(Family Features) - Making a great school lunch is no longer a simple matter of slapping together a PB&J on white, tossing in a bag of chips and adding a juice box. Add the concern of keeping packed lunches healthy to the age-old challenge of satisfying picky eaters, and parents today face quite a dilemma.
Luckily, pleasing finicky eaters while still keeping lunches wholesome just requires a little creativity. Call it thinking out of the bag.
Opting for organic one-percent or skim milk instead of sugary juice drinks; making sandwiches with whole wheat bread, lean lunch meats and low-fat cheeses; always including a serving of fruit; adding fresh vegetables to pasta salads or side dishes-- these all are excellent strategies for packing a healthful and tasty lunch.
"What we give our children to eat today helps determine their future health," says Terese Allen, food editor at Organic Valley. She encourages parents to look at school lunches as a wonderful way to instill healthy lifestyle behaviors in their children. "Childhood is when eating habits are formed. If healthy choices are made, we stand a good chance of reducing our kids' risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other diseases."
For more organic recipes, visit www.organicvalley.coop.