Healthy back to school lunches

We all love easy pre-packaged food to throw in our kids' lunches but there are more nutritious ways we can fill them up. Shari Steinback, the Meijer Health and Wellness Nutrition Manager is here with some ideas.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - So many great things are happening in September! Not only is school back in full swing but it’s also time for the Produce for Kids Campaign at Meijer.

The campaign, which occurs during Family Meals Month, runs through Oct. 2 and offers Meijer shoppers in-store and online meal solutions, recipes and tips for families to eat healthier meals together.

In-store displays, featuring locally-known rock n’ roll nutrition show star Jump with Jill, will be in Meijer produce departments and will feature recipes for shoppers to take home.

Produce companies participating in the campaign include:

Avocados from Mexico, Dole® Salads, Earthbound Farm® Organic Mixed Baby Kale, Highline Mushrooms®, SUNSET® Tomatoes, Michigan Apples, Pero Family Farms® Steamy Cut Vegetables, Green Giant™ Fresh Klondike Rose® & Red Potatoes, Lil Snappers® Bartlett Pears and Gala Apples, and Marzetti Simply Dressed® Refrigerated Salad Dressings and Marzetti® Caramel Dip.

We’ve used some of these delicious products to create these fun and healthy Bento box lunches:

Apple Zucchini Mini Muffin Bento Box

(makes 24 muffins)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup True Goodness® by Meijer™ white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup True Goodness® by Meijer™ organic honey
  • 1 large True Goodness® by Meijer™ organic egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • ½ cup grated Michigan apple

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in bowl.
  3. Mix yogurt, honey, egg and vanilla in separate bowl.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Fold in zucchini and apple.
  5. Spray mini muffin tin with cooking spray and fill ¾ full.
  6. Bake 15 minutes, or until toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
  7. Remove and let cool.
  8. Enjoy!

Notes:

Serve with 1 peach, ¼ cup baby carrots with 1 Tbsp. yogurt ranch dressing and 2 oz. True Goodness® by Meijer™ cheddar cheese cubes

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 376 Fat: 18g Carbohydrates: 35g Sugar: 20g Sodium: 225mg Fiber: 2g Protein: 17g

Recipe by Power Your Lunchbox Pledge by Produce for Kids

Caprese Zoodle Salad

(makes 4 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. True Goodness® by Meijer™ olive oil
  • 1½ Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. True Goodness® by Meijer™ organic honey
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 pint NatureFresh™ grape tomatoes, halved
  • 8 oz. small Mozzarella balls
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh basil

Instructions:

  1. Whisk oil, balsamic vinegar and honey in small bowl.
  2. Spiralize zucchini and place in large bowl.
  3. Add tomatoes, cheese, basil and dressing.
  4. Mix well.

Notes:

Servie with ½ cup Sun World® grapes, sliced turkey roll-ups and True Goodness® by Meijer™ whole grain crackers

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 281 Fat: 19g Saturated fat: 7g Carbohydrates: 12g Sugar: 9g Sodium: 363mg Fiber: 2g Protein: 16g Cholesterol: 36mg

Recipe by Power Your Lunchbox Pledge by Produce for Kids

Easy Lunch Stackers Bento Box

(makes 1 serving)

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices low sodium deli ham, rolled, cut into 4 pieces
  • True Goodness® by Meijer™ Cheddar cheese, cut into 4 pieces
  • 4 slices cucumber
  • 8 whole wheat crackers
  • 1 GROW banana
  • 3 Pero Family Farms® mini sweet peppers, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. Marie's® Ranch dressing

Instructions:

  1. Place ham, cheese, cucumber and crackers in stacks in large section of bento box.
  2. Place banana in one small section of bento box and peppers and dressing in other small section.

Nutrition Information:

Serving size: 1 Calories: 361 Fat: 14 Carbohydrates: 44 Sugar: 20 Sodium: 806 Fiber: 4 Protein: 17

Recipe by Power Your Lunchbox Pledge by Produce for Kids

Courtesy: Shari Steinbach, MS RD, Meijer Health & Wellness Nutrition Manager

(© 2016 WZZM)


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