Fun Flavors to Boost School Lunches
September means back to school, and many parents are looking for ways to update their kids’ school lunches to keep them engaged and healthy. Millennials now make up a majority of today’s parents of young children, with Technomic estimating that forty percent of Millennials have already started families, a figure that is predicted to double over the next eight years. This generation has redefined the way we think about eating as they seek out adventurous and authentic dining experiences and prefer to align themselves with transparent brands and sustainable, clean-label products. When it comes to feeing their children, Millennials are looking to instill the same values and seek out foods that are healthy, sustainable, globally influenced. Join us as we at Advanced Biotech take a look at ideas for updating kid-friendly classics and the flavors that are sure to keep school lunches interesting this school year.
Millennials’ interest in authentic and unique internationally-inspired flavors is a defining factor in the way they purchase and experience food. Millennial parents have passed down this inclination to their children, as according to Food Bytes, 50% of parents say their kids like more adventurous ethnic cuisines, including Indian, Peruvian, Vietnamese and Moroccan. Originating in the middle east, hummus, a thick and creamy spread make from chickpeas, is a quick and healthy globally-inspired snack any child will love. From sun-dried tomato to roasted red pepper and garlic, hummus comes in a variety of flavors and can be paired with fresh ingredients like carrots, pita bread, and pretzels. Wraps are a simple way to present international flavors in a familiar package. Place protein like lemongrass grilled chicken or even deli meat turkey onto a wrap with shredded cabbage, cilantro, lime, and even red chili for more adventurous palates to create a Vietnamese-inspired banh mi wrap that combines healthy ingredients with international flavors.
It’s a well-known fact that most kids (and adults) love cheese! Creamy, indulgent, and comforting, cheese is a staple ingredient in many school lunches. Give classic quesadillas a twist with the addition of fun, kid-friendly ingredients like fresh basil, tomatoes, thinly-sliced avocado, or sautéed onions. Amp up classic mac and cheese with smoky bacon, vibrant pesto, and colorful vegetables like broccoli and squash. Kids will enjoy the familiar flavor with an added boost of flavor and texture. Skewer cheese on toothpicks along with zesty salami or pepperoni, grape tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and bite-sized carrots for an engaging, kid-friendly take on the popular charcuterie board.
No kid can resist the natural sweetness of fruit! Nature’s candy makes the perfect ending to any lunch, and is a healthy way for kids to indulge in their sweet tooth without the risk of cavities or unhealthy chemicals and preservatives. Apple slices pair perfectly with rich peanut butter, and dried fruits like raisins, cherries, and apricots make vibrant additions to nutrient-packed trail mix. Smoothies, yogurt drinks, and fruit snacks also make great options for school lunches, and can be enhanced with unique ingredients like hibiscus, grapefruit, and pomegranate to create a sweet and sour flavor profile that will keep kids coming back for more.
Fun and interesting meals kids will love and Millennial parents will want to try, too, are easy with fresh, natural ingredients and unique flavor combinations. Learning about global cultures, trying new foods, and getting a serving of veggies in each school lunch is easy with a little creativity.