Tips for packing school lunches (that your kids actually eat)

Parents, don’t be afraid. If you’re nervous about back-to-school and all the lunches you’re going to have to make, you’re not alone. You’re not alone because other parents are nervous too, and you’re not alone because Red Deer’s GUAC Mexi Grill has your back.

“We know that back-to-school is a busy time for families, and we also know that nutrition is essential to a child’s success. That’s why we love helping feed the young residents of Red Deer at our restaurant!” says GUAC Red Deer owner Raj Multani. The restaurant’s Kids Combo includes a quesadilla, burrito or taco, plus vitamin-rich chocolate milk or juice and a chocolate chip cookie, all for an affordable price.

GUAC’s mission is to provide fresh, authentic, Mexican cuisine in a friendly and cozy atmosphere to the community they serve. Their vision is to stay actively involved in serving the needs of the community — and that includes fueling the learning of Red Deer’s students.

4 tips to improve school lunch prep

1. Get your kids involved

It can take more time and patience, but when kids are involved in making their own lunch they may take ownership of their choices and eat more. You might start by having them add the day’s granola bar, and build up to bigger tasks.

Offer kids two options to make decisions easier. Blueberries or grapes? Burrito or quesadilla?

2. Ask questions at the end of the school day

  • Was anything difficult to eat or open?
  • Did anything spoil or taste funny?
  • What was your favourite part (or something that looked tasty from a classmate)?

3. Stick to a formula

Most people don’t want to eat the same thing every day, but a formula can help keep lunches nutritious when you’re exhausted.

  • Carb: Tortilla, rice, bread, bagel, crackers, etc.
  • Protein: Eggs, chicken, beans, steak slices, hummus, etc.
  • Veggies: Snacks like carrots, celery and snap peas, plus added vegetables in sandwiches, soups and wraps.
  • Fruit:Keep cut apple fresh with lemon juice, cinnamon or try this apple puzzle trick. Add berries, apple sauce and smoothies for more fun.
  • Treat: Fruit leather, trail mix, granola bars, cookies, etc.

Remember that nutrition is cumulative — if your child skips one food group at lunch, you can catch up at other meals.

4. Ask for help

Remember that you don’t have to do it all yourself. If you’re forced to choose between buying food and paying rent, remember that the Red Deer School Lunch Program ensures that no child has to learn on an empty stomach.

If there’s room in your budget but you’re short on time, consider buying lunch one day a week to make your workload easier. The school may offer hot lunches, and GUAC Mexi Grill Red Deer offers a kids lunch menu your kids are sure to love:

  • Kids choice of burrito OR taco OR quesadilla
  • Chocolate chip cookie
  • Juice or chocolate milk

“We take nutrition very seriously, and don’t take short-cuts. Everything is made fresh in store using natural ingredients,” says GUAC Red Deer owner Raj Multani.

Order online on SkipTheDishes or save money by ordering directly from Find the restaurant at 90 Thorburn Ave. and on social media on Facebook and Instagram.

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