There's always a need for great, healthy lunch ideas. Jamie Oliver's Lunch Revolution has brought more focus to the topic and had many parents talking. Even the standard PB&J; sandwich could likely use a boost in nutrition.
Santa Cruz Organics offers a great line of healthy lunch products that are definitely kid pleasing, including fruit spread/jams, peanut butter, fruit sauces and more.
Their fruit spreads are a wonderful alternative to mainstream jams and jellies. Four flavors are available (seedless red raspberry, strawberry, apricot, and blackberry pomegranate), with the first ingredient in each one being actual organic fruit--not juice, not processed ingredients, real fruit. They are sweetened with organic sugar, in lieu of HFCS or other artificial sweeteners, and have a pure fruit taste. My 5 and 8 year old kitchen helpers also noticed how easily the products spread on bread, something that is very important to a 5 year old wielding a butter knife.
Santa Cruz Organic Peanut Buttercomes in two textures (creamy or crunchy) and two roasts (dark or light), and contain ... peanuts. There are no hydrogenated oils, no added sugars or HFCS, and no artificial ingredients. The entire ingredient list is peanuts and less than 1% of salt. Like the fruit spreads, the taste is pure, a lovely peanut flavor in both roasts.
Our final Santa Cruz Organic sample came in the form of fruit sauces--Apple Peach and Tropical Fruit. Like the fruit spreads and peanut butter, the fruit sauces are made of organic ingredients. They are made from real fruit and fruit purees, with no added sugars or HFCS, and each cup contains 100% of daily Vitamin C requirements. My two kitchen helpers loved both flavors, and my almost 8 year old informed me that this was her "new favorite applesauce."
A few of our favorite easy lunch ideas, using Santa Cruz organic products:
- Shaped PB&J; or cream cheese & jelly sandwiches (for peanut-free schools); make the sandwich as normal, shape with a cookie cutter, dinosaurs and butterflies are always fun!
- PB&J; sandwich rolls: roll a slice of multigrain bread flat with a rolling pin, spread on a thin layer of Santa Cruz Organic creamy peanut butter, top with a tin layer of Santa Cruz organic fruit spread, roll up tightly and slice into rounds for bite sized pieces
- PB&J; baked biscuits: flatten canned biscuits, place a small teaspoon of your favorite Santa Cruz organic fruit spread & peanut butter in the center, bring opposite corners together, pinch to seal then invert them (seal down) into muffin tins and bake per package directions
- Homemade fruit rollups: While a fruit sauce cup is a perfect addition to a lunch box on its own, it can also be turned into homemade fruit rollups. We use our dehydrator, which came with a dedicated fruit roll sheet, 6-8 hours of a medium heat (check your manual for specifics) produce amazing fruit roll ups.
Shannon is a mom to two children, ages 5 and almost 8 years old. She writes "What's for Lunch at Our House", her 3 year and counting bento blog, focusing on healthy, unique ways to feed children, with an emphasis on balance and presentation.