It’s back-to-school time so we gathered advice from Registered Dietitians – here are a few of their top tips.
– For picky eaters… Start with familiar foods. For new plant-based eaters, starting slow often leads to better outcomes—especially with kids. Have them identify 2-3 plant-foods they already love and start serving them more often.
– To help save time… Create a go-to “snack drawer” in the fridge. Creating a “school lunch basket” or “snack drawer” in the fridge makes packing lunch almost effortless. Stock the shelves with healthy grab-and-go items like trail mix, Forager Project kids yogurt and applesauce pouches. If you buy these items in bulk you’ll save money and also stock your “snack drawer” in the fridge!
– To make a healthy, plant-based lunch… Add a balance of nutrients. Make sure that their lunch has all three macronutrients (fat, carbohydrates, and protein)
Click the button below to download a full guide of back-to-school tips and tricks from our Registered Dietitian partners.
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– A Registered Dietitian’s guide to plant-based lunches: Click here for Registered Dietitian’s Alex Caspero’s guide to making nutritious, plant-based lunches for kids, that are so tasty you’ll want to make an extra lunch for yourself too!
– Share tips & tricks: We’d love to hear from you – please share or send us your favorite tips and tricks for easy back to school lunches!
– Easy, make-ahead recipes: Click here for easy recipes that can be made ahead for a simple breakfast or lunch.
Yes, live active cultures have been shown to help support healthy digestion.
Absolutely, it’s a perfect on the go healthy snack for kids and adults alike.
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Registered Dietitian Erin Cooper recommends doubling or tripling a dinner recipe to ensure there is extra for lunch or dinner the next day. This way, you can spend one day in the kitchen prepping, cooking, and cleaning up but enjoy a home cooked meal for two!
“Be prepared! Get everyone involved and set aside time weekly to prepare and plan a few quick and easy healthy meals and snacks to last for a few days at a time. Make it fun!” recommends Registered Dietitian Rachel Buechler.
Registered Dietitian Alex Caspero suggests getting kids involved in making their own meals – this will save time and give you more energy to put towards other activities. As an added bonus, exposing kids to food and the kitchen is “a great way to combat picky eating and gently teach them about healthy foods. Kids of all ages can help assemble their lunch box” notes Alex.
Registered Dietitian Jessica Gutsue suggests encouraging picky eaters to broaden their food variety by offering new foods in a familiar format. For example, if your kid isn’t wild about spinach Jessica recommends adding spinach to their favorite pizza. “Bonus points if you take them out into the garden, or to the grocery store and have them help select the ingredients for the pizza, as well as help make the pizza. Food exposure is key to increasing familiarity, and therefore eventually enjoying a greater variety of foods!”
Registered Dietitian Angela Houlie recommends using bento boxes as a way to get picky eaters excited about lunch options as they make it easy to provide an assortment of lunch options and even help with portion sizes. Angela says that “Kids love the variety and seeing their ‘favorite’ foods alongside new foods to try! Why not throw a Forager yogurt cup in there, let your kids choose their favorite flavor :)”
Michele L. Seattle, WA
Judy H. Marblehead, MA