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Tips for elementary kids’ lunch

May 4, 2018
Kiki Angelos , MOV Parent

School age children spend many hours away from home and are influenced by Television Commercials, Misc Advertising and so on So parents must set a good example and establish healthy eating habits - serving healthy nutritious foods at home so that they can be more relaxed about the food choices their children have away from home.

When the child is young the amount of food they consume is less and therefore the servings can be smaller however as they grow older they tend to eat more and and therefore the portion sizes increase.

Keep in mind if they are involved in sports and other activities there is a great possibility that that will also increase their appetite and intake of foods.

I highly suggest that you involve your child with grocery shopping and menu planning.


At this age there is a tendency that they may start becoming more aware of how much and what they consume - especially a time when girls get concerned about dieting and their body image. A good practice would probably to keep away from Soft Drinks , caffeine, candy bars and sweets.. Establish healthy eating habits with your children at home from an early age so it will carry over to adult hood.


It has been a practice over the years that school lunches are high in fat and sodium however in recent years the school lunches have become much more nutritious and healthy.

If you pack your child's lunch please consider using healthy foods and try to make the items not only nutritious but fun to eat like a "happy meal"" with surprises and even involve your child in preparing the sack lunches.

Take your children grocery shopping with you and together pick out not only fun foods but foods that are good for a well rounded diet . Be sure to go shopping after eating because the foods look less tempting when you have a full stomach

Be careful of choosing foods that are advertised on television for many of them are things that should possible be avoided to maintain a well balance healthy diet.

Children in these days need to stop watching so much television and constantly playing on I pads or some electronic games and spend more time with various activities outside.

See ya next month!

Ranch Crispy Chicken

1/4 cup unseasoned dry bread crumbs or cornflake crumbs

1 packet ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix

6 bone-in chicken pieces

Combine bread crumbs and salad dressing and seasoning mix in a gallon-size storage ag. Add chicken pieces; seal bag. Shake to coat chicken. Bake on ungreased baking pan at 375 for 50 minutes or until no longer pink in center and juices run clear.

School Night Chicken Rice Taco Toss

1 package rice mix chicken flavor

2 tablespoons margarine or butter

1 16-ounce jar salsa

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped

1 cup frozen or canned corn, drained

4 cups shredded lettuce

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

2 cups tortilla chips, coarsely broken

1 medium tomato, chopped

In large skillet over medium-high heat, saute rice mix with margarine until golden brown. Slowly stir in 2 cups water, salsa, chicken and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in corn. Cover and simmer 5-10 minutes or until rice is tender and chicken is no longer pink inside. Arrange lettuce on large serving platter. Top with chicken-rice mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and tortilla chips. Garnish with tomato.

Make-at-Home Chinese Chicken

3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons water

3/4 teaspoon cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

nonstick cooking spray

2 carrots, sliced

1 package broccoli and cauliflower florets

2 teaspoons canola oil

3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

hot cooked rice

For sauce, stir together juice, soy sauce, water, cornstarch and garlic powder until smooth; set aside. Spray nonstick wok or large skillet with cookin spray. Heat over high heat. Stir-fry carrots 1 minute. Add broccoli and cauliflower to wok. Stir-fry 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove vegetables from wok; set aside. Add oil to wok. Stir-fry chicken 2-3 minutes or until no longer pink. Push chicken up side of wok. Stir sauce mixture and pour into wok. Bring sauce to a boil, stirring constantly. Return vegetables to wok; stir chicken into sauce mixture. Cook and stir until mixture is heated through. Serve with hot cooked rice.

Note: For a fun look, make carrots slices into the shape of flowers. Using a clean bottle opener or vegetable stripper, make 4-5 lengthwise cuts along each carrot. Cut carrots crosswise into slices.

Kiki Angelos is a food columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.



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