With school starting, moms are looking for anything new to pack in their kids lunches. PB&J gets old, fast. Here are some suggestions that will make your child the envy of the cafeteria!

Turkey Wrap
Take a whole wheat soft tortilla, line it with honey turkey and Colby/jack cheese. You can add a touch of honey mustard, or just leave dry. Roll tightly. The meat and cheese can be substituted for whatever your child likes. You can even just use cheese and add veggies before rolling for a vegetarian option. Enjoy!

Noodles Galore
Send your child to school with a plastic container filled with their favorite noodles. Whether its spaghetti, Chinese, mac and cheese, pasta salad, or just plain; you can create variety that’s yummy and fun to eat. Just refrigerate the night before and take it out just before they leave for school. It should be perfect by lunchtime.

Mini Pizzas
Use an English muffin or crackers for the crust, shredded mozzarella cheese, pepperoni slices, and pizza sauce. Pack each separately in small containers or zip-lock baggies. Show your child how to assemble the pizza(s) once at school. If they have access to a microwave, they can heat up the pizza. If they don’t, cold pizza is awesome too!

Fruit Kebabs
When it comes to pleasing kids, sometimes its not just taste that matters. If you make grapes, apple slices, cantaloupe chunks, strawberries, and mini-marshmallows into a kebab, your child won’t be able to help himself from devouring the whole thing. You can even add cubed cheese. Add their favorites to a wooden skewer or a straw. There may even be enough to share!

Mini Dinosaurs
Order deli meats and cheeses extra thick, then use a dinosaur or farm animal cookie cutter to cut the slices into kid friendly shapes. This is a great way to make the same old turkey, ham, and cheese into something new and fun. Pack with bread or crackers.

Peanut Butter Power Balls
These are great protein boosters! Just make sure peanut butter is OK to pack in lunches, since so many kids are allergic to it these days. Try:

1 C peanut butter
½ C non-fat dry milk powder or soy protein powder
½ C raisins or chocolate chips
½ C honey
Graham cracker crumbs

Mix all ingredients, except the graham crackers, in a large bowl. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll in crumbs to coat, then freeze. Balls will be thawed by lunchtime. Yum!

Color code extras! Always make an effort to pack a variety of colors when adding the extras to your kid’s lunch. Red peppers, carrots, kiwi, red, yellow and green apples, etc. If your kids aren’t fruit or veggie lovers, add some ranch dressing dip or some carmel dip to encourage them to indulge. Getting the veggies in is much more important than the few ounces of dip it takes to get it down!

Hope these help, good luck! Monotony is the devil; variety is the key! Be creative.

Author's Bio: 

Julie Riggs Med. RD LD
Registered and Licensed Dietician
www.i-supplements.com

Julie Riggs has been teaching fitness and nutrition skills to every population, from NFL players to the elderly, pre and post-natal moms to professional bodybuilders for her entire career. As a writer and consultant for www.i-supplements.com and as a registered dietician, personal trainer, and mom of three Julie brings real life perspective to the every day person's fitness and nutritional concerns.