Seasonal Lunch Packing: March

Eating with the seasons often means eating locally grown foods, which tends to make good sense for your health and your wallet. There are also some yummy imports like tropical fruits to keep snacks interesting. So what to pack for lunch? This month, it’s a real mix!

bean-salad

Protein

How much protein do kids need? Take their weight and divide by 2. That’s how many grams of protein a child should consume each day. Protein is an important part of maintaining a balanced diet. Peanut butter, turkey breast and ham are some lunch favorites. If you are looking for something different, try a mixed bean salad or grilled chicken. Some of the essential proteins needed will also come from dairy.

ricotta_dip

Dairy

We love cheese! Some are more fattening than others so moderation is key. If you’d like to keep it light, try goat cheese or ricotta cheese. You can make savory and sweet ricotta dips easily. For savory, mix in a little salt, herbs and olive oil. For a sweet ricotta dip or dessert sprinkle sugar and add fruit or chocolate morsels.

pinwheels

Vegetables

Most kids won’t jump for joy if they find a spinach salad in their lunch boxes. Still, there are so many baby greens teaming with vitamins available right now that it’s hard to resist getting them in there. One way to make everyone happy is to roll greens into a nice turkey pinwheel. Colorful and not too intimidating. Try seasonal watercress, shredded carrots, romaine and parsley too. In season root veggies like carrots and radishes (if they can take the spice) and broccoli crowns are perfect for dipping and make for a healthy lunch option.

rhubarb

Fruit

Technically rhubarb is a vegetable, but it tends to be treated as a fruit. I plan on introducing rhubarb this month in a yummy rhubarb crumble! Rhubarb Crumble
Oranges, apples, pears are all still in season. You might also want to try tropical pineapple or papaya.

pasta-salad

Grains

As an alternative to breads and crackers, try colorful rice and pasta salads. Make enough at the start of the week and dish out a serving each day. Add fresh parsley, basil, and chopped veggies like peppers, carrots and peas for added nutrition.

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