With the start of February, we are about halfway through the school year. Now is the perfect time to follow through on your resolution to revamp your child's lunch. Take a step back from your peanut butter and jelly sandwich rut and explore the non-traditional options that your kids will love.

Using a container that has several divided compartments allows different foods to be packed and arranged separately, providing for greater options and choice. This "bento box" style has been very popular in the recent years.

The essentials in a non-traditional lunch include:

  • A food from at least three different food groups. 
  • A fruit and a vegetable
  • A water or low fat milk choice
  • A way to keep foods safe such as a thermos for hot foods or insulated lunch bag with a frozen water bottle for cold foods.

Here are some ways to mix it up. Now it's time to get packing!

  • Veggie and Cheese Kabobs: Use toothpicks to arrange cubed mozzarella cheese, cherry tomatoes, and red bell pepper chunks. Pair with two clementines and a handful of whole grain crackers.
  • Turkey, Spinach, and Hummus Pinwheels: Spread a thin layer of hummus onto a small, 6 inch whole wheat wrap. Layer two to three slices of thinly cut turkey breast with baby spinach leaves and tightly roll the wrap. Slice into six pieces. Pair with apple slices, baby carrots, and a small yogurt cup.
  • Mini Pizzas: Pack together a whole wheat mini bagel, a container of tomato sauce, and 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese. Pair with celery sticks, peanut butter, and raspberries.
  • Snack Time Blend: Break a granola bar into four pieces. Pair with 1/4 cup of nuts, Greek yogurt tube, sugar snap peas, small container of hummus, and pear slices.