Back-to-school season has arrived! Put on those thinking caps, because it's time to plan and pack snacks  to delight your little ones and keep them energized throughout the day.

Before you plan the weekly lunch menu, ask your child to identify five favorite food items that he or she would like to see in the lunchbox.

Then encourage your kid to participate in the planning, preparing, and packing of the rest of the meals, creating a balanced menu of protein and complex carbs. Including them in the decision—and preparation—improves the chances that the lunch will actually be eaten. Perhaps, check out a local farmers market to pick up some local produce!

Some snack ideas that are easy to pack and prepare:

~ Wild salmon burger- this has lots of protein to keep them full!

~ Home made lentil soup/chili/chicken noodle soup-(they are great to make in big batches and freeze in meal size portions) pack the child's meal in a thermos to-go!

~ Veggie wrap– take a whole wheat tortilla, or brown rice torilla for a gluten free alternative, apply hummus or tzatziki dip to the tortilla. Cut up some veggies length wise, try cucumber, celery, and place them in a row down the middle of the tortilla, wrap it up. Cut it into bite size pices and enjoy!

~ 10 unsalted almonds and celery sticks

~ Soft boiled free range organic egg + snap peas – put the egg in cold water, bring to a boil, turn off heat and let sit for 4 minutes.  Run the egg under cold water for several minutes. With this timing the yolk will not be overcooked, providing optimal nutrients

~ ½ green apple and 2 slices of organic ‘raw cheese’ – ‘raw cheese’ can be found in the organic refrigerator section of the local grocery store.  Look for the brand ‘L’ancetre’. Or, slap some almond butter on the apple slices! yum.

~ celery sticks with nut butter, sprinkled with cranberries

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