Making a quick bag lunch for kids isn’t hard, but making a lunch that will nourish and be enjoyed by children can be tricky. The North American Meat Institute, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, has created a new “Beef Up the Lunch Box” series of lunch recipes and menus that incorporate prepared beef favorites likes summer sausage, roast beef, pastrami and corned beef into nutritious and delicious recipes that kids will eat and enjoy and that will help keep hunger at bay during the day.
Good nutrition is essential for proper growth, concentration and learning. Although a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chips and cookies lunch may tempt children, it offers lackluster nutrition and can’t keep the hunger away like a nutrient-dense menu featuring the complete protein found in meat. Including meat in a meal offers children many key nutrients the protein they need for growth, the most absorbable form of iron called heme iron, which is key for good energy and cognition, and the micronutrient B12, which is only found in animal products and has been shown to enhance brain development and cognitive function.
Developed by a Culinary Institute of America trained chef and veteran mom, The “Beef Up the Lunch Box” menu ideas and recipes go beyond the traditional sandwich and use great taste and interesting presentations to entice the pickiest of eaters. Compared to a peanut butter and jelly lunch, these healthy recipes offer more high quality protein, fiber, fewer calories, less sugar and more key nutrients.
Short, humorous how-to videos and recipes offer tips on making the lunches that include:
- Ultra Thin Pastrami Sandwich
- Salami and Whole Grain Pasta Salad Lunch
- Meaty Cheesy Pinwheels
- Sweet and Savory Snackin’ Lunch
“We recognize the daily challenge of making nutritious meals that kids enjoy and we hope these creative and nutritious recipes and menu tips will help ease the lunch-making challenge for Moms and Dads everywhere,” said Meat Institute Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Janet Riley. “So beef up your kids lunch boxes and help power their bodies and brains throughout the day.”