than just chicken. It transforms pork, fish, shrimp, turkey and beef, too.
- Get adventurous with grains – brown rice, quinoa, and fun-shaped pasta like cavatappi, campanelle, gemelli, or radiatore.
Here’s one final tip before I send you off grocery shopping – if you have picky eaters, don’t give up! Encourage them to try new foods and, if they don’t like them, try again later because as they grow up they often change their minds.
- Blog post written by Hannah, Test Kitchen Intern