May 19, 2014

Celebrate National Brown-Bag-It Day

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With two kids in school, I pack a lot of lunches. Our school offers hot lunch, and they get that sometimes, but I usually send them with food from home.

I have one child that is picky and prefers socializing over eating, and another child that is constantly hungry and eats anything that doesn’t eat her first. Throw in field trips where lunches sit on hot buses on sweltering days, and it has become challenging at the end of the school year to come up with exciting lunches that they will eat that also meet my standards.

Luckily, ShopRite has lots of options to help me get through this last month before summer vacation.

On a recent trip to ShopRite to stock up for the week, I came home with a great selection of perishable and non-perishable lunch foods without spending a lot of money.

May 25th is National Brown-Bag-It Day. Whether you need ideas for kid lunches, or are looking to save money and bring your lunch to work, try out some of these great foods.

Crinkle cut carrot coins–the small size makes them great for kids, and the fun shape is a plus too!  Pack them plain or with ranch dressing for dipping.

Grape tomatoes–these tiny tomatoes have lots of flavor and don’t need to be refrigerated.

Mini bananas–a regular size banana is too much for my picky eater to eat all at once, plus they have a tendency to get smashed.  These itty bitty bananas from Dole fit more easily into a brown bag or can even be packed inside a plastic container, plus the size is kid friendly and super cute!

Forelle pears–this variety of pear is small in size but big on flavor.  Also a great source of fiber!

Kiwi fruit–this fuzzy fruit is always a hit in my daughter’s lunch.  Peel and slice and pack in a small container, or scoop the flesh out of the peel with a spoon.

Dried Mango–mango is my family’s favorite dried fruit, but ShopRite carries raisins, dried pineapple, dried cherries, and lots of other yummy fruit too.

Applesauce pouches–my daughter loves applesauce, but doesn’t always want to bother with a spoon on a field trip.  Fruit in squeeze pouches are a wonderful non-perishable and spoon-free option.

Danimals yogurt smoothies–drinkable yogurt is another great option that doesn’t require utensils.  The smoothies come in several kid pleasing flavors.

ShopRite Greek yogurt–my picky son likes the vanilla Greek yogurt from ShopRite.  The container is only six ounces, so none gets wasted, but packs a punch with plenty of protein.

Single serve guacamole and tortilla chips–guacamole is loaded with fiber and healthy fats from the main ingredient, avocado, but it tends to turn brown when exposed to air.  These 100 calorie single serve pouches eliminate that yuck factor.

Whole wheat miniature bagels–a regular size bagel is sometimes too much for my daughter to eat.  These tiny versions from Thomas go great with cream cheese or peanut butter.

White chocolate peanut butter–peanut butter has long been a kid lunch staple, but we love this incredibly yummy version from Peanut Butter & Co.  So good with apple or pear slices, or spread on a bagel!

Mini pretzel crisps–my kids like fun versions of everyday foods.  Regular pretzels have become ho hum, but these baby pretzels crisps are cute and tasty.

Pistachios–these fun to eat nuts are good for your cholesterol and also nutritionally dense, making them a great choice for kids that don’t eat large quantities of food.

Snapea baked crisps–I love snap peas but neither kid likes them.  They do, however, like this baked snack.  Lower in fat and sodium than chips, but crunchy enough to make them snacky.

Annie’s organic granola bars–no weird sweeteners in these tasty bars, and my kids love them!

Kids Clif bars–a kid sized version of the meal replacement bar for adults, it comes in delicious flavors like chocolate brownie and chocolate chip.  More protein than other snack bars too.

Horizon organic milk boxes–this hormone free milk can be stored outside of the refrigerator, making it an excellent option for days when spoilage is an issue.

Vita CoCo coconut water–when it’s hot out my daughter likes coconut water in place of milk.  This version is lightly flavored and has plenty of potassium, perfect for field trips that end with lots of play at the park.

Bottled water–no brown bag list would be complete without bottled water.  Most days, my kids take refillable water bottles in their backpacks, but on field trip days, they need to bring a lunch that can be thrown away when finished.  ShopRite has lots of options for water, all at great prices!

Kayris brown bag lunches thumbnail

Summer is almost here, and I’m feeling confident that with ShopRite’s help, I can keep packing healthy and fun lunches, without spending a bundle.

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