Learninf for Life: Pack affordable lunches your kids will enjoy

How frustrating is it to spend hard earned money on food that is wasted? Here are some tips to pack affordable school lunches that your children will look forward to eating:

— Save money by portioning large bags of snacks into zippered baggies instead of buying single-serve packages; buy in bulk and make your own trail and dried fruit or nut mixes too.

— Compare grocery store weekly ad prices and shop sales. Only serve on-sale items that week. Look for clearance stickers and discount bins for great buys on perishable foods!

— Have your kids help you wash, peel, slice and bag a week’s worth of fruits and veggies to keep in the refrigerator for grab-and-go convenience.

— Pack leftovers from favorite dinners; turn last night’s salad into lunch by adding meat and cheese.

— Buy large tubs of plain, low-fat yogurt; spoon it into small containers, add fruit to lightly sweeten.

— Slice cheese from a large block instead of buying cheese sticks. Create fun shapes with cookie cutters.

— Draw silly faces on hardboiled eggs; notes on sandwich bags; and scratch messages into banana peels.

Visit online at uaf.edu/ces/districts/kenai/, call 907-262-5824, or stop by our office at 43691 Kalifornsky Beach Road, Suite A, for a handout on packing affordable lunches your kids will love.

Submitted by Amorette Payment, UAF Cooperative Extension Service, Nutrition Educator, Kenai Peninsula District.

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