Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Easy Ways To Include Cheese In Your Kid’s School Lunch

It’s back-to-school time and that means back to packing school lunches. It can be a bit of a challenge to come up with a variety of nutritious lunches that your child enjoys eating, rather than looking for someone to trade with. As with any meal, it’s important to include all of the major food groups in the school lunch. These are fruits and/or veggies, carbohydrates (preferably complex, not simple carbs), dairy, and protein.

One simple way to provide for your child’s protein and dairy needs is to incorporate cheese into the lunch box in one way or another. Here are a few ideas for you.


Of course, there is always the old stand-by, a cheese sandwich—mayo on the bread, cheese slices on the bread. Done. But there are as many variations on the cheese sandwich as there are moms to make them and kids to eat them. Try some of these ideas: cheese and dill pickles; cheese and tomato (put the tomato slices between two cheese slices to prevent the bread from becoming soggy); cheese and apple; cheese and lunchmeat; cheese, peanut butter, and strawberry jam; or egg salad with grated cheese. Mix your cheese flavors up, try Swiss, Gouda and aged cheddar.

Try various types of cheeses with various accompaniments to see which combos your kid likes the best. Also try a variety of breads, including tsandwich thins, hamburger or hot dog buns, croissants, pita bread, tortillas, hoagie rolls, or even a bagel.

Lunch Box Fillers

The lunch box sandwich is just the foundation for a great school lunch. Next you need a “side” to go with the sandwich. Here is another place to get creative and add some nutrition to your child’s lunch.

Look for the small cheese and cracker packets, or cheese and pretzel ones. These make great lunch box fillers and kids love them. Try adding cheese curds and pretzel bites or veggie sticks.

String cheese is a nifty way to add interest to your kid’s school lunch. It’s fun to peel down the layers into “strings,” the thinner and stringier, the better. There are also small, individually wrapped cheeses that will go good with a baggie of your kid’s favorite crackers. Or you can put cheese slices and apple slices in a small container. Raisins or other dried fruits will work just as well and give the added nutrition of fruit.

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