Top Back-to-School Food Trends

Here are a few simple tricks to present fresh and healthy foods in a fun and eco-friendly way.

Make It Fresh

The average cost of a school-provided lunch in the UK is only slightly over £2 per student, making it a popular choice for parents, almost half of whom choose this route when arranging lunches for their children. However, many parents prefer to personally make lunches for their kids in order to meet their specific nutritional requirements.

Excellent nutrition is just as important in the teen years as it is for your growing kindergartener, and making lunch at home could be the best way to ensure that you control the calories, fats, salt, sugar and preservatives your student is consuming. Sending a fresh and healthy homemade lunch to school in a reusable or recyclable container benefits everyone and can be a lot of fun.

Keep It Healthy

Packing a school lunch is no different from planning any other meal. You'll need fruits and vegetables, a lean protein, whole-grain carbohydrates and healthy fats.

Instead of chips, offer carrot and celery sticks with homemade chia bars or dips. For a protein rich dipping treat, try creating your own nut butters using almonds or cashews. Packing a frozen smoothie is another great trick that your kids will love. By the time the lunch bell rings, your frozen concoction will have thawed into a thick and creamy treat that's as nutritious as it is delicious.

Have Some Fun

Presentation is everything when serving food so don't be afraid to get creative. Traditional Japanese bento boxes can be as simple as a compartmentalised lunch box, or as elaborate as an edible work of art.

Choose your ingredients with an eye toward balancing flavours, colours, textures and proportions. A fresh fruit salad of blackberries, halved green grapes and pineapple chunks is far more appetising than the usual commercial salad of peaches, apples and pears.

Add a whimsical touch by cutting sandwiches into shapes with cookie cutters or a paring knife. If you want to get creative, try making some fresh and fun strawberry roll-ups, following this easy recipe from Shutterbean.

For younger children, put a twist on the traditional peanut butter sandwich by using raisins and bananas to make a funny face to brighten your child’s school day.

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