Kids are going back to school and that means it’s almost time to get back into the routine of packing lunches. Soon, kids will be sharing stories at recess from their summer adventures, but they’ll also be sharing something much less fun: cold and flu viruses! There’s no denying that back-to-school means it’s time for an immunity boost. By preparing delicious and nutritious school lunches and snacks from day one, you can help your kids fight off anything that comes their way this school year ーall while cultivating a healthy lifestyle for the whole family.

The first few weeks of school is a great time to establish healthy habits for your family. Easier said than done ー right? Before we explore all the fresh ingredients that can boost your kids’ immunity this school year, here are a few helpful back-to-school tips that can help you stay on top of your busy schedule and make sure your kids always have healthy options:

  1. Plan a weekly menu for school lunches and snacks. This saves time, money, and minimizes food waste. Plus, it’s a great way to make sure each day includes a healthy dose of essential vitamins and minerals.
  2. Stock up on fresh greenhouse grown snacking vegetables that are available year-round and are guaranteed to have consistent quality throughout the school year. With many flavorful options to choose from, you’ll always have immunity-boosting snacks ready to go.
  3. Use dinner leftovers or make-ahead meals that can be easily packed in a thermos, reheated, or eaten cold.
  4. Mix different foods and flavors to make school lunches more fun. Include various crackers, cheeses, meats, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables for different flavor combinations and a wide range of health benefits.
  5. You can make school lunches more fun with colorful containers, stickers, or notes. A little fun can go a long way in encouraging your child to enjoy the healthier ingredients you pack for them.

Healthy Lunchbox Snack Options-

A great school snack or lunch should be nutrient-rich, flavorful, and convenient for parents to prepare. Mini Munchies® snack packs are the perfect grab-and-go immunity boosters for back-to-school. As you’re headed out the door, quickly add them to each lunch bag knowing that your kids have a healthy lunch to enjoy. Snack +® packs are another fantastic option for older kids or student-athletes who need energizing snacks before or after sports, study sessions, and more.

The variety doesn’t end there! With a complete snacking line of cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers to choose from, families can enjoy a wide range of tasty options that will help protect them from those pesky cold and flu viruses that tend to make their rounds in the classroom this time of year.

Uno Bites™ Nano Cucumbers are refreshing cukes that are so tiny and crunchy that your kids will think they’re out of this world. From kindergarten to college, students of all ages love to eat them by the handful, with their favorite dip, or in an easy lunch recipe like Cucumber Turkey Wraps. Not only do all of these and other snacking cukes taste great, but they also contain potassium, soluble fiber, and vitamin K, all important parts of a healthy diet. When it comes to healthy back-to-school snacks, cucumbers can provide a great boost of hydration that helps to improve focus during class.

Another favorite healthy choice for recess, lunchtime, or studying is snacking tomatoes, which come in eye-catching colors and taste bud-zapping flavors. They’re also rich in antioxidants like lycopene and vitamin C, plus other important nutrients such as iron and folate, which all help keep those little bodies strong so they can fight off infections. There’s a snacking tomato for even the pickiest eaters on the playground, including award-winning and super sweet Cloud 9® Bite-Sized Fruity Tomatoes, bright Bumbles® Yellow Grape Tomatoes, and vibrant Sangria® Medley Tomatoes. Start off the school year with some fun lunch ideas, like silly Fun Bug Snacks, to show your kids how playful healthy veggies can be.

Kids of all ages love to munch on Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers for their sweet flavor and satisfying crunch. These bite-sized peppers are versatile enough to enjoy on their own, with a dip, or in a simple Healthy Lunch Bento Box full of your other favorite fresh ingredients. Once school starts, parents know it won’t be long until their children bring home a cold, but you can help prevent infections this school year by packing a lunch full of vitamin C-rich Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers. As little as a half cup will give them over 150% of their daily Vitamin C intake and nearly 50% of their Vitamin A intake!

When it comes to preparing snacks and lunches for the new school year, remember that convenience, fun, flavor, and nutrition can all fit in the lunch box if you plan ahead and pack the right fresh ingredients. With nourishing options for back-to-school, you’ll help boost your kids’ immunity so they can focus on learning and say goodbye to sick days.

Looking for more back-to-school lunch inspiration? Check out these recipes and don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter.