Get Ready for Back to School Lunches and Snacks at Festival Foods

Back to school means sack lunches are back in style.

With all of the options on the grocery store shelf, figuring out what to pack doesn’t have to be a hassle.

“You might be surprised at some of the things that are available now to help parents out,” said Marty Chy, Festival Foods Store Director. “A lot of them are just variations on things we all grew up with – but the way things are packaged and prepared can save precious time for a busy parent on the go.”

Peanut butter and jelly has always been a staple, but products have evolved beyond the simple sandwich. Brands like Jif and Skippy offer bite-sized snacks of peanut butter wrapped around pretzels, chocolate, and grape jelly. They also make “on the go” peanut butter packs.

“A parent can simply pack a cup of peanut butter in the lunch along with whatever item their kid likes to dip – celery, pretzels or cut apples are just a few popular pairings,” said Chy.

Related to the PB&J theme, options available in the frozen department include Smuckers Uncrustables and Skippy PB&J Minis which are ready to eat after thawing.

“These are super helpful for last minute surprises, and a really easy thing to stock at the homes of grandparents or other caregivers. If you need to pack a sandwich, you just pull it out of the freezer and by lunchtime, it’s ready to eat,” he said.

In the cracker aisle, there is a huge variety of single-serve options that make it easy to pack a snack and keep mixing things up. These include crackers paired with cheese and peanut butter, to crackers and cookies.

For healthy options on the go, find ready-cut items in the produce section, like celery sticks or carrots which can then be paired with something healthy.

“It’s surprising how many kids like hummus,” said Chy.

Granola bars make a good snack, and in addition to the traditional varieties there are those that look like cakes or cookies that are actually packed with whole grains. Additionally, both kids and adults alike love to snack on beef sticks and nuts.

“We have an expanded section full of different flavors, types and sizes. These are easy items to keep on hand for when you may need them, as they last a long time,” said Chy. “But they also are super easy to pack and go for lunches or field trips. Kids love them, and they are healthier options to pack.”

Festival Foods is open 24/7 at 1613 N. Central Ave.